May is American Stroke Month, and on May 3, I had the privilege of joining volunteers from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association to speak with legislators about House Bill 1400, which will allow the Department of Health to designate primary stroke centers in Pennsylvania.

When it comes to a stroke, time lost means brain loss. That's why, when a stroke patient enters the hospital, specific measures must be in place that not only focus on saving a life or reducing disabilities, but also preventing a secondary event, such as another stroke.

Hospitals with primary stroke center certification follow peer-reviewed clinical practice guidelines proven to improve care and patient outcomes.

Having the state recognize primary stroke centers can help guide other hospitals to adopt the standards achieved through certification, and promote broader awareness of the health benefits they bring to the communities surrounding them.

Strive. Survive. Thrive. To learn how to strive for ideal health to reduce the risk of stroke, visit To survive and thrive, learn the symptoms of stroke by visiting

Gene Juillet