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MEDICAL
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UC Irvine Medical Center lands stroke receiving center designation

Program improves emergency stroke care in Southern California.

By Kristen SchottPublished: May 08, 2009 09:43 AM

UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange has been named a Stroke-Neurology Receiving Center by Orange County's Health Care Agency.

It's a part of the county's plan to direct patients to hospitals best prepared to offer high-quality stroke care. Orange County is the first in the region to enact such a system, but it does join several other California counties and states, including New York, in implementing similar programs.

"This is an enormous step forward for the health of Orange County's residents," says Dr. Steven Cramer (right), director of the UCI Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center, who also spearheads the program.

Cramer and UCI stroke center manager Dana Stradling began promoting the concept of a Stroke-Neurology Receiving Center more than four years ago to neurologists, neurosurgeons and other health care professionals. The idea then earned backing from O.C.'s Health Care Agency and was recently approved by the Orange County Board of Supervisors.

Paramedics and ambulances will now be able to take patients in the early stages of a stroke to one of six receiving centers that offer high-level neurovascular care and have specialists available around the clock.

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