Stroke Care

When you or a loved one show signs and symptoms of stroke, call 911 for immediate medical attention. Prompt treatment may save your life and help reduce long-term effects of a stroke.

What is a Stroke?

A stroke or “brain attack” occurs when the flow of blood to the brain is cut off. When this happens, brain cells begin to die and abilities controlled by the affected area of the brain are lost. These abilities include speech, movement and memory.

What's My Stroke Risk?

Learn your risk for stroke by reviewing the National Stroke Association’s Stroke Risk Scorecard. Share the results with your primary care provider.

Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. Use the acronym FAST to spot common signs of stroke. It could save your life or the life of a loved one.

  • Face – Smile. Does one side of the face droop?
  • Arms – Raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • Speech – Repeat a simple phrase. Is speech slurred or strange?
  • Time – If you observe any of these signs, call 911 right away.

Conditions Treated

See the full list of conditions we treat, and select a condition to find providers and locations near you.


Streamlined Stroke Diagnosis

When you arrive at an Essentia emergency room with stroke symptoms, your care team assesses your condition right away so you can get the right treatment as soon as possible. To diagnose your stroke, your doctor will:

If you come to the hospital by ambulance, paramedics begin evaluating your condition and communicating with Essentia doctors while you’re en route so we can expedite your care.

Timely Stroke Treatment

Your stroke treatment will depend on the type of stroke you are experiencing and how much time has passed since your symptoms started.

If you’re a candidate for a clot-busting medication called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), rely on us to get you the medication quickly—door-to-treatment time at our Primary Stroke Centers is consistently under 60 minutes.

If you’d benefit from a surgical treatment that’s not available at your location, depend on us to quickly and safely transport you to the nearest hospital that performs the most effective treatment for your condition.

Stroke Thrombectomy

The new minimally invasive surgery, known as the stroke thrombectomy, benefits stroke patients.

Stroke Recovery & Rehabilitation

You’ll appreciate a care team that starts planning for your recovery as soon as you’re admitted to the emergency room. You may work with a care coordinator, patient navigator, social worker, or nurse to decide where to go when you leave the hospital and help you connect with resources in your hometown community.

Throughout your stroke recovery, find rehabilitation and care services to meet your needs at Essentia. Learn about:

High-Quality Stroke Care

Trust the team at Essentia Health to deliver top-quality stroke care. You can feel confident that we meet high standards of care because our network includes three Joint Commission Certified Primary Stroke Centers:

  • Essentia Health-Fargo
  • Essentia Health-St. Joseph's Medical Center (Brainerd)
  • Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center (Duluth)

Two of our Primary Stroke Centers are recognized by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. These awards recognize hospitals that quickly provide the most appropriate stroke treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines.

  • Essentia Health-Fargo: Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award with Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll Elite
  • Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center (Duluth): Get with the Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award with Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll Elite Plus

Essentia Health-Fargo is also the first medical center in North Dakota to receive comprehensive stroke center certification from DNV GL-Healthcare, a world-leading certification body. It is the highest level of accreditation a hospital can receive. This certification affirms Essentia Health-Fargo's readiness to handle a wide range of stroke-related medical complications.