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Charles Tegeler Appointed Director of Telestroke Services

Fifth Partner Hospital, Caldwell Memorial Hospital, Joins Telestroke Network

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Oct. 11, 2010 – Charles H. Tegeler, M. D., professor of neurology at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center (WFUBMC), has been appointed director of the Medical Center’s Telestroke program. The 24/7 service links regional hospitals in the northwest part of the state with Wake Forest Baptist’s staff of five stroke neurologists. The neurologists are able to see, evaluate, interact with, and recommend time-critical treatment for a patient who is miles away from Winston Salem.

In less than one year, Tegeler has grown Wake Forest Baptist’s Telestroke network to five partner hospitals: Allegheny Memorial Hospital, Ashe Memorial Hospital, Lexington Memorial Hospital, Wilkes Regional Medical Center, and beginning Monday, Oct.11, Caldwell Memorial Hospital in Lenoir joins the active network. 

Allison Brashear, M. D., chair of neurology at Wake Forest Baptist, said, “With Dr. Tegeler’s supervision, this integral program has proved to be a life-saving, win-win care model for stroke patients, partner hospitals and the Medical Center. Patients at network hospitals benefit by quickly receiving a consultation with a stroke expert, any time day or night, allowing time-sensitive treatment to begin without waiting for transport to another facility. Many of these patients are able to remain at their local hospital, near their families and local primary care doctors. If patients need to be transferred to the Medical Center, they are already familiar with the stroke neurologist who has examined them, which helps ease their transition and improve continuity of care.”

Tegeler has seen many benefits of using the specialized telemedicine robotic system. Consultations have been received well by patients and families. Half of Telestroke patients were cared for in their local hospitals and one quarter of patients received the clot-busting medication, tPA, which may improve functional outcome after stroke.  Tegler believes that this approach holds great promise for many other areas of medicine.  

The Telestroke system operates through two components. A special video screen-topped robot is housed at each partner hospital where the emergency medicine staff, patients, and family can communicate with the stroke neurologist who beams in via a desktop control station at the Medical Center, or via a laptop control station which can be set up virtually anywhere.  Through the Internet, the stroke neurologist can view patient test results, vital signs or medical records as well as see, speak with and evaluate them as if they were both in the same room.

Tegeler has more than two decades of clinical and academic experience in stroke. He has led the Medical Center's Stroke and Cerebrovascular Disease section since 1992, and was director of the Stroke Center from 2006 to 2010. His experience in As the McKinney-Avant Professor of Neurology at Wake Forest Baptist, Tegeler has directed the Neuroultrasound Laboratory, and the Neurovascular Ultrasound Courses at WFUBMC since 1993, and also directs the Ward A. Riley Ultrasound Center.  His research focus is on new uses of ultrasound in stroke and cerebrovascular disease, and on the use of ultrasound for risk identification and prevention of stroke and cardiovascular disease.

He earned his medical degree at the University of Missouri, Kansas City School of Medicine, and trained at the University of Missouri, Kansas City School of Medicine Affiliated Hospitals in internal medicine and at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, in neurology. He joined Wake Forest Baptist in 1990 and is board certified in internal medicine, neurology, and vascular neurology.

Tegeler is the past president of the North Carolina Neurological Society, and has served as president of the American Society of Neuroimaging, chair of the Neuroimaging Section of the American Academy of Neurology and vice president of the North Carolina Stroke Association.  He currently serves on the North Carolina Stroke Advisory Council, and is chair of a subcommittee addressing Telestroke as part of developing a stroke systems care plan for the state.

He is author of numerous papers and publications on the editorial boards of several journals and is a sought after expert and lecturer on the topics of stroke, neurosonology and neuroimaging.

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