Banner Health News Center  

Banner Desert Medical Center is first hospital in metro Phoenix to offer “telestroke” service


MESA, Ariz. (Feb. 27, 2012) – Banner Desert Medical Center now offers emergency neurologic treatment for stroke patients via a secured video link. Patients now have immediate, around-the-clock access to neurologists through this new “telestroke” program.

Telestroke is managed through a partnership with Specialists on Call, Inc. (SOC), the nation’s leading provider in clinical telemedicine.

SOC’s board-certified, fellowship-trained academic specialists use an evidence-based approach and adhere to strict standards of practice when discussing, diagnosing and recommending treatment options to hospital staff and patients.

With state-of-the-art videoconferencing technology and secure lines of communication, SOC physicians interact directly with hospital physicians, nurses, patients and their families in a manner that closely resembles an in-person bedside consultation, helping to make the experience as comfortable as possible for all involved.

“This new service saves our patients precious time and delivers expert neurologic care to the patients who need it most,” said Jacqueline Carter, MD, stroke director, Banner Desert Medical Center.

“In emergency cases, time is of the essence in order to help patients and save lives, and we are looking forward to working together with Banner Desert to deliver timely care in the same high-quality manner that their patients are accustomed to,” said Joe Peterson, MD, CEO, Specialists on Call.

It is important to remember that time is brain. Human nervous tissue is rapidly lost as stroke progresses. Emergent evaluation and therapy are necessary for the best possible outcome. If you experience or witness any of these warning signs, call 9-1-1 immediately:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body;
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding;
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes;
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination; or,
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known case.

Banner Desert is the first hospital in Arizona to utilize this service. Banner Health hospitals in Colorado, McKee Medical Center and Northern Colorado Medical Center, currently utilize a similar telestroke service.

About Banner Desert Medical Center
Banner Desert Medical Center is a non-profit facility in the Tempe/Mesa area, providing a wide range of inpatient and outpatient services. The medical center is one of the largest and most comprehensive hospitals in the state of Arizona, and serves as a tertiary referral center in the East Valley of metropolitan Phoenix. Banner Desert was recently recognized by U.S.News & World Report for high performance in 12 important clinical areas, and was a top hospital in the 2011-12 Metro Phoenix rankings. Banner Desert provides adult acute care including high-risk and general obstetrics, gynecology, cardiology, oncology, neurosciences, general and specialty surgical services, medical imaging and emergency medicine, among others. The 80-acre medical campus is also home to Cardon Children’s Medical Center. Both facilities are owned and operated by Banner Health, the largest provider of healthcare services in Arizona. To learn more, go to

About Specialists on Call, Inc.
Specialists on Call, Inc. (SOC), a Joint Commission-accredited organization that is changing emergency medicine. As the leading provider of emergency clinical telemedicine consultations, SOC gives hospitals vital 24/7 access to more than 45 board-certified, fellowship trained academic specialists, each with a minimum of 10 years experience. With operations on both coasts, SOC provides more than 1,000 emergency consultations per month for hospitals nationwide and hospital systems such as Vanguard Health Systems, HCA, Inc. and Tenet Healthcare Corporation. For more information, go to



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