Long Beach, CA — Today, the West Coast’s first Mobile Stroke Unit began operating in the City of Long Beach.
This morning, Supervisor Janice Hahn and officials from UCLA including Medical Director, Dr. May Nour and philanthropist Henry Gluck held a press event to celebrate service for this expanded coverage area and give local press an inside look at the UCLA Mobile Stroke Unit.
The Mobile Stroke Unit is a specially-equipped ambulance, built with a mobile CT scanner, point-of-care lab tests, telehealth connection with a vascular neurologist, and therapies, all designed to deliver proven stroke treatments to patients faster than ever before. It is operated by UCLA and sponsored by the Arline and Henry Gluck Foundation. While the pilot was originally started on the Westside, Supervisor Hahn secured $1.5 million in county funding for the project so that the pilot program could be expanded to cities in Eastern LA County, including Long Beach.
“When it comes to a stroke, minutes matter,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “If a patient gets treatment quickly, they have a better chance of not just surviving—but also avoiding damage to the brain which can cause paralysis and inability to comprehend or speak language. With UCLA’s Mobile Stroke Unit, stroke victims here in Long Beach are going to be able to receive treatment in the field long before they ever get to a hospital.”
Long Beach is the latest expansion of the UCLA Mobile Stroke Unit pilot program. The unit is currently operating in: Santa Monica, Hawaiian Gardens, Signal Hill, Lakewood, La Mirada, Cerritos, Artesia, Bellflower, Paramount, Unincorporated Whittier, Beverly Hills, and rendezvous with suspected stroke patients in coming from Malibu to the city of Santa Monica.
“To be able to take care of stroke patients in the very first minutes after onset, when there is the most brain to save, is our ultimate goal,” said Dr. May Nour, the medical director of the UCLA Arline and Henry Gluck Stroke Rescue Program. “Recovery and quality of life for stroke survivors is of utmost importance. By providing treatment in the most efficient timing, we offer patients the greatest possibility of improved clinical recovery.”
“Helping make this mobile stroke unit possible for the people of Los Angeles, and to support the research into this type of care, is such a privilege,” said business executive and philanthropist Henry Gluck, who is also chair of the UCLA Health System Board. “Through this, we can save lives today, while improving care in the future.”
Patients who are treated by the UCLA Mobile Stroke Unit in Long Beach will be transported to the most appropriate level-of-care stroke facility in geographic proximity, including Long Beach Memorial Hospital which is a Joint Commission Certified Comprehensive Stroke Center.