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Unsurpassed Stroke Care

Seconds count when you or a loved one is experiencing a stroke. It’s vital to receive stroke treatment as quickly as possible.

Doctor taking patients hands into both of their hands

Our highly skilled team of stroke care professionals are prepared to help you during those crucial moments.

Within seconds of arriving in our emergency department, patients with stroke symptoms go for a CT scan of the head and receive an evaluation that results in a quick diagnosis and course of treatment.

Every 3-4 minutes, someone dies from a stroke. Every hour into a stroke, the brain is aged 3.6 years. Thankfully, HSHS St. Joseph's Hospital offers state-of-the-art telemedicine "robot" technology that puts you in touch with time-saving, life-saving stroke evaluation and treatment – immediately.

Female patient receiving a telemedicine consultation after a stroke

Stroke telemedicine program

Early, real-time access to advanced neurology specialists makes the most of stroke's most critical time – when lives are saved and brain function can be preserved. This telemedicine technology means if you’re having a stroke, you have immediate access to leading neurologists right here in Highland at SJH. Real-time web-based video and audio equipment lets specialists evaluate and interact directly with you and the emergency department physician remotely.

When a potential stroke patient arrives at the SJH Emergency Department, the staff alerts an on-call expert and shares the patient's condition, along with brain and x-ray scans. A mobile "robot" unit – nicknamed "STEVE" (Stroke Telemedicine Emergency Video Exam) – is brought to the patient's bedside to initiate an immediate consultation through videoconferencing. The neurologist will have the ability to interact face-to-face with the patient and family, ask the patient to perform examination tasks and provide an expert recommendation to the SJH Emergency Department physician for the appropriate course of treatment.

The telemedicine program helps us deliver:

  • Immediate access to neurology specialists
  • Advanced stroke treatment and intervention during the critical window
  • Face-to-face interaction between you and specialists
  • World-class technology and neurology resources direct to the hospital

Emergent Stroke Ready Hospital

HSHS St. Joseph's Hospital in Highland is pleased to be one of the very few hospitals in the region with the state-awarded Emergent Stroke Ready Hospital (ESRH) designation. The Illinois Department of Public Health makes these designations based on the hospital's ability to meet certain criteria aligning with nationally recognized, evidence-based standards, such as those from the American Heart/Stroke Association and Brain Attack Coalition.

Illinois was one of the first states in the nation to incorporate another level of stroke center into its law. ESRHs – hospitals that diagnose, treat and transport acute stroke patients to a higher level of care as warranted – must annually attest their continued compliance with criteria outlined in the statute and the regulation to the IDPH.

Know the signs and symptoms of a stroke

A stroke is an interruption in the blood flow to our brain from either a clot or a break in the blood vessel. It is critical for someone who is experiencing signs or symptoms of a stroke to be transported to the hospital by trained medical personnel immediately. Early recognition is key, and a stroke is a medical emergency. Treatment options depend on the type, source and location of the stroke.

Older woman experiencing stroke symptoms with daughter by her side

Watch for

  • Sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body 
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech 
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes 
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness or loss of balance 
  • Sudden severe headache without a known reason 
BEFAST graphic


Use the BE FAST acronym to remember stroke warning signs. If you notice or experience any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately. 

B - Balance Difficulty

E - Eye changes

F - Face drooping

A - Arm weakness

S - Speech slurred

T - Time to call 911