Spokane’s Integrated Medical Services Manager recognized for his work in stroke care

Michele Anderson, Public Safety Communications Manager

Friday, April 5, 2019 at 9:31 a.m.

Mike Lopez, Integrated Medical Services Manager, was nominated for a Stroke Champion Award and recognized at the 2019 Washington Stroke Conference – Transforming Stroke Care.

“A champion for stroke care and outcome improvement for many years, Mike Lopez is one of our founders of our stroke system, says Spokane Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer. “He is one of those quiet and humble leaders, the person in the background who makes things happen without fanfare. Our department and our community are fortunate to him as a leader in advancing data-driven quality improvement in the pre-hospital setting.”

Lopez is credited for contributing his well-informed pre-hospital perspective and helping to develop the stroke triage tool.

The Stroke Champion Awards recognize individuals who champion excellence in stroke care and stroke systems, and whose work and dedication have likely contributed to reducing stroke deaths and disability and achieving better quality of life after stroke for survivors and their families. Candidates nominated for these awards demonstrate two or more of the following qualities:

  • Commitment to excellence in stroke care and outcomes.
  • Collaboration with others to better coordinate stroke care along the continuum.
  • Leadership in the development and implementation of evidence-based stroke care and stroke systems of care in a hospital, county, region, or statewide.
  • Generosity in sharing stroke knowledge and expertise with others.
  • Dedication to promoting stroke awareness and F.A.S.T. response in communities.

Stoke Warning Signs:

Spot a Stroke F.A.S.T:

  • Face Drooping: Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.
  • Arm Weakness: Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • Speech Difficulty: Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like "the sky is blue." Is the sentence repeated correctly?
  • Time to call 9-1-1: If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately.

It is important to remember that not all of these signs are necessary to identify every heart attack or stroke. If any of these signs occur, every second is critical—don’t wait, call 9-1-1 immediately.