Award-winning Comprehensive Stroke Center in Richmond

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in America and a leading cause of adult disability, according to the National Stroke Association. Yet, research shows that too few people know what a stroke is and how to recognize symptoms of a stroke.

Signs of a stroke

If you suspect a stroke, remember to act F.A.S.T. to identify stroke symptoms:

  • Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
  • Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
  • Time: If you observe any of these stroke warning signs, call 911 immediately.
If you believe someone is experiencing a stroke, call 911 immediately.


When someone experiences a stroke, trust the neurological care experts at Johnston-Willis Hospital. We were the first non-academic community hospital and the second in Virginia to achieve the Comprehensive Stroke Certification by DNV-GL Healthcare, the highest level of competence possible for stroke care.

Additionally, the Joint Commission awarded Johnston-Willis with a Gold Seal Certificate of Distinction for Stroke Rehabilitation, and we were a Five-Star Recipient of Stroke Treatment two years in a row (2016-2017), as awarded by Healthgrades.

What is a stroke?

A stroke happens when blood flow to an area of the brain is cut off. Brain cells are deprived of oxygen and begin to die. A stroke can cause you to permanently loose speech, movement and memory.

There are two main types of stroke:

  • Hemorrhagic stroke: Hemorrhagic strokes are the least common type of stroke. Only 15 percent of all strokes are hemorrhagic, but they are responsible for about 40 percent of all stroke deaths. A hemorrhagic stroke is either a brain aneurysm burst or a weakened blood vessel leak. Blood spills into or around the brain and creates swelling and pressure, damaging cells and tissue in the brain, which can cause life-altering damage and even death.
  • Ischemic stroke: Ischemic stroke occurs when a blood vessel carrying blood to the brain is blocked by a blood clot, causing blood not to reach parts of the brain. High blood pressure is the most important risk factor for this type of stroke. Ischemic strokes account for about 85 percent of all strokes.

State-of-the-art stroke treatment

Johnston-Willis providers work closely with local emergency medical services (EMS) to deliver brain-saving care within the critical first hours of stroke symptoms. We can administer new clot-dissolving drugs and clot retrieval devices or perform coiling or stenting procedures, which are used by neurointerventional physicians in our state-of-the-art neurointerventional surgery center. Together, our fast actions and response give you the greatest chance of recovery that preserves the best possible quality of life.

In fact, we were the first medical center in Virginia to use the iSchemaView RAPID neuroimaging platform, which allows a neurovascular physician to quickly and more accurately evaluate patients who have had a major stroke and also identify patients who would most likely benefit from this life-saving process. This technology allows our physicians to expand the stroke treatment window from six hours to 24 hours.

Neuroscience intensive care unit (neuro ICU)

After stroke treatment, we will transition you to a private, spacious room within our neuroscience intensive care unit or our neuroscience step-down unit for recovery.

In these units, you’ll benefit from the latest in patient monitoring technology, which means faster response, more effective care and a quieter environment for recovery.

Comprehensive stroke rehabilitation

If you are coping with the aftermath of a stroke, you want to restore your capacity for active living as fully and quickly as possible. We begin your stroke rehabilitation right in your room, helping you begin the process of reclaiming your abilities.

Along with specialized neurorehabilitation focused on patients recovering from a neurological event like stroke, our healthcare network offers other services to help you return to your normal life, including:

  • Inpatient rehabilitation:

    Focused, intensive treatments and therapies for qualified candidates during a designated period of time at a live-in facility
  • Outpatient rehabilitation:

    Extensive range of multifaceted treatments and therapies (speech, swallowing, occupational, aquatic and physical therapies) delivered with one-on-one support and tailored to your situation
  • Advanced therapies and treatments:

    Variety of therapy options to retrain the body's electrical impulses and nervous system and to improve function in the hands, arms, legs, throat and other areas
  • Driving assessment and education:

    One-on-one evaluation and training, approved by the Department of Motor Vehicles and provided by certified driver rehabilitation specialist, designed to help you regain skills and return to independence

For a physician referral, please call (804) 320-DOCS.