Stephens County Hospital and Wellstar Health System Collaborate to Expand Stroke Care in Northeast Georgia

Marietta and Toccoa, Ga. (January 3, 2023) –A new partnership between Stephens County Hospital (SCH) and Wellstar Health System offers expanded stroke care to patients in Northeast Georgia. The Vascular Neurology team at Wellstar Kennestone Regional Medical Center will support SCH virtually by connecting with patients and working in collaboration with emergency room (ER) physicians, radiologists and hospitalists to manage stroke patients who arrive at SCH.

“Stroke is among the leading causes of death in our region and this initiative will allow us to do more at our hospital in managing stroke patients than we’ve ever before been able to do,” says Stephens County Hospital Chief Executive Officer, Van Loskoski. “Historically, if you’ve come to our hospital for a stroke, our team immediately began treatment and patients were then transferred to other hospitals. The support from the Vascular Neurology team at Wellstar Kennestone will allow us to keep many stroke patients here for their entire treatment. This is better for the patients and their families, but also for the overall safety of our region. It also reduces the burden on our EMS, limiting the number of transfers they have to coordinate outside of our county.”

SCH will be adding new technology to its radiology equipment which will utilize artificial intelligence to immediately detect certain types of strokes allowing for faster notification to the medical team.

“Time is everything when it comes to treating a stroke,” says SCH ER physician Dr. Brody Reid. “Having faster notification of a stroke through this advanced technology can make a world of difference in recovery.”

“Wellstar Health System is committed to providing expert neuro care for stroke patients,” said Dr. Ashis Tayal, a vascular neurologist at Wellstar Health System. This partnership with Stephens County Hospital will have a great impact on the Northeast Georgia region. Together, we will give patients the best opportunity for optimal recovery and treatment after experiencing a stroke.

This program will launch in mid-February 2023.

About Stephens County Hospital

Stephens County Hospital is a 96-bed acute care hospital in Northeast Georgia with a mission dedicated to excellence in healthcare with compassion for every life we touch. Our focus is to ensure that our hospital is always adapting to the ever-changing needs of the region we serve and that any service we offer is provided using the highest quality staff, training and equipment. Our dedication to excellence has seen our patient satisfaction scores now rank higher than 94% of Georgia hospitals. We have also been awarded the Georgia Hospital Association’s platinum award for Employee Safety as we constantly strive to ensure our staff work in a safe and supportive environment. We have also been voted in 2022 as the Best of Toccoa’s “Best Place to Work” and “Best Healthcare Provider”. It is because of our vision to ensure that our services align with the needs of our region and focus on quality that we’ve seen dramatic growth in our organization with presence in 3 counties, the addition of behavioral health services, the expansion of our surgical department, and significant increases to volume in every department of the organization. We will continue to find innovative ways to increase access to care in our region and always ensure that quality is the primary focus of our system.

About Wellstar Health System

At Wellstar, people are at the center of everything we do. By listening actively to what people want, need and expect from their healthcare, Wellstar is able to provide “More than Healthcare. PeopleCare.” — at every age and stage. Nationally ranked and locally recognized for our personal, high-quality care, inclusive culture, and exceptional doctors and team members, Wellstar provides access to compassionate, high-quality care through our: 9 hospitals; 400+ medical office locations; 7 cancer centers; 84 rehabilitation centers; 3 hospice facilities; 1 retirement village; 34 imaging centers; 18 urgent care locations; and 5 health parks. As one of the largest and most integrated healthcare systems in Georgia, Wellstar is growing our services, capabilities, and ability to meet evolving patient needs. Our passion for people extends into the communities we serve. As a nonprofit health system, we thoughtfully reinvest annually in prevention and wellness programs, as well as charity care for eligible patients. Our Wellstar Foundation also supports our mission to enhance the health and well-being of every person we serve with funding for equipment, services, and programs that provide more than healthcare. To learn more about how Wellstar is always listening, learning, and tailoring care to meet patients’ individual needs, visit