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Stroke Care

North Oaks Medical Center is a certified Primary Stroke Center, earning The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval®, as well as the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Heart-Check mark for using best practices in providing prompt stroke intervention and care for improving patient outcomes. As a Primary Stroke Center, pertinent patient care data is collected and submitted to The Joint Commission for review. This data is analyzed and utilized in effort to optimize and improve our patient services and provide our highest quality of care.

Our Stroke Care Team is led by Socrates Zapata, MD (Stroke Medical Director, Neurologist) and Zachary Liner, MD (Interventional Radiologist).

North Oaks Medical Center is the only hospital on the Northshore to offer a minimally invasive technique called intracranial mechanical thrombectomy. This technique allows us to help more stroke victims regain movement, language and other abilities.

Did you know?

Stroke is the No. 4 cause of death in Louisiana, according to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. On average in the U.S., someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every 4 minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

Stroke Warning Signs

The signs of a stroke depend on the side of the brain that’s affected, the part of the brain affected and how severely the brain is injured. Sometimes it’s completely painless. Sometimes it is associated with a headache.

People having a stroke may experience some or all of these warning signs, some of which can be subtle:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause.

To easily remember the sudden signs, learn and remember “FAST.” When you spot these signs, you will know that you need to immediately call 911 for help:

  • F- Face drooping
  • A- Arm weakness
  • S- Slurred speech
  • T- Time counts, call 911

Stroke Patient Support & Services

Stroke-related services offered by North Oaks Health System include North Oaks Rehabilitation Hospital’s Stroke Specialty Program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). It is one of only five such programs in Louisiana. Click here to learn more.

The health system also co-sponsors the Stroke Support Group of Hammond with Southeastern Louisiana University. Click here to view upcoming meeting dates.

Download a copy of North Oaks Medical Center’s Stroke Patient Education Guide.

Contact Us

If you would like more information, please contact Performance Improvement Lead Jennifer Mercer at (985) 230-2016 or

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