For Immediate Release June 29, 2022

A group of about 12 people stands outside in the grass and in the sun, smiling at the camera.

Shore Regional Heath leaders and staff members recently gathered to be congratulated by UM Shore Regional Health President and CEO Ken Kozel (far right) for UM Shore Medical Center at Easton's recent achievement of re-designation as a Primary Stroke Center by the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems. 

UM Shore Medical Center at Easton recently received re-designation for five years as a Primary Stroke Center from the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS).

“Our highly skilled medical providers and clinicians strive to make our organization the region’s leader in patient-centered care,” said Ken Kozel, President and Chief Executive Officer of UM Shore Regional Health. “UM Shore Medical Center at Easton’s re-designation as a Primary Stroke Center demonstrates our team’s commitment to delivering innovative stroke treatments to patients as quickly and safely as possible when care is needed at the most critical time.”

“We are very proud to have earned this re-designation,” said Dr. Rena Suhkdeo-Singh, Medical Director of the Primary Stroke Center. “It shows that our local emergency medical service providers, Emergency Department clinicians, Intensive Care Unit team members, neurology/telemetry unit staff, hospitalists, neurologists, rehab and allied health professionals are all working collaboratively to meet the national standards of stroke care. The surveyor was very pleased with the efforts our team has made to treat strokes quickly and provide the best care for our patients.”

A Primary Stroke Center designation is given by MIEMSS when standards are met to support better outcomes for stroke care. Certification standards include having a dedicated program staffed 24/7 by specially trained medical professionals who provide fast diagnostic services and optimal stroke care. MIEMSS defines a Primary Stroke Center as a facility able to care for patients with acute ischemic stroke through rapid assessment and imaging and the ability to administer intravenous thrombolytic therapy. The facility also must have infrastructure to manage acute stroke patients and availability of an interdisciplinary team to meet the medical, recovery and social needs of stroke patients. 

As part of UM Shore Regional Health’s commitment to delivering innovative stroke treatments, in March 2021, UM SRH began a new program, offering RapidAI in its four emergency departments in Cambridge, Chestertown, Easton and Queenstown. RapidAI software takes advanced pictures of the brain, which are then sent to the stroke care team. Using these photos, diagnosis and triage can be completed more quickly, which helps the care team by accelerating the decision-making process regarding treatment.

This close relationship between UM SRH emergency departments and the stroke care interdisciplinary team translates to more coordinated care for other patient needs, as well. For example, a patient seen in a UM SRH Emergency Department for a seizure is guaranteed a follow-up appointment with a UM SMG-Neurology and Sleep Medicine provider within 24 hours of their emergency care visit or release from observation.

“Our community is fortunate to have a Primary Stroke Center in our five-county service area,” Dr. Sukhdeo-Singh said. “We are excited to continue the strong work our teams have already shown, and strive to make our care better each day.”

UM Shore Regional Health offers a virtual Stroke Support Group, led by Stroke Coordinator Nicole Leonard, on the first Thursday of each month, from noon to 1 p.m., via Zoom. For login credentials or to learn more, contact Leonard at 410-822-1000, ext. 5068. The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 7.

UM SMG-Neurology and Sleep Medicine offers appointments in-person and via telemedicine. For more information or to schedule an appointment, request a referral from your primary care physician or call 410-770-5250. More information may be found at