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Lehigh Office 
Lower Macungie Township Administration Building
3402 Brookside Road
Macungie, PA 18062
Monday - Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Phone: (610) 965-9933
Fax: (610) 965-9174

Berks Satellite Office 
Topton Borough Hall
205 S Callowhill St.
Topton, PA 19562
Wednesdays 9:30 a.m. to noon
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Capitol Office
160A East Wing
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2134
Phone: (717) 787-1000
Fax: (717) 782-2893
Working to Improve Stroke Care in PA
1/10/2017
By Rep. Ryan Mackenzie (R-Berks/Lehigh)
Strokes are the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and they are the leading cause of serious long-term disability. However, the quicker a person receives appropriate treatment for a stroke, the better the outcome can be in terms of survival and reduced long-term complications and disability.

In order to provide the best care in Pennsylvania for those who suffer a stroke, I have introduced legislation that will help direct stroke victims to the appropriate hospital to treat their type of stroke.

This legislation is especially important in order to take optimal advantage of new federal guidelines that create three specific levels of certified stroke centers to treat patients based on their individual needs. The three levels of certification are primary stroke centers, acute stoke-ready hospitals, and comprehensive stroke centers.

Pennsylvania currently has 81 certified primary stroke centers. Here in the Lehigh Valley, we have St. Luke’s Hospital and Lehigh Valley Health Network’s Cedar Crest location, which became one of the first comprehensive stroke centers in the nation in 2012.

My legislation would work by directing emergency responders to take stroke victims to the nearest appropriate stroke center qualified to treat the severity and type of stroke occurring. This will ensure the best possible treatment and health outcomes for stroke victims.

Currently, emergency responders are directed to transport stroke victims to the nearest “primary stroke center.” The guidelines, however, do not reflect that different hospitals have different equipment and physicians who specialize in certain types of stroke response. As a result, some patients may have to be re-transported to a different hospital, which only prolongs the time in which they receive the specific care they need.

I have been working on this legislation for over a year now and last session it passed the House unanimously. I am hopeful that the 2017-18 legislation session will see this legislation finally signed into law.

With more than 800,000 people suffering from strokes each year in the United States, it is vital we put into action a plan to deliver patients the best possible care to ensure better health outcomes.

My legislation is supported by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association and the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania.

Representative Ryan Mackenzie
134th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Tricia Lehman
717.772.9840
tlehman@pahousegop.com
RepMackenzie.com / Facebook.com/RepMackenzie
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