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When minutes count, trust our stroke care

Rapid-response treatment for stroke offers the greatest chance for recovery and reduces the risk of permanent brain damage. Our hospitals have long been recognized as leaders in stroke care. Tower Health has four Primary Stroke Centers (PSC) to serve people in southeastern Pennsylvania.

Our Pottstown Hospital, Phoenixville Hospital, as well as our Advanced Primary Stroke Center at Reading Hospital, are all fully equipped and staffed to provide state-of-the-art rapid evaluation and treatment of stroke. Here’s what makes us different:

  • The Rapid Response Stroke Alert team at Reading Hospital has outcomes in the top 5 percent nationally
  • Neurologists, Neurosurgeons, and Neurointerventional Radiologists are available 24/7 
  • We have the 24/7 expertise to administer intravenous tPA (medicine to break up a blood clot)
  • We focus on rapid response in a 24-hour "window of opportunity" for advanced mechanical intervention 
Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission logo

The Joint Commission Advanced Primary Stroke Center

Reading Hospital is certified as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission.
American Heart Association Stroke award logo

American Heart Association and American Stroke Association

Tower Health hospitals have been awarded the Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Quality Achievement & Stroke Elite Honor Roll Awards.
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Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission logo

The Joint Commission Primary Stroke Centers

Pottstown Hospital and Phoenixville Hospital

Certified Stroke Centers

To become a certified Advanced Primary Care Stroke Center, organizations meet standardized performance and clinical quality measures and undergo an onsite certification review.

Here’s how Reading Hospital achieved The Joint Commission Advanced Primary Stroke Center designation:

  • Program Medical Director. Our team is led by a medical director with extensive cerebrovascular expertise.
  • Advanced imaging capabilities. Our hospital offers 24/7 imaging for stroke care, including computed tomography, computed tomography angiography, computed tomography perfusion, and stroke magnetic resonance imaging. We also perform cranial and cardiac ultrasounds when needed.
  • 24/7 Stroke Specialists. Our best-in-class team provides the advanced care needed for complex stroke and aneurysm cases.
  • Vascular neurologists. Our experts offer a rapid evaluation (bedside or tele) to identify acute stroke symptoms and collaborate with other specialists to determine treatment.
  • Neuroradiologists. Specialists provide expert interpretation of advanced brain imaging and timely communication to our vascular neurologist to assist with emergent treatment decisions.
  • Neurointerventionalists. Using minimally invasive techniques, our team quickly removes blood clots from brain vessels and restores blood flow to preserve brain tissue.
  • Vascular Neurosurgeons. Specializing in treating blood vessel abnormalities, such as an aneurysm (a bulging in an artery), our team performs precise surgical procedures to clip or coil the aneurysm to reduce the risk of further bleeding.
  • Neurointensivists. Our experts specialize in acute brain disorders and treat life-threatening medical complications that are impacted by a stroke. These can include the heart, lungs, and kidneys.
  • Dedicated Neuro Intensive Care Unit. With 24/7, Neuro-specialized intensivist service providing advanced multimodality monitoring.
  • Dedicated stroke unit. Our hospital brings together Hospitalists, specialty trained nurses, and other care providers with experience in stroke care.

Here’s how Pottstown and Phoenixville Hospitals achieved The Joint Commission Primary Stroke Center designation:

  • Standardized method for delivering care centered on evidence-based guidelines for stroke care
  • Program Medical Director with experience in cerebrovascular disease
  • Acute stroke team available 24/7 and at the bedside within 15 minutes
  • Emergency Medical Services collaboration and access to protocols
  • Designate stroke unit or designated beds for the care of acute stroke patients
  • Emergency department collaboration with the initial assessment
  • Advanced imaging available 24/7, and cardiac imaging when appropriate
  • 24/7 neurology expertise in person or through telemedicine
  • Neurosurgical services within two hours of consultation
  • Operating rooms available 24/7
  • Collaboration with EMS and community outreach

Stroke Awards & Accreditation

Tower Health hospitals are committed to providing the highest quality care — and it shows. Our national accreditations and certifications show we meet the most stringent patient care guidelines. That means you can be confident you’re receiving care from a trusted, skilled team.
View All Stroke Awards & Accreditation

How is a stroke diagnosed?

Timing is very important. To find out if you had a stroke and what treatment is best, you may have several tests.

  • CAT Scan. One of the first tests that will be performed. It gives the doctor details about the location, cause, and extent of the brain injury.
  • MRI. This image is more detailed than a CAT scan. It may be needed to show deep or small brain injuries.
  • Angiography. Dye is injected into the blood vessels of the brain.
  • Carotid Ultrasound. Helps to measure the amount of blockage in the carotid arteries that take blood to the brain.
  • Cardiac Ultrasound. Measures the size of your heart chambers, thickness of the heart muscle, blood flow speed, and direction to determine if any heart valves are narrowing or leaking.

Find a Tower Health Laboratory location.

Stroke Treatment

Rapid response and treatment is critical for the best possible outcome. Acute stroke treatments are aimed at dissolving or retrieving blood clots that block blood flow to portions of the brain. Our goal is to have a physician specialist examine you within minutes of arrival at one of our Tower Health Emergency Departments.



Tower Health

William McBride, MD, explains how teleneurology at Reading Hospital allows our stroke specialist to be virtually at your bedside within minutes via a live interactive videoconference (two-way television).

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My Stroke Journey: Brian Hoffa

My Stroke Journey: Brian Hoffa

Tower Health

Brian Hoffa, who received care for multiple strokes at Reading Hospital, talks about how he reminds himself to take things one day at a time and keep trying no matter how difficult life may seem.

Watch the Video
A Stroke Caregiver's Journey: Loryn Hoffa

A Stroke Caregiver's Journey: Loryn Hoffa

Tower Health

Loryn Hoffa shares her experience supporting her loved one through his stroke and recovery, emphasizing the importance of being an advocate for their healthcare needs and having patience during the slow recovery process.

Watch the Video

Stroke Rehabilitation

Our CARF-accredited stroke rehabilitation program, offered at Reading Hospital, is customized to fit each patient and family.

This experienced team works with the patient and the family to identify goals and develop a dynamic treatment plan to improve the following:

  • Weakness and/or paralysis
  • Balance and coordination
  • Language and swallowing
  • Activities of daily living
  • Memory, thinking, attention, and learning
  • Emotional issue
Cindy True
Cindy True was enjoying an afternoon with her son, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren when laughter and conversation turned into confused speech. Cindy was having a stroke.
Because Cindy had experienced transient ischemic attacks (TIA) in the past, it was important for her to get to Reading Hospital’s Advanced Primary Stroke Center immediately. Fortunately for Cindy, the stroke team quickly administered clot busting tPA medication and performed a minimally invasive, specialized procedure to remove the clot. Reading Hospital is the only hospital in Berks County to perform this procedure. She is grateful to the team for their care that led to her full recovery.
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