Wimmera Health Care Group has invested in a stroke care co-ordinator to improve patient outcomes and stroke awareness.

Clinical nurse specialist Jarrod Hunter has taken on the new position which follows on from the Victorian Stroke Telemedicine (VST) Program co-ordinated by Janette McCabe which Wimmera Health Care Group excelled in.

The VST program uses telemedicine to connect the emergency department at Wimmera Health Care Group with neurologists in Melbourne to assist in the timely diagnosis of stroke patients while also providing expert advice to the hospital’s doctors on appropriate patient management. Wimmera Health Care Group is currently performing very well when benchmarked against other VST sites in rural Victoria and holds the record for the fastest diagnosis to treatment time, 38 minutes.

Mr Hunter said the position of stroke care co-ordinator is a significant investment from Wimmera Health Care Group into the health and wellbeing of the community.

"This is a new position which came about after we looked at the successes of the VST program and observed any possible gaps regarding the care of our stroke and mini stroke patients. This mainly focused on the care and rehabilitation following emergency treatment provided in the emergency department, a vital part of care." Mr Hunter said.

"At Wimmera Health Care Group we have many highly skilled and educated professionals and this role will help to co-ordinate overall patient care to make sure a patient receives all the care they need.

"It also gives a contact point for when someone is discharged from hospital and there are follow up questions or concerns."

Mr Hunter’s role will also see him educate the community and other health professionals external to the hospital.

"Many people know about the ‘FAST’ pneumonic - Face, Arms, Speech and Time, a community education program aimed at identifying stroke in an emergency, but there are also other important education programs about stroke prevention and I will be available to community groups to provide this education," he said.

Mr Hunter works in the stroke care co-ordinator role from Monday to Wednesday and is available on 5381 9176.

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