The state has designated Millard Fillmore Hospital a regional stroke center.
The designation, announced Monday, is similar to trauma and burn centers and was created to speed the treatment of acute strokes.
Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the nation, and Western New York has one of the highest rates in the country, according to the American Stroke Association.
It occurs when a clot bursts or blocks a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain. Getting to the right hospital quickly can prevent disability or death.
To receive the designation, hospitals must have a staff specifically dedicated to treating stroke patients and the capacity to perform CT scans 24 hours a day. Moreover, the hospital must be able to provide evaluation and treatment quickly, including clot-busting medications and neurosurgical procedures.
"One of the many benefits of coming to Millard Fillmore Gates Circle Hospital is that we are the only facility in Western New York to offer emergent stroke care, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, using the latest minimally invasive catheter-based technologies available in a state-of-the-art angiographic facility," said Dr. Elad Levy, a neurosurgeon at the hospital.
So far, the Health Department has designated nearly 30 hospitals statewide as stroke centers. Millard Fillmore is the only hospital in this region with the designation.
As part of the designation process, the state is notifying emergency medical services to transfer emergency stroke patients to stroke centers when appropriate.
Officials said Millard Fillmore Gates Circle also is participating in the American Stroke Association's Get With The Guidelines stroke initiative, a program to help hospitals employ proven, science-based treatment guidelines for stroke.