Stroke Program

Enloe Medical Center has developed a comprehensive multi-disciplinary Stroke Program to provide our patients with rapid, appropriate, guideline-based treatments to help improve their chances of recovery. Patients receive personalized stroke education and a strategy to help prevent future strokes.

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and the leading cause of disability. But fast treatment can prevent or reduce disability. If you think you’re having a stroke, it’s important to call 9-1-1 or get to the emergency room immediately.

Learn more:


Diagnosis of a stroke is based on a patient’s medical history, physical exam and diagnostic testing. A full range of modern diagnostic tests is available at Enloe Medical Center.

  • Urgent Computed Tomography (CT), scanning of the brain, is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for rapid diagnosis of both hemorrhagic (bleeding) and ischemic (blood vessel blockage) strokes. CT Angiography, a rapid non-invasive examination to help doctors visualize the blood flow in the blood vessels to locate abnormalities and to plan emergency treatments. Such tools are extremely important for implementing modern ”clot-busting” therapies for stroke. The tests are done on our 64-slice and 16-slice CT Scanners.
  • Enloe Medical Center patients also have access to the latest in MRI technology, including sensitive Diffusion Imaging and MR Angiography. Diffusion Imaging is a powerful technique for detecting even the smallest strokes in the brain, ones that were previously invisible on standard MRI and CT images. Our Open MRI produces high-resolution images of the brain, with an experience for patients that is more comfortable 
    due to the larger open design.
  • Additionally, Enloe Medical Center has a wide range of ultrasound diagnostic services, including carotid ultrasonography and echocardiography. Specialized, sensitive echocardiograms are increasingly being used to identify heart abnormalities that may lead to stroke. All combined, these powerful diagnostic techniques give our doctors valuable information that may be used to help prevent a recurrent stroke.


Calling 911 is important! Fast treatment can prevent or reduce disability. Patients who arrive at Enloe within a short time after onset of their stroke may be candidates to receive modern “clot-busting” treatments that help open blocked blood vessels and restore blood flow to the brain. To determine eligibility for this type of treatment, known as thrombolytics, highly trained Enloe Emergency Physicians and Neurologists will rapidly assess the patient and expedite CT scanning and blood tests.

Stroke patients at Enloe have access to some of the latest medical and surgical techniques for acute stroke treatment and prevention. The wide range of specialty and primary care services available include Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine, Critical Care Medicine, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Vascular Surgery and Cardiology .

Recovery and education

Enloe Medical Center has a comprehensive inpatient and outpatient Enloe Rehabilitation Center that assists stroke patients in their recovery. This is an extremely important link in the chain of recovery after a stroke. In addition, Enloe HomeCare cares for patients at home. Enloe Medical Center also sponsors Stroke Education programs for the public, our patients and local professionals. This includes our Stroke Support Group for patients and their families, which continues education and support after discharge.

Quality of care

After undergoing an on-site evaluation and demonstrating compliance with nationally developed standards for stroke care, Enloe Medical Center earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™ for advanced certification as a Primary Stroke Center in 2011, and was re-certified in 2013. Enloe was the first hospital in Butte County to receive this accreditation. "In achieving Joint Commission advanced certification, Enloe Medical Center has demonstrated its commitment to the highest level of care for its stroke patients,” says Jean Range, M.S., R.N., C.P.H.Q., Executive Director, Disease-Specific Care Certification, The Joint Commission. "Certification is a voluntary process and The Joint Commission commends Enloe Medical Center for successfully undertaking this challenge to elevate its standard of care and instill confidence in the community it serves.”
Learn more about this certification.

Enloe Medical Center has received the Get With The Guidelines®–Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award for four consecutive years from the American Heart Association. The award recognizes Enloe’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care by ensuring that stroke patients receive treatment according to nationally accepted guidelines. Learn more about this award.

Signs of stroke

Learning the signs of stroke can save your life or the life of someone you know, or help prevent a disability. Remember, if you think you’re having a stroke, it’s important to call 9-1-1 or get to the emergency room immediately.


Know the signs of stroke, and call 911 immediately.

BALANCE - Sudden loss of balance or coordination

EYES - Sudden change in vision, sudden trouble seeing

FACE Does the face look uneven? Ask the person to smile.

ARMS – Does one arm drift down? Ask the person to raise both arms

SPEECH – Does their speech sound strange? Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase, for example, “The sky is blue.”

TIME – If you observe any of these signs, then it’s time to call 9-1-1.

Other symptoms:

  • Sudden weakness on one side of the body

  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding

  • Sudden severe headache

If a stroke is caused by a large blood clot or bleeding, symptoms occur within seconds. This is what happens in the vast majority of cases. When a stroke is caused by an artery that is already narrowed or blocked, symptoms usually develop gradually within minutes or hours, or rarely, days. However, symptoms of a small stroke may be attributed to normal aging or confused with other conditions that cause similar symptoms. Whichever type of stroke, it is imperative to seek treatment immediately by calling 9-1-1 or getting to an emergency room right away.             

Risk factors and prevention

Many factors can put people at a greater risk for stroke. These include:

  • High blood pressure (hypertension)

  • Diabetes

  • High cholesterol

  • Heart disease (including a rhythm disorder called atrial fibrillation)

  • Prior history of stroke

  • Tobacco use

  • Excess alcohol use

It is important to consult your doctor to discuss your risk. Many risk factors are treatable and many causes of stroke are preventable.

Educational links

Enloe’s stroke team

  • Michael O’Brien, MD, PhD, Director (1421 Magnolia Ave., Chico, CA 95926 - 530. 332.3980)
  • Sherry Wirt, RN, CNRN, Neurosciences Program Coordinator (530.332.3981)
  • Sandra Parsons, RN, CRRN, Stroke Support Group Facilitator (530.332.3981)

Other professionals on a patient’s stroke team include:

  • Other Registered Nurses, Licensed Vocational Nurses, and Nursing Assistants
  • Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapists
  • Medical Social Workers, Chaplains, Case Managers and Dietitian

Contact information

Enloe Medical Center Stroke Program
1531 Esplanade
Chico, CA 95926
(If you think you are having a stroke, please call 9-1-1 immediately.)

The Joint Commission RE-Certifies ENLOE as a Primary Stroke Center

Learn more.

Enloe receives 2013 Get With The Guidelines Gold-Plus Performance Achievement Award 

Learn more.


Listen to BOB ROACH



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Call: 1-877-Enloe-MD