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Medical Expert - Cheryl D. Bushnell, MD, MHS

Area of Expertise: Neurology
Media Contact: Paula Faria
Media Office: 336-716-1279 Media Mobile: 336-528-3364
Patient Contact: Health On-Call® 1-800-446-2255

Cheryl D. Bushnell, MD, MHS

Director of the Wake Forest Baptist Stroke Center
Education Associate Professor, Neurology

Dr. Bushnell is an expert on stroke and stroke prevention and has done groundbreaking research that looked at women who experience migraines during pregnancy. She is the lead author of the first guidelines for the prevention of stroke in women. The research was published in American Heart Association’s journal, Stroke.

She is researching sex differences in subclinical vascular disease in midlife, with a special emphasis on differences occurring with menopause. She is also the director of the Transition Coaching for Stroke (TRACS) Program, which seeks to improve the transition of stroke patients from the hospital to home.


cerebrovascular disease (stroke), women's health, stroke prevention, stroke treatment, migraines, migraines in pregnancy


14 Million Funding Award to Support First Statewide Comprehensive Post-Stroke Treatment Study Based on Wake Forest Baptist Model
Thanks to a $14 million, five-year award from Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) – an independent, non-profit, nongovernmental research funding organization created through the Affordable Care Act and authorized by Congress − stroke patients across North Carolina will help determine whether longer-term, post-stroke care improves their daily function. A secondary goal is to measure and reduce the degree of caregiver stress.
Cheryl Bushnell Named Director of Stroke Center

Cheryl D. Bushnell, M.D., associate professor of neurology at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center (WFUBMC), has been named director of the Medical Center’s stroke center. Stroke is a major focus at Wake Forest Baptist and its neurosciences program is recognized as among the top 50 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Coach Could Be Key in Helping Stroke Patients With Their Medications and Recovery after Discharge
When a stroke patient is discharged from the hospital, they often must cope with a new disability or lack of function, so changes in their medications or a new dosing prescription can be particularly confusing. This can lead the patient to overmedicate, take the wrong medication or skip medications entirely and can result in being readmitted to the hospital. But a pilot study that is looking at a new discharge strategy and being led by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, indicates that phone calls and conversations with a “stroke coach” seem to keep a patient on the road to recovery.
High Profile Stroke Raises Questions

The 41-year-old son of Vice President Joe Biden suffered a minor stroke. WFUBMC neurologist Dr. Cheryl Bushnell says there are many factors that could come into play.

Hundreds Attend Upper Limb Spasticity Event
More than 200 people from across the region attended an inspiring community event on Upper Limb Spasticity, hosted by Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.
New Guidelines for Reducing Stroke Risks Unique to Women
For the first time, guidelines have been developed for preventing stroke in women.
“If you are a woman, you share many of the same risk factors for stroke with men, but your risk is also influenced by hormones, reproductive health, pregnancy, childbirth and other sex-related factors,” said Cheryl Bushnell, M.D., M.H.S., author of the new scientific statement published in the American Heart Association journal Stroke.
Stroke Coach Helps Patients Stay on Preventative Medications Provides Early Warning of Post-Stroke Problems
When stroke neurologist Cheryl Bushnell, M.D., led a national study of stroke patients in Adherence Evaluation After Ischemic Stroke –Longitudinal (AVAIL) last spring, she and her colleagues found that nearly 20 percent of those patients had stopped taking one or more of the medications that prevent a second stroke; 3.5 percent were not taking any medication at all at three months.
Study Identifies Risk Factors for Hospital Readmissions in Stroke Patients

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), about half of costly hospital readmissions could be avoided.  

Wake Forest Baptist Continues Efforts to Improve Outcomes for Stroke Survivors and their Families

“Mommy, you need to come home. Daddy’s had a stroke.” That’s the phone call Sheila Allen of High Point received last April, while out of town on business. Her two young daughters had called 911 and paramedics had taken her 51-year-old husband Steven to the hospital.

As she rushed home, she found out that Steven had actually suffered three strokes – the third one as he was being loaded into the ambulance to be taken to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. He spent more than a month in Wake Forest Baptist’s neurosciences intensive care unit, and another couple of weeks undergoing rehab at the J. Paul Sticht Center at Wake Forest Baptist.

Wake Forest Baptist Recognized for Providing Top Quality Stroke Care, Patient Outcomes

Once again, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association has awarded Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center its top quality award for stroke care as measured by the Get WithThe Guidelines℠ program.

Wake Forest Baptist Stroke Program Certified as Comprehensive Stroke Center by The Joint Commission
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s stroke program is among an elite group of 33 hospitals across the nation to be certified as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by The Joint Commission.
Women Fare Worse than Men Following Stroke
The good news: More people survive stroke now than 10 years ago due to improved treatment and prevention.
The bad news: Women who survive stroke have a worse quality of life than men, according to a study published in the Feb. 7 online issue of the journal Neurology.

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Chair and Professor, Neurology
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Wake Forest Baptist Ranked among Nation’s ‘Best Hospitals’  25 Years in a Row by U.S. News & World ReportComprehensive Cancer Centers National Designation is Renewed2017-2018 Best DoctorsNursing Magnet StatusJoint Commission Report

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