Primary Stroke Center

image of brain

Stroke is a medical emergency that occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts. When that happens, part of the brain can't get the oxygen and nutrients it needs to function, and the brain cells in that area start to die. The quicker you receive medical treatment for stroke, the better your chances for a positive outcome.

As a certified Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission, South Texas Health System Heart is ready to treat you with exceptional stroke care. Our dedicated stroke unit offers a 24-hour stroke team and trained Emergency Department personnel.

Recognizing Stroke: BE FAST

Stroke can result in paralysis or weakness on one side of the body, vision problems, memory loss, thinking and reasoning problems, and difficulty speaking, understanding speech and swallowing. The severity of effects depends heavily on how fast a stroke victim receives medical treatment.

Here are some tips from the American Heart Association's Stroke Association branch on quickly recognizing stroke. If you think you or someone around you may be experiencing stroke, don't wait, call 9-1-1.

BE FAST and Save a Life

If you suspect you or your loved one is having a stroke, remember BE FAST:

  • Balance is affected. A person may fall or feel unsteady.
  • Eyes are blurry or have difficulty seeing when you ask a person about their vision.
  • Face droops when you ask a person to smile.
  • Arm weakness when you ask a person to raise their arms above their head.
  • Speech is slurred when you ask a person to repeat a sentence.
  • Time is important. If you notice symptoms of a possible stroke, call 9-1-1.

Get With The Guidelines®

South Texas Health System is the only stroke center in the Rio Grande Valley and one of only four facilities in Texas to be awarded the Get With The Guidelines® - Stroke Gold Plus award on all three target levels: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus, Advanced Therapy and Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll. With this recognition, our community can be confident that STHS uses the most up-to-date evidence-based treatment guidelines to improve both patient care and outcomes.

Meet Our Physicians  

Gabriel Diaz, MD

Rosalinda Flores, MD

Find a Doctor

To find a doctor that's right for you, call the South Texas Health System Reserve and Learn line at 800-879-1033.​