AGC Members Gain Invaluable Insight About Houston’s Mobile Stroke Unit

“Strokes are the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and the leading cause of disability,” stated Dr. James Grotta, Director of Stroke Research and Mobile Stroke Unit Memorial Hermann Hospital. Dr. Grotta delivered an eye-opening presentation to AGC Houston members at the Patrick J. Kiley Distinguished Speakers series on January 15, 2020.

In 2014, Dr. Grotta  helped to launch the first Mobile Stroke Unit (MSU)  in the nation — an ambulance that contains a CT scanner and trained personnel that can diagnose and deliver acute stroke treatment directly to a victim. The idea to bring an ambulance to stroke victims was an innovative approach to quickly treating patients in the first hour after an onset of stroke symptoms.

Learning to detect the signs of a stroke victim can help identify the onset of an attack.

Dr. Grotta urged the attendees to “remember the acronym FAST:"

Face drooping: If the person tries to smile, does one side of the face droop?
Arm weakness: If the person tries to raise both their arms, does one arm drift downward?
Speech difficulty: If the person tries to repeat a simple phrase, is their speech slurred or strange?
Time to call 911: If any of these signs are observed, contact the emergency services.

To help keep the brain-saving and life-saving MSU in operation while Dr. Grotta’s team works to make a case to Medicare, Medicaid and private insurers, please contact him at: or contact Kirsten Schachter at Memorial Hermann Foundation at:, or call 713-242-4414. 

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