Stroke Awareness, Support & Treatment in Howard County

HCGH hosts a Stroke Support Group on the fourth Wednesday of every month from 6:30-8:00pm. Please take a few minutes to view the video below, which features several stroke support group attendees sharing their stories followed by a Public Service Announcement from

Stroke patients in Howard County have a much better chance for rapid treatment and significant recovery today, thanks to the efforts of the Howard County General Hospital (HCGH) Stroke Team.

HCGH was designated a Primary Stroke Center in 2008 by the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS). This designation means that when a patient calls 911, the responding emergency medical services team (EMS) is able to make an in-field assessment and has the authority to notify the hospital and activate the Stroke Team. In fact, the collaboration between the HCGH Emergency Department and Howard County EMS has been touted by MIEMSS as a model for other Maryland hospitals.

In 2010, HCGH won the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Gold Plus Award for excellence in stroke care and was listed in US News and World Report among hospitals that have achieved 85 percent or greater compliance with outcome measures in the AHA “Get with the Guidelines” patient management program. Susan Groman is president of the Maryland Stroke Coordinator Consortium, which shares best practices and ensures that stroke data throughout Maryland meets the AHA’s 10 essential guidelines for diagnosing stroke symptoms.

Stroke is a medical emergency and early treatment is critical. Ischemic strokes, which account for 87 percent of strokes, can be treated with intravenous tPA (a life-saving medication that can significantly minimize brain damage for patients having blockage strokes if they are treated in time). “It is unfortunate that tPA is administered only 15 percent of the time,” says Susan Groman, HCGH Stroke Center Coordinator. “The number one reason is that people delay getting to the ED.”

A 2001 National Stroke Association survey reported that many older Americans could not identify stroke symptoms and that only 40 percent of those surveyed said they would call 911 immediately if they thought they were having a stroke.

Know the warning signs of stroke:

  • Sudden onset of numbness or weakness
  • Sudden onset of confusion or difficulty speaking
  • Sudden onset of vision loss
  • Sudden onset of dizziness or imbalance
  • Sudden onset of severe headache

Time is brain.


  1. wiser

    I love this video. Real people, real stories. I appreciate very much their willingness to share this part of their lives.

  2. Jose Maldonado

    I almost cried. This is really, really, well done.

    Thank You and all the good folks at Howard County General Hospital for producing this.

    This is one of the best films on stroke I’ve seen.

    It’s short but thorough and to the point.