Health

Level 1 Stroke Center at Baylor Scott & White – Plano

Image courtesy of Baylor Scott & White Health

Baylor Scott & White – Plano has received certification as a Level I comprehensive stroke center, recognized for its ability to treat the most complex stroke cases through evidence-based treatments.

As part of Baylor Scott & White’s commitment to quality healthcare and patient safety, Plano has received certification as a Level I comprehensive stroke center by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and Det Norske Veritas (DNV-GL) Healthcare USA. The Plano stroke center is one of two in Collin County. 

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With this certification, Baylor Scott & White – Plano is recognized for its ability to treat the most complex stroke cases through evidence-based treatments. The stroke center is equipped with quality staff prepared to handle the most extreme cases.

“As the stroke coordinator for the facility, I’m part of a team responsible for delivering high-quality stroke care to our patients at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Plano,” says Stroke Coordinator Shanda Sinkey, BSN, RN, SCRN. “I coordinate care of the complex stroke patient through the continuum of the Comprehensive Stroke Program. I am responsible for maintaining quality standards of care, professional documentation, staff education and patient education.”

Image courtesy of Baylor Scott & White Health

According to Sinkey, a successful stroke center starts with a facility culture where excellence is a constant and an expectation for all. The Plano stroke center is comprised of an administrative team with a vision to offer evidenced based stroke care to the surrounding communities, experienced stroke practitioners who seek opportunities to treat stroke patients, both acute and subacute and performance improvement initiatives throughout the facility which look for opportunities to improve processes.

“Community education is an important part of a stroke center,” Sinkey says. “We provide stroke education to patients and their families including, but not limited to, diagnosis, warning signs, EMS activations, risk factors, medications and follow-up care.”

Baylor Scott & White – Plano’s stroke center offers services and treatments for various types of conditions, including hemorrhagic or large ischemic strokes, aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage, strokes from unusual etiologies or requiring specialized testing or therapies such as endovascular surgery, and those requiring multispecialty management. It is a full-fledged resource center for other local medical facilities, offering guidance and consultation for patient triage and availability of diagnostic tests or treatments.

Apart from stroke treatment, Baylor Scott & White – Plano is also committed to helping patients adjust to everyday life following a stroke.

“To be a successful comprehensive stroke center (CSC) the facility must provide current evidenced based stroke care,” Sinkey says. “At Baylor Scott & White – Plano we go above the basic requirements to ensure our patients and their families have all possible resources to help them adjust to the ‘New You’ (post stroke). We focus on what our stroke patients can do instead of what they cannot do post stroke. Our stroke teams begin on day one with this ‘New You’ journey. In addition to providing all the current stroke interventions, other inpatient resources include: stroke education, dietary consultations, pastoral services, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. We encourage families to stay with their loved ones so we have available sofa beds for the family to stay overnight along with guest meal trays, if needed. We also provide outpatient therapy resources as well as local stroke support group information.”

While the resources Baylor Scott & White – Plano provides are remarkable, the stroke team encourages healthy habits, that way, a patient will hopefully never have to return to the stroke center.

Image courtesy of Baylor Scott & White

“Studies show 80 percent of all strokes can be prevented,” Sinkey says. “The comprehensive stroke center at Baylor Scott & White – Plano encourages good habits and hobbies to reduce stroke risks. Hypertension is the #1 risk factor for stroke. We recommend that our patients know their numbers in regards to their blood pressure. We encourage patients to check their blood pressure daily and communicate those number to their primary care physician.”

The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of exercise per week. To accomplish this, Baylor Scott & White encourages their patients to make simple adjustments like parking their cars further away from their destination, or go for walks in their neighborhoods. Patients are also encouraged to maintain an ideal weight by reducing sweets to special occasions only, to give up smoking and to continue regular check-ups with their primary care physicians.

In the event of a stroke, Baylor Scott & White – Plano stands by patients and their families every step of the way. They are committed to being prepared immediately in the event of an emergency and are ready to care wholeheartedly to those who have to check into the stroke center. 

“One of the joys of being the stroke coordinator for Baylor Scott & White – Plano is to witness stroke patients receive stroke treatments and recover from their strokes,” Sinkey says. “One of the responsibilities of a comprehensive stroke center is to always be ready 24/7 to care for acute stroke patients. One of the most interesting stroke cases and the most fulfilling is the transfer of an active ischemic stroke. Watching the way our stroke teams prepare for the patient’s arrival is evidence of our stroke practitioners deep care for our patients and that they practice from the heart.”

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With its close proximity, Baylor Scott & White – Plano is ready and able to provide care to Collin County residents, allowing for convenience and security.

For more on Baylor Scott & White – Plano’s Comprehensive Stroke Center information, visit BSWHealth.com/PlanoBrainandSpine

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Alex Gonzalez
Alex Gonzalez is a writer at Local Profile. He is a lover of food, music, sports, art, and world cultures. Alex was born and raised in Plano and graduated from University of North Texas in 2017. When he is not writing, Alex enjoys hiking, attempting to cook, going out to happy hours, and playing board games with friends.

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