Stroke Program

Maine Medical Center is committed to meeting the specialized needs of stroke patients. We offer streamlined access to comprehensive diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitation resources for stroke. Specially-trained physicians and support staff are on hand 24/7 for the administration of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), the only FDA-approved thrombolytic agent for treating ischemic stroke within the first three hours of the onset of symptoms.

As a result of close collaboration between the multidisciplinary stroke program and MMC's Emergency Department, more patients are brought into the stroke care pathway within the three-hour window needed for tPA administration.

MMC is the first healthcare facility in Maine to earn distinction as a Comprehensive Stroke Center from the Joint Commission, demonstrating its stroke care program follows national standards and guidelines that can significantly improve outcomes for stroke patients. MMC earned the Gold Seal of Approval from the Joint Commission for utilizing a standardized method of delivering integrated and coordinated clinical care based on criteria developed in conjunction with the American Stroke Association and the Brain Attack Coalition.

Program Highlights

  • 24 hour local Neurology coverage (on-site coverage 7 days per week, 8 am to 6 pm).
  • Emergency team evaluation with an emergency medicine physician within 15 minutes of any patient exhibiting stroke symptoms.
  • Written care pathways and order sets to streamline and accelerate diagnosis and treatment of stroke.
  • Strong communication with emergency medical services (EMS) to ensure that medical personnel are informed when a stroke patient is in-route to MMC.
  • Highly trained emergency department staff who are experienced in diagnosing and treating strokes and maintain communication with EMS and the stroke team.
  • Dedicated team of caregivers, including physicians, nurses, technologists and therapists with expertise in stroke care that work together to ensure the best outcomes.
  • Neuro-imaging services to rapidly determine if a patient has a burst blood vessel or clot blocking blood flow to the brain. Imaging studies are performed within 25 minutes of a physician's order, and radiology evaluates images within 20 minutes of completion.
  • Laboratory services available 24 hours a day.
  • Quality improvement activities including a registry for tracking patient treatments, timelines of treatments, and measures of patient outcomes.
  • *Retrospective and "real time" review of the quality of stroke patient care by the stroke program team.
  • Coordination of care throughout the entire healing process.

Quality Outcomes

Patient Satisfaction

An important way to measure our success is through patient feedback. Surveys are distributed to every stroke patient by NRC Picker, a highly regarded national healthcare quality assessment organization. These surveys allow our staff to learn how patients feel about the services they receive here at MMC compared to other hospitals across the country. This information is used to continuously improve our approach to patients and their satisfaction with our services.

Our goal is to help our patients best understand why they had a stroke; assure that the patient and their family know what needs to be done to avoid another stroke; and if stroke does happen how to recognize the signs and symptoms of stroke and to seek emergent medical care immediately. Our scores routine exceed the NRC average in each of the areas outlined by the survey; our staff take pride in assuring our patients have the best support possible while recovering from stroke.

MMC Stroke Specific Question Averages - Fiscal Year 2016


Source: NRC Stroke Spotlight Report; 30 Sept 2016


Maine Medical Center is certified as a Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission; we are the only stroke center in Maine with all the diagnostic technology and advanced treatments for acute stroke. The certificate of distinction for Primary Stroke Centers recognizes centers that follow the best practices for stroke care by:

  • Using a standardized method for delivering care
  • Supporting patients self-management activities
  • Tailoring treatment and intervention to individual needs
  • Promoting the follow of patient information across settings and providers, while protecting patient rights, security, and privacy
  • Analyzing and using standard performance measure data to continually improve treatment plans
  • Demonstrating their application of and compliance with clinical practice guidelines published by the American Heart and American Stroke Associations

FY 2016 Admitted Stroke Patients by Type: Primary Diagnosis of Stroke


Source CPI_EPIC_VISITS; CAO: 25 OCT 2016

Our program at MMC is surveyed every two years by the Joint Commission during an onsite visit from one of their experts they externally validate that our program is in compliance with their standards. In 2015-2016 we admitted, treated, and expertly cared for nearly 700 stroke patients from around our state.

Discharge Disposition

More and more people are surviving after acute stroke; our goal is to get our patients to the right level of care at the right time – from the acute care we provide here at MMC - to physical rehabilitation after stroke - to home. We work closely with our colleagues who support acute rehabilitation and skilled nursing centers to help assure that providers have the information they need to tailor a treatment program that is best for our patients.


Integrated Rehabilitative Care

An essential component of stroke care is rehabilitation. MMC and New England Rehabilitation Hospital work closely together to give patients a seamless continuum of care as they recover from a stroke.

Learn More About Neurological Rehabilitation

Telestroke Network

The Neuroscience Institute is developing a state-wide Telestroke Network to bring the expertise of Maine Medical Center's neurologists to community hospitals' emergency departments, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Using state-of-the-art videoconferencing and electronic transfer of CT scans, the Network gives community-based physicians timely access to consultations from specialists skilled in the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients.

When time means brain, the ability of this system to expedite stroke diagnosis and treatment is crucial to ensuring the best patient outcomes.

Tim's Story

Tim and Vivian love to travel the world. After a rafting trip in Maine, Tim suffered a stroke. Vivian recognized the signs and called 9-1-1 right away. Her quick thinking, along with Maine Medical Center’s Telestroke Network, saved Tim’s life. Watch their full story to learn how MMC is improving stroke care statewide.