UT Physicians adds two new clinics devoted to post-stroke care and education

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UT Physicians' Anjail Z. Sharrief, M.D., left, and nurse practitioner Munachi Okpala, R.N., M.S.N., will care for patients who have suffered from a stroke or TIA

UT Physicians' Anjail Z. Sharrief, M.D., left, and nurse practitioner Munachi Okpala, R.N., M.S.N., will care for patients who have suffered from a stroke or TIA

HOUSTON – (July 16, 2014) – Two new clinics devoted to treatment and education for patients who have suffered a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) have opened at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

The Stroke, Transitions, Education and Prevention (STEP) Clinic and the Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) Clinic are part of UT Physicians, the medical practice group of the UTHealth Medical School.

The STEP clinic will take an integrated approach for patients who have suffered a stroke or TIA, including managing common risk factors and assessing for complications such as depression, fatigue and cognitive impairment. The clinic team will counsel patients about their personal risk factors and develop a treatment plan that includes lifestyle changes. 

“We want to get them the help they need in the most comprehensive way,” said Anjail Z. Sharrief, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of neurology and director of the two clinics.

A TIA, sometimes called a mini-stroke, occurs when blood flow in an artery in the brain is temporarily halted by a clot, narrowing of the artery or plaque build-up. Symptoms generally disappear within 24 hours.

After assessment by a UTHealth neurologist, low-risk TIA patients who would have automatically been admitted into Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, can instead have a follow-up visit at the TIA clinic. 

“It will decrease the transition to care and we can begin to manage their risk factors almost immediately in order to try to prevent a stroke,” said Sharrief, who is also affiliated with the Mischer Neuroscience Institute at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center. “We can make the appointment and order their scans and blood work, with the goal that everything is done within 48 hours.”

Up to 40 percent of patients who have suffered a TIA will go on to have a stroke, according to the National Stroke Association.

“These two specialized clinics build on UTHealth’s groundbreaking research and clinical expertise in the treatment of stroke,” said Sean I. Savitz, M.D., the Frank M. Yatsu, M.D., Chair in Neurology and the director of the Vascular Neurology Program and Fellowship at the UTHealth Medical School. Savitz is also director of the Stroke Program at the Mischer Neuroscience Institute.

UTHealth is one of 25 regional stroke centers established by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and is the only one in Texas.

The clinics are located at the University of Texas Professional Building, 6410 Fannin. To make an appointment, call 832-325-7080.

Deborah Mann Lake
Media Hotline: 713-500-3030