News & Announcements

Fairfield Memorial Hospital receives ASRH designation


Fairfield Memorial Hospital Chief Executive Officer, Katherine Bunting-Williams, Ph.D., announced that Fairfield Memorial Hospital has been recognized as an Acute Stroke Ready Hospital (ASRH) as of January 23, 2015 by the Illinois Department of Public Health. In 2009, the Illinois General Assembly passed HB2244, allowing the creation of stroke systems of care in Illinois. The law identifies hospitals capable of providing emergent stroke care (primary Stroke Centers and Emergent Stroke Ready hospitals), and directs EMS to transport possible acute stroke patients to these hospitals. The Illinois Hospital Association worked with the American Heart Association and the Illinois Department of Public Health to create preliminary regulation to enact the landmark legislation. 

In order to become designated as an ASRH, Fairfield Memorial Hospital was required to submit data to the state to indicate their ability to treat stroke patients according to the National Standards of Care. 

“As a leader in rural health, we felt it was of top priority to become designated as an Acute Stroke Ready Hospital. With this designation, we are able to provide stroke victims immediate initial care, rather than a delay in treatment if they had to travel to facilities farther away for initial care. Chances of survival and reduction of functional deficits are better if the stroke is identified and treated immediately, as with a stroke, time lost is brain lost. Therefore, a quick evaluation and treatment in the nearest hospital is essential to save lives,” stated Katherine Bunting-Williams, Ph.D., FMH, CEO.

“The Emergency Department Team works hard to stay abreast of the ever-changing national standards and treatments for not only stroke, but all types of emergency care.  I am proud to be part of a team and organization that places great emphasis on patient care and safety,” said Tonia White, RN, MSN, Emergency Department Nurse Manager.

Stroke Warning Signs –

F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember the sudden signs of stroke. When you can spot the signs, you'll know that you need to call 9-1-1 for help right away. F.A.S.T. is:

Face Drooping – Does one side of the fact droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.  Is the person’s smile uneven?

Arm Weakness – is one arm weak or numb?  Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

Speech Difficulty – Is Speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?

Time to call 9-1-1 – If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get the person to the hospital immediately.  Check the time so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared. 

Pictured are FMH Emergency Team Members, Tracy Taylor, RN; Michelle O’Neill, M.D., Chief of Emergency Medicine; and Tonia White, RN, MSN, Emergency Department Nurse Manager.