NewYork-Presbyterian Collaborates with the FDNY to Launch First Mobile Stroke Treatment Unit on the East Coast

New York’s No. 1 hospital delivers advanced stroke treatment to New York City patients

Oct 11, 2016

NEW YORK — NewYork-Presbyterian, in collaboration with Weill Cornell Medicine, Columbia University Medical Center and the FDNY, is launching the Mobile Stroke Treatment Unit (MSTU), the first of its kind on the East Coast. The MSTU is an emergency vehicle specially equipped to provide immediate, specialized care to patients who may be having a stroke.

Every year, more than 795,000 people in the United States suffer from a blockage in an artery of the brain, making stroke one of the most widespread and debilitating conditions and a leading cause of serious long-term disability in the United States. Such blockages can deprive the brain of blood flow and oxygen, which, over the course of minutes, can lead to death or disability.

“The Mobile Stroke Treatment Unit delivers the most advanced technologies, expert staff and life-saving treatment to more stroke victims in need,” said Dr. Steven J. Corwin, president and CEO of NewYork-Presbyterian. “We are very proud to be the only hospital on the East Coast to provide these services. This is a remarkable achievement as we move forward in revolutionizing stroke care.”

Staffed by a highly specialized team of two paramedics from the Regional Emergency Medical Services Council of New York City, a computed tomography (CT) technologist and a neurologist, the MSTU is designed to significantly reduce the time from the onset of symptoms to the delivery of care, a crucial factor in improving stroke outcomes. The unit also contains equipment and medications specific to diagnosing and treating strokes, including a medication called tPA, which dissolves the clot and improves blood flow to the part of the brain being deprived of blood in the event of an ischemic stroke. It is complete with a portable CT scanner that can image the patient’s brain on the spot to detect if the patient is having a stroke. The CT scan is then wirelessly transmitted to NewYork-Presbyterian, where it is promptly evaluated by a neuroradiologist.

Dr. Matthew Fink, neurologist-in-chief and chief of the Division of Stroke and Critical Care Neurology at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and the Louis and Gertrude Feil Professor and chairman of the Department of Neurology at Weill Cornell Medicine; Dr. Richard Mayeux, neurologist-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center and the Gertrude H. Sergievsky Professor of Neurology, Psychiatry and Epidemiology and chair of the Department of Neurology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons; and Dr. Randolph Marshall, chief of the Division of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Disease and attending neurologist on the Stroke Service at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center and the Elizabeth K. Harris Professor of Neurology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, will collectively lead a team of stroke care specialists assigned to the unit.

“The most effective method in saving a stroke victim’s life is to diagnose and treat immediately after a stroke occurs,” Dr. Fink said. “The MSTU rapidly brings a neurologist and advanced technologies of an emergency room directly to the patient, offering state-of-the-art care that is only moments away. This is just the beginning – there will be a number of innovative clinical treatments that we will be developing in the future for the treatment of stroke in the field.”

The New York City 911 System via the FDNY will deploy the unit into communities surrounding NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center at East 68th Street and NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center at West 168th Street when a patient is experiencing stroke symptoms.

“The FDNY is proud to partner with NewYork-Presbyterian to bring the Mobile Stroke Treatment Unit into the 911 system, making this advanced, life-saving care readily available to patients suffering a stroke,” said Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro. “This new unit will work closely with FDNY Paramedics, EMTs and Firefighters on some of the most serious medical calls the Department responds to, increasing the level of pre-hospital care our patients receive, preventing further long-term effects due to patients who have suffered a stroke, and potentially saving many more lives.”

The MSTU team will follow up with each patient after admission and gather information about their outcomes after 90 days; the percentage of patients treated on the MSTU who made a full recovery compared to those delivered by standard Emergency Medical Services transport; and overall cost of care. Researchers will share information with similar units throughout the United States for a larger analysis on best treatment practices for emergency stroke care.

The MSTU began serving patients on October 3, 2016. To learn more, visit:


NewYork-Presbyterian is one of the nation’s most comprehensive healthcare delivery networks, focused on providing innovative and compassionate care to patients in the New York metropolitan area and throughout the globe. In collaboration with two renowned medical school partners, Weill Cornell Medicine and Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, NewYork-Presbyterian is consistently recognized as a leader in medical education, groundbreaking research and clinical innovation.

NewYork-Presbyterian has four major divisions: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital is ranked #1 in the New York metropolitan area by U.S. News and World Report and repeatedly named to the magazine’s Honor Roll of best hospitals in the nation; NewYork-Presbyterian Regional Hospital Network is comprised of leading hospitals in and around New York and delivers high-quality care to patients throughout the region; NewYork-Presbyterian Physician Services connects medical experts with patients in their communities; and NewYork-Presbyterian Community and Population Health features the hospital’s ambulatory care network sites and operations, community care initiatives and healthcare quality programs, including NewYork Quality Care, established by NewYork-Presbyterian, Weill Cornell and Columbia.

NewYork-Presbyterian is one of the largest healthcare providers in the U.S. Each year, nearly 29,000 NewYork-Presbyterian professionals deliver exceptional care to more than 2 million patients.

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Columbia University Medical Center

Columbia University Medical Center provides international leadership in basic, preclinical, and clinical research; medical and health sciences education; and patient care. The medical center trains future leaders and includes the dedicated work of many physicians, scientists, public health professionals, dentists, and nurses at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Mailman School of Public Health, the College of Dental Medicine, the School of Nursing, the biomedical departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and allied research centers and institutions. Columbia University Medical Center is home to the largest medical research enterprise in New York City and State and one of the largest faculty medical practices in the Northeast. The campus that Columbia University Medical Center shares with its hospital partner, NewYork-Presbyterian, is now called the Columbia University Irving Medical Center.  For more information, visit or


Weill Cornell Medicine

Weill Cornell Medicine is committed to excellence in patient care, scientific discovery and the education of future physicians in New York City and around the world. The doctors and scientists of Weill Cornell Medicine—faculty from Weill Cornell Medical College, Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences, and Weill Cornell Physician Organization—are engaged in world-class clinical care and cutting-edge research that connect patients to the latest treatment innovations and prevention strategies. Located in the heart of the Upper East Side’s scientific corridor, Weill Cornell Medicine’s powerful network of collaborators extends to its parent university Cornell University; to Qatar, where an international campus offers a U.S. medical degree; and to programs in Tanzania, Haiti, Brazil, Austria and Turkey. Weill Cornell Medicine faculty provide comprehensive patient care at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian/Lower Manhattan Hospital and NewYork-Presbyterian/Queens. Weill Cornell Medicine is also affiliated with Houston Methodist. For more information, visit

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