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October 2017

New Global Research Spurs Call for Urgent Action on Stroke Prevention

River’s Edge Hospital, St. Peter has today joined the global call for urgent action to prevent stroke. The call to action, issued by the World Stroke Organization to mark World Stroke Day on Sunday the 29th October, responds to new data that shows stroke was responsible for over 116 million years of life lived with disability (YLD) worldwide in 2016. This adds to existing global mortality data that positions stroke as the second largest cause of death.

There are an estimated 17 million strokes worldwide each year.  While stroke incidence and mortality rates in high income countries have been on the decline, progress is still slow and uneven. There are also indications that the risk factors for stroke such as hypertension, obesity, diabetes and smoking are becoming increasingly prevalent in both high and low-income countries. This has the potential to slow progress on stroke prevention.

River’s Edge Hospital is designated by the Minnesota Department of Health as an Acute Stroke Ready Hospital.  The MDH recognizes that River’s Edge has essential stoke protocols and systems in place for the best possible outcome for patients.  The Emergency Medical Staff (EMTs, Paramedics, Nurses and Physicians) are trained in quick identification and treatment of stroke symptoms.

Professor Werner Hacke, President of the World Stroke Organization said ‘On World Stroke Day 2017 our members are sending out a global message that stroke is preventable and that we all have good reasons to prevent it. We know that 90% of strokes are associated with just 10 risk factors that we can all do something about. Addressing these risk factors would not just have a major impact on stroke, they would also prevent deaths from other non-communicable diseases. Giving urgent priority to prevention now will yield obvious benefits in terms of reduced human, social and economic costs.’

World Stroke Day will be commemorated at events worldwide on 29th October 2017. More information can be found on the campaign website. www.worldstrokecampaign.org

River’s Edge Hospital & Clinic in St. Peter was one of 139 hospitals and nursing homes from around the state recognized by the Minnesota Department of Health for achieving high influenza vaccination rates among facility employees during the 2016-17 flu season.  More than 90 percent of the staff received the influenza vaccination, earning a blue ribbon from the MDH.

The FluSafe program aims to get 100 percent of all health care personnel at hospitals and nursing homes in Minnesota, except those with medical exemptions, vaccinated against influenza each season. According to state health officials, unvaccinated health care workers can potentially pass highly contagious influenza to their patients, many of whom are at high risk for complications from influenza.

“Our patients’ health is our top priority,” said Janelle Rauchman, Chief Quality Officer of River’s Edge Hospital. “Participating in the FluSafe program helps us increase employee influenza vaccination rates and prevent flu from spreading to our patients. We also want all of our employees to be as healthy as possible during flu season.”

Health care facilities participating in the FluSafe program receive guidance and access to tools and promotional materials from MDH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help them increase their influenza vaccination rates. The facilities record and document their vaccination rates through the state’s immunization information system, the Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC).

More information on the FluSafe program, including a list of the 2016-17 facilities earning blue, red, and white ribbons, can be found on mdhflu.com.