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Excellence in Stroke Care at Parkwest

Parkwest has received advanced certification from The Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center. This means that our physicians and staff are specially trained to care for patients experiencing stroke symptoms and that our facility has 24/7 stroke care coverage.

You can count on the stroke team at Parkwest. Our team leaders include:

  • Robert Malka, M.D.
  • Sergio Loaiza, M.D.
  • Patrick Flynn, P.A.
  • Stroke Coordinator

What is a Stroke?

A stroke occurs when the blood flow to an area of the brain is interrupted by a blocked or broken blood vessel. When a stroke occurs, it kills brain cells in the immediate area. When the brain cells die, they release chemicals that set off a chain reaction that endangers brain cells in a larger surrounding area of brain tissue. Without prompt medical treatment, this larger area will also die. When brain cells die, the abilities that area of the brain controls are lost or impaired. The degree of recovery from a stroke depends on the amount of brain cell death.

There are several steps you can take to prevent stroke. The first is to know your risk for having a stroke. A stroke assessment will help you identify steps you may need to take to lower your risk level. There are also several prevention guidelines to help you guard against the possibility of stroke.

AHA Gold Plus Stroke

Stroke Symptoms – B.E.F.A.S.T.

If you think that you or a loved one is experiencing a stroke, call 9-1-1 immediately! Don’t forget time is important!

Here is a simple test to look for symptoms.


  • Is the person uncoordinated and having difficulty walking?


  • Does the person have double or blurred vision?


  • Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?


  • Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?


  • Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Are the words slurred? Is the sentence repeated correctly?


  • If the person shows any of these symptoms, time is crucial. Call 9-1-1 immediately.

A not-for-profit, community-owned healthcare system

We are committed to improving the quality of life in East Tennessee through better health. In partnership with our generous donors, Covenant’s 10,000+ employees, physicians, and volunteers are providing outstanding care for our patients and their families.