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New Medical Director Named at St. Mary Stroke Center
Howard M. Natter, MD, is a board-certified neurologist with more than 20 years of experience in the care of stroke patients
LANGHORNE, Pa., Aug. 13, 2013 – St. Mary Medical Center has appointed Howard M. Natter, MD, as Medical Director of the St. Mary Primary Stroke Center.
Dr. Natter, a licensed medical physician, earned his medical degree from the Hahnemann University School of Medicine. He completed his internship in the Department of Medicine at Crozer-Chester Medical Center and his residency in the Department of Neurology at Hahnemann University Hospital. In addition to stroke, Dr. Natter treats patients with neuromuscular disorders, migraine, and multiple sclerosis.
“St. Mary Medical Center has one of the busiest stroke programs in the area, and we hope to expand the scope of care we give to stroke and other neurology problems, on both an inpatient and outpatient basis,” says Dr. Natter. “Each patient we encounter is unique. We form a one-to-one relationship with patients to understand not only why they had a stroke, but also the implications for their ability to function at home and at work.”
About 85 percent of strokes are ischemic, caused by a blockage in a blood vessel that cuts off the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain. Hemorrhagic strokes, which account for about 15 percent of strokes, result from bleeding in the brain that may be caused by a brain aneurysm, a vascular malformation, or persistent or untreated high blood pressure. Treatment for stroke varies, depending on the type of stroke and the stage at which it is diagnosed.
At the St. Mary Stroke Center, a dedicated emergency-response stroke team provides rapid assessment, accurate diagnosis, and prompt treatment of both acute ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes using current evidence-based medical guidelines.
“From the moment a potential stroke patient arrives in our Emergency Department, our specialized team works together to quickly evaluate and treat stroke patients. Our goal is to prevent and minimize the potential for brain damage and disability by using advanced medical therapies, pharmaceuticals, and interventional neurosurgical techniques,” says Dr. Natter.
The St. Mary stroke program is part of the St. Mary Neurosciences Center, which provides specialized care for injuries and illnesses that affect the brain, nervous system, and spine. St. Mary also has a specialized Intensive Care Unit with monitored neurosciences care for people recovering from stroke. Patients also have access to a full continuum of rehabilitative services and supportive-care resources offered by the Medical Center.
This patient care team includes an acute stroke program coordinator and a dedicated nurse practitioner, who helps direct individualized treatment plans. Speech, physical, and occupational therapies are provided by brain-injury-certified rehabilitation professionals. Other resources include discharge planning and home-care assessments, a stroke support group, and educational programs for stroke survivors and family caregivers.
“A stroke can change the dynamics within a family, and we seek to understand and assist in these problems as well. We hope to combine the best of today’s medical tools and technology with a more old-fashioned ‘hands-on’ doctor-patient relationship,” adds Dr. Natter. “We believe that each patient we care for is an individual with his or her own problems, concerns, and goals. Only by discussing these issues with patients both during their hospital stay and after can a complete healing process occur.”
National Recognition for Quality Stroke Care
St. Mary Medical Center is among a distinguished group of U.S. hospitals to earn national recognition for its compliance with the latest hospital guidelines for the treatment of stroke with the goal of improving patient outcomes. St. Mary has earned the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™ as a Primary Stroke Center. In addition, the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association recognize St. Mary for consistent adherence to Get With The Guidelines™ achievement indicators and quality measures.