Research Medical Center
April 11, 2017

Research Medical Center—part of HCA Midwest Health, Kansas City’s leading healthcare and stroke care provider—announces its acclaimed TeleStroke Network will support I-70 Community Hospital and Clinics in Sweet Springs, Mo. Approximately 795,000 strokes occur each year and, as the third leading cause of death in the United States, stroke is the leading cause of adult disability. Delays in diagnosis contribute to the mortality and disability associated with stroke. Research Medical Center’s innovative TeleStroke program is a form of telemedicine that provides physicians and patients in rural areas with enhanced in-house stroke care convenient to home and 24-hour on-call access to Research Medical Center’s stroke experts and Emergency Room for acute stroke consultation.   

The collaboration brings together innovative TeleStroke equipment and specialized care from Research Medical Center’s award-winning stroke center, which holds a Level I Center Designation from the Missouri Time Critical Diagnosis (TCD) Designation.  The highest level awarded, the hospital functions as a primary resource center throughout the region, maintaining specialized resources for the most complex patients.  In addition, Research Medical Center has been awarded the Get With The Guidelines® Gold Plus Honor Roll Elite, the highest award from the American Heart and Stroke Association.  Research Medical Center was the first hospital in the region to hold Elite status, which means patients get t-PA, the clot-busting drug within 60 minutes more than 75 percent of the time and less than 45 minutes in 50 percent of applicable acute ischemic stroke patients. Research Medical Center is a Joint Commission Accredited Stroke Center and follows national standards and guidelines that can significantly improve outcomes for stroke patients.

Using the TeleStroke system the physicians at I-70 Community Hospital and Clinics can communicate via a two-way live video, audio and image sharing system with stroke neurologists from Research Medical Center. Those experts will then evaluate a patient in real time to diagnose a stroke and determine the best treatment, which might include advanced care as well as the other stroke-accredited HCA Midwest Health hospitals, including Centerpoint Medical Center. With the TeleStroke system, some stroke patients, depending on the acuity of the stroke, would be transported to Centerpoint Medical Center in Independence. Stroke patients requiring a higher level of stroke care would be transported to Research Medical Center.

“We’re committed to keeping patients close to home whenever possible,” says Jackie DeSouza-Van Blaricum, Research Medical Center Chief Executive Officer.  “It’s comforting for patients, family and staff to know immediate stroke care is available at Research Medical Center, when necessary.”

“Research Medical Center is proud to deliver world-class technology and neurological resources through the TeleStroke program to I-70 Community Hospital and its patients,” says Iftekahr Ahmed, M.D., and Medical Director of The Stroke Care Center at Research Medical Center. “It’s an important collaboration that overcomes geographic and transportation barriers with reliable technology.”

Centerpoint Medical Center is a Missouri Time Critical Diagnosis Level II Stroke Center, an accredited primary stroke center as designated by The Joint Commission and an American Heart Association recipient of the Get With The Guidelines® Gold Plus Honor Roll Elite award, ensuring that life-saving t-PA therapy is given within 60 minutes in 75% of the eligible patients.

“Centerpoint Medical Center is pleased to be a part of the regional partnership between I-70 Community Hospital and Research Medical Center,” says Centerpoint Medical Center Chief Executive Officer, David Williams. “Our comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment means we are equipped to provide the appropriate level of care to a stroke patient, while keeping them as close to home as possible.  When time matters, we are at the forefront of ensuring a quick and potentially life-saving response.”

“This partnership with Research Medical Center’s outstanding medical staff will help save lives and preserve brain function, crucial when someone suffers a stroke,” says Jeff Bloemker, I-70 Community Hospital and Clinics Chief Executive Officer. “TeleStroke aligns with our commitment to provide high-quality, compassionate healthcare to patients in their own backyard.”

Other stroke-accredited HCA Midwest Health hospitals include Lee’s Summit Medical Center, Menorah Medical Center and Overland Park Regional Medical Center. For more information, visit