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UPMC Cole Enhances Stroke Care with Telestroke Service


January 31, 2024

COUDERSPORT, Pa. – UPMC has expanded stroke specialty care services at UPMC Cole by offering 24/7, 365 virtual consultation services with world-renowned stroke specialists from UPMC Stroke Institute at UPMC Presbyterian, a certified Comprehensive Stroke Center.

“This collaboration is giving our patients superior access to quality stroke specialty care close to home which is very important because time is a critical element of stroke care,” said Gaurav Dighe, M.D., medical director, Stroke Care, UPMC in North Central Pa. “We are harnessing telemedicine technology to enhance and support the local emergency department teams who are already providing exceptional care and can benefit from additional medical expertise in complicated cases. With this service, the tools are in place to provide fast access to lifesaving treatments helping improve outcomes and prevent or reduce long-term disability from stroke.”

When a patient is suspected of having a stroke, the physician engages the Telestroke team through a virtual consultation. The remote specialist can ask the on-site doctor and patient questions, review the brain scans and lab work, assess how severe the symptoms and whether they could be due to a stroke, and guide the doctor on treatment or whether to transfer the patient to a comprehensive stroke center or higher level of care for further evaluation.

“It’s a challenge to have specialists on-call and on-campus 24/7 at our hospitals, especially our smaller, more rural hospitals like UPMC Cole,” said David Lopatofsky, M.D., chief medical officer, UPMC in North Central Pa. “With innovative telemedicine programs like Telestroke, we’re seamlessly leveraging our expertise from across the system to effectively use telemedicine technology and other resources to keep patients connected to their providers and enhance specialty care needed closer to home.”

To learn more about the comprehensive stroke care services available at UPMC in North Central Pa., visit

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