BILLINGS — Yet another Billings hospital puts Montana on the map for stroke care, as Billings Clinic receives a prestigious designation for its stroke center.
Billings Clinic announced Wednesday its designation by DNV, a risk management firm, as a Comprehensive Stroke Center for its full spectrum stroke care, education and research.
“With stroke care, you have to have the best clinicians and resources, but also the ability to act as a team with extreme efficiency because of the time-critical nature of these events,” said Gauhar Chaudhary, MD, Billings Clinic neurohospitalist. “This certification from DNV is a reflection of the countless hours and dedication to quality care from the people at Billings Clinic, all to ensure the health and safety of our patients.”
Billings Clinic joins 300 other comprehensive stroke centers across the US and is the first and only healthcare organization in Montana and Wyoming to earn the certification.
"Strokes are extremely complicated. There's not a one-size-fits-all for stroke," says Dr. Clint Seger, interim CEO of Billings Clinic. "Every patient needs unique care. That's why it's so important for our organization to be ready for anything that walks through the door when it comes to stroke."
In 2022, Billings Clinic admitted 700 patients with stroke symptoms and treated 400 patients with a confirmed stroke. Doctors say these numbers show a growth in the trend of stroke patients and part of the increase, they say, is better identification of stroke.
One of those patients, was Phil Ostrowski, a Sheridan, Wyoming, resident who was transferred to Billings Clinic after suffering a stroke.
"To be able to even specialize in something that is so life-threatening to so many people is mind-boggling itself, but to see the system work firsthand is also mind-boggling," Ostrowski said.
Billings Clinic’s stroke resources include but aren’t limited to a full team of neurologists, neurosurgeons, neurohospitalists, nurses and support staff; 24/7 thrombectomy and stroke care availability; advanced imaging and diagnostic equipment such as its newly built biplane suite; a skilled Emergency Department team for first point of contact care; a robust regional transfer center; and post-acute care resources to help patients in their rehabilitation and recovery.
“We have the necessary personnel, infrastructure, expertise and programs to diagnose and treat stroke patients who require the highest intensity of medical and surgical care, specialized tests or interventional therapies,” said Vance Fredrickson, MD, Billings Clinic neurosurgeon. “This means that patients across our region can continue to get the live-saving care they need, when they need it, while staying close to home.”