One of out six people will suffer a stroke in his or her lifetimeIn the five-county region, nearly 300 stroke patients were treated last year by UM Shore Regional Health emergency teams at UM Shore Medical Centers at Chestertown, Dorchester and Easton, and the UM Shore Emergency Center at Queenstown.

Because time is of the essence in achieving a good outcome following a stroke, the Primary Stroke Center at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton practices “door to needle in 60,” meaning patients with possible stroke symptoms are assessed and undergoing treatment within one hour.

For patients who are having a stroke, UM SRH emergency teams administer a drug known as a tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) to help break the clot. The drug is effective within 3 ½ hours of the symptoms. 


Stroke is the leading cause of disability in the USPhysical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and swallowing therapy will all begin in the hospital.

The goal of treatment after a stroke is to help you recover as much function as possible and prevent future strokes.

Recovery from your stroke will begin while you are still in the hospital or at a rehabilitation center. It will continue when you go home from the hospital or center.

The staff also provides guidance and support to the Mid-Shore Stroke Support Group, which meets the first Thursday of each month from 12-2:00pm at the UM Shore Medical Pavilion at Easton, and to the Stroke Support Group of Queen Anne's County, which meets the last Tuesday of each month from 12-2:00pm at the UM Shore Medical Pavilion at Queenstown. 

For more information call Jessica Fluharty, BSN, RN, FNE-A, Neuroscience Specialist, at 410-822-1000, ext. 5068 or email

Click here to learn more about recovering after stroke.


As part of the overall mission of Creating Healthier Communities Together, the UM Shore Regional Health stroke services team offers educational programs for community organizations and groups to raise awareness about stroke prevention, stroke symptoms and the importance of receiving immediate medical attention. 

It’s important to know the stroke risk factors you can change and those you cannot:

Risk Factors You Cannot Change

  • Your age. Risk of stroke increases with age.
  • Your gender. Men have a higher risk of getting heart disease than women except in older adults.
  • Your genes or race. If your parents had a stroke, you are at higher risk. African-Americans, Mexican Americans, American Indians, Hawaiians, and some Asian Americans also have a higher risk for heart problems.
  • Diseases such as cancer, chronic kidney disease, and some types of arthritis
  • Weak areas in an artery wall abnormal arteries and veins or
  • Pregnancy -- both during and in the weeks right after the pregnancy

Risk Factors You Can Change

  • You can change some risk factors for stroke, by taking the following steps:
  • Do not smoke. If you do smoke, quit.
  • Control your cholesterol through diet, exercise, and medicines, if needed.
  • Control high blood pressure through diet, exercise, and medicines, if needed.
  • Control diabetes through diet, exercise, and medicines, if needed.
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes a day.
  • Maintain a healthy weight by eating healthy foods, eating less, and joining a weight loss program, if needed.
  • Limit how much alcohol you drink. This means 1 drink a day for women and 2 a day for men.
  • Avoid cocaine and other illegal drugs.
  • Talk to your doctor about the risk of birth control pills. Birth control pills can increase the chance of blood clots, which can lead to stroke. Clots are more likely in women who also smoke and who are older than 35.

Good nutrition is important to your heart health and will help control some of your stroke risk factors:

  • Choose a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Choose lean proteins, such as chicken, fish, beans and legumes.
  • Choose low-fat dairy products, such as 1% milk and other low-fat items.
  • Avoid sodium (salt) and fats found in fried foods, processed foods, and baked goods.
  • Eat fewer animal products and foods that contain cheese, cream, or eggs.

For more about stroke risk factors and prevention, click here