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Allegheny Health Network Establishes Cerebrovascular Center

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Allegheny Health Network (AHN) announced today its establishment of a center for the treatment of complex stroke care and cerebrovascular disease.

The Cerebrovascular Center at Allegheny Health Network encompasses the full spectrum of medical, surgical and rehabilitative care of patients with stroke. AHN’s cerebrovascular services are provided at Allegheny General Hospital’s Comprehensive Stroke Center and the Advanced Primary Stroke Centers at Forbes, Jefferson, Saint Vincent and West Penn hospitals. The Network’s Cerebrovascular Center is staffed by a multidisciplinary team of board-certified stroke neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuro-endovascular and rehabilitation specialists with expertise in stroke.

Cerebrovascular disease involves blood vessel disorders of the brain that either restrict the flow of blood to certain areas of the brain or cause an increased risk of bleeding inside the brain. These disorders include arteriovenous malformation (AVM), carotid artery stenosis, cerebral aneurysm, transient ischemic attack (TIA), and stroke.

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S. and a leading cause of serious, long-term disability. A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is impaired due to a clot or narrowing of blood vessels, requiring urgent early intervention to decrease the patient’s loss of brain tissue and function.

“Our Cerebrovascular Center facilitates a uniform standard of advanced care across the Network, providing patients with access to the latest technological and medical interventions for the treatment of cerebrovascular conditions,” said Donald Whiting, MD, Chair of AHN’s Neuroscience Institute. “Patients treated for stroke and other cerebrovascular disorders at AHN have greatly optimized chances for both surviving the injury and having a successful recovery.”     

The Cerebrovascular Center is led by co-directors Ashis Tayal, MD, and Khaled Aziz, MD.  Dr. Tayal is a vascular neurologist and serves as Medical Director of the Comprehensive Stroke Center at AGH and Dr. Aziz is a cerebrovascular neurosurgeon and also serves as Director of AGH’s Center for Complex Intracranial Surgery.

Under Dr. Tayal’s leadership, AGH was among the first medical centers in the country to become an American Heart Association Joint Commission-accredited Comprehensive Stroke Center. The hospital also was awarded the 2016 American Heart Association/American Stroke Association ‘Get With The Guidelines®’ Stroke Gold Plus Performance Award in recognition of its commitment to and success in implementing enhanced care for stroke patients.

The Cerebrovascular Center provides care to approximately 2,800 patients with stroke each year. Acute stroke therapy, including intravenous tPA (tissue plasminogen activator); and/or endovascular therapy, including mechanical clot retrieval, is delivered to hundreds of patients annually.

In 2015, AHN launched an expanded, state-of-the-art telemedicine program in which stroke-trained neurologists from AGH provide rapid, around-the-clock telemedicine consultations for patients at  Allegheny Valley, Forbes, West Penn, Saint Vincent and Jefferson hospitals, as well as independent affiliate hospitals, including Heritage Valley Sewickley, Ohio Valley, and Somerset hospitals.

For a referral to a physician who can evaluate risk of stroke, call 412.DOCTORS (412.362.8677).

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About the Neuroscience Institute 
AHN’s Neuroscience Institute integrates leading medical experts in the subspecialties of neurology, neuro-otology, neuro-ophthalmology, neuroradiology, neuro-critical care, and neurosurgery to offer highly advanced care for patients with the most complex neurological disorders. Recognized as both a Neuroscience Center of Excellence and a Spine Center of Excellence, the program serves as a national and international referral center for treatment of all types of neurological conditions.

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