Ahrens champions rural stroke care
Thu, Apr 27, 2017
Ensuring top-notch stroke care in rural areas benefits all communities by helping to identify and close gaps in the care system.
That’s the premise of Dr. Kerry Ahrens, an emergency medicine physician with BayCare Clinic. She was among the medical experts who presented at the recent Wisconsin Rural Stroke Conference in Wisconsin Dells. The event was sponsored by the American Heart Association – American Stroke Association.
“Improving rural stroke care is an ongoing discussion, but we’re making positive strides in bridging the care gaps and better ensuring our rural families, friends and neighbors have levels of care comparable to care offered in our more metropolitan areas,” Ahrens said. She’s the co-chair of the Wisconsin Stroke Coalition.
As an emergency medicine physician, Ahrens is often one of the first medical experts to care for stroke patients. She sees the need for consistency in stroke care.
“Ultimately, the goal is to have that care consistency no matter where you reside,” she said. “We’re working toward that.”
A stroke is a brain attack that occurs when blood flow to an area of the brain is interrupted. When this happens, brain cells are deprived of oxygen and begin to die. The abilities controlled by that area of the brain – such as memory and motor function – begin to falter and can be lost.
Fast facts from the American Heart Association – American Stroke Association
- Someone in the United States has a stroke about once every 40 seconds.
- Stroke accounts for 1 of every 20 deaths in the U.S.
- Stroke kills someone in the U.S. about every 4 minutes.
- When considered separately from other cardiovascular diseases, stroke ranks No. 5 among all causes of death in the U.S., killing nearly 133,000 people a year.
- From 2004 to 2014, the stroke death rate decreased 28.7 percent, and the number of stroke deaths declined 11.3 percent.
For more information, visit baycare.net.
About BayCare Clinic
BayCare Clinic, baycare.net, is the largest physician-owned specialty-care clinic in Northeast Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. With its 100-plus physicians, BayCare Clinic offers expertise in more than 20 specialties, serving clinical locations in 13 regional communities. Based in Green Bay, Wis., BayCare Clinic is a joint partner in Aurora BayCare Medical Center.