TeleStroke brings expert stroke care close to home

Because every minute matters

Allina Health TeleStroke

Many regional and rural hospitals don't have a neurologist on duty at all hours of the day and night. But, thanks to the TeleStroke program at Allina Health, a number of regional hospitals associated with Allina Health now do—virtually. These hospitals are equipped with a special video technology that allows a stroke neurologist from one of Allina Health's certified Comprehensive Stroke Centers to examine a patient who's miles away. This partnership allows accurate and prompt diagnosis of stroke so that important treatment can begin.  

Critical stroke care close to home

For some hospitals, the TeleStroke service augments existing hospital-based neurological coverage to help provide 24/7 coverage all year long. For other hospitals, it is the only neurological expertise consistently available. 

Through TeleStroke, doctors and patients in the regional hospital are able to see and interact with the on-call neurologist. "This technology allows the neurologist to examine the patient as if he or she were right in the room," said Sandra Hanson, MD, medical director, Stroke Program, Allina Health. "And an exam by a qualified neurologist is crucial if you're having a stroke."

With a stroke, every minute matters. A medicine called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) can be lifesaving, preserving precious brain tissue and body function. But tPA is most effective when given within three hours of having a stroke, and administration of tPA can only be directed after a patient is examined by a qualified neurologist. With acute stroke expertise available "virtually" at the bedside, stroke patients don't lose precious time being transferred to another hospital before the administration of tPA or other critical therapy.

After tPA has been given, patients are often able to remain in their local hospital for follow up care. Sometimes patients need to be transferred to a hospital that can provide more intensive stroke care, such as interventional neuroradiology.  Either way, they can count on neurology expertise being available on site or at one of the TeleStroke hubs.

"Through TeleStroke and shared stroke protocols, we provide the same level of specialty care in a regional hospital Emergency Department that we do at Abbott Northwestern or United Hospital. The program also provides protocols for rapidly transferring patients to our Comprehensive Stroke Centers for definitive stroke care and rehabilitation. TeleStroke is a critical part of the entire Allina Health stroke system of care," said Mark Young, MD, medical director, Abbott Northwestern Stroke Program and co-director of the John Nasseff Neuroscience Institute Neurovascular Program.

The program is making a positive difference in stroke care in local communities. The addition of specialized stroke services helps hospitals improve patient outcomes, decrease patient disability related to stroke, and reduce costs, while keeping patients in the community. Providing expert stroke consults remotely allows prompt care close to home for these patients. 

Signs of a stroke

If you're having a stroke, getting care right away can help save your life. If you or someone you know is having any of these symptoms, call 911 or your local emergency service right away:

  • sudden numbness or weakness in your face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • sudden severe headache
  • sudden trouble understanding or speaking
  • sudden vision problems
  • sudden trouble with coordination or walking

More than 800,000 Americans will have a stroke this year. Visit to learn about risk factors and view informational videos.

Learn more about neuroscience at the John Nasseff Neuroscience Institute.



Abbott Northwestern and United Hospitals are certified Comprehensive Stroke Centers.

  • Abbott Northwestern – WestHealth – Plymouth, Minnesota
  • Avera Hand County Memorial Hospital – Miller, South Dakota
  • Baldwin Area Medical Center – Baldwin, Wisconsin
  • Bowdle Hospital – Bowdle, South Dakota
  • Buffalo Hospital – Buffalo, Minnesota
  • Cambridge Medical Center – Cambridge, Minnesota
  • Chaska/212 (Two Twelve Medical Center) – Chaska, Minnesota
  • Cuyuna Regional Medical Center – Crosby, Minnesota
  • District One Hospital – Faribault, Minnesota
  • Ely Bloomenson – Ely, Minnesota
  • Essentia Health St. Joseph's Medical Center – Brainerd, Minnesota
  • Welia Health (formerly FirstLight Health System) – Mora, Minnesota
  • Glencoe Regional Health – Glencoe, Minnesota
  • Granite Falls Municipal Hospital and Manor – Granite Falls, Minnesota
  • Hayward Area Memorial Hospital – Hayward, Wisconsin
  • Lake Region Healthcare – Fergus Falls, Minnesota
  • Meeker Memorial Hospital – Litchfield, Minnesota
  • Memorial Medical Center – Ashland, Wisconsin
  • Milbank Area Hospital – Milbank, South Dakota
  • MN Valley – Le Sueur, Minnesota
  • New Ulm Medical Center – New Ulm, Minnesota
  • Owatonna Hospital – Owatonna, Minnesota
  • Redfield Community Hospital – Redfield, South Dakota
  • Regina Hospital – Hastings, Minnesota
  • Ridgeview Medical Center – Waconia, Minnesota 
  • River Falls Area Hospital – River Falls, Wisconsin
  • River's Edge Hospital & Clinic – St. Peter, Minnesota
  • Riverwood Healthcare Center – Aitkin, Minnesota
  • Sibley Medical Center – Arlington, Minnesota
  • Sleepy Eye Medical Center – Sleepy Eye, Minnesota
  • St. Francis Regional Medical Center – Shakopee, Minnesota
  • St. Luke's – Aberdeen, South Dakota
  • St. Luke's – Duluth, Minnesota
  • St. Mary's – Pierre, South Dakota
  • United Hospital District – Blue Earth, Minnesota
  • United Hospital – St. Paul, Minnesota
  • WestHealth – Plymouth,Minnesota