Rena Sukhdeo-Singh, MD, has been named Medical Director of the Primary Stroke Center at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton.
A member of the UM Shore Regional Health (UM SRH) medical staff since August 2021, Dr. Sukhdeo- Singh sees patients at UM Shore Medical Group-Neurology and Sleep Medicine as well as in the Primary Stroke Center at Easton.
“I am excited to lead the outstanding care and treatment offered in our Primary Stroke Center,” Dr. Sukhdeo-Singh said. “Our community is fortunate that our Stroke Center has an outstanding team of physicians, nurses, therapists and techs who achieved the level of excellence required for Primary Stroke Center designation and who work so well with our hospitalists, emergency department physicians, staff, stroke coordinator and rehabilitation specialists. I am passionate about acute stroke care, outcomes and rehabilitation. I am looking forward to continuing to advance quality stroke care for our region.”
M. Walid Kamsheh, MD, the center’s former medical director, left in late October to focus on his work as Medical Director at UM Shore Medical Group-Neurology and Sleep Medicine.
A board-certified neurologist, Dr. Sukhdeo-Singh most recently completed a Fellowship in Vascular Neurology (Stroke) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. She previously served as Chief Neurology Resident at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, Tennessee, and was an Associate Investigator for the Natural History Study and White Matter Study at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Stroke Branch. She also has co-authored multiple articles and presentations in the field of neurology and stroke, with a recent book chapter publication on post stroke depression.
“I feel my training as a Vascular Neurology Fellow at the NIH has prepared me well for this opportunity,” she said. “Our hospital’s designation as a Primary Stroke Center by the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems shows that we are committed to a higher level of stroke care. It demonstrates that we are following standardized practices to deliver the best outcomes for our patients and are dedicated to their continued care.”
Often the first line of defense during a stroke are the emergency department teams, Dr. Sukhdeo-Singh said. “UM Shore Regional Health at UM Shore Medical Center at Cambridge, Chestertown and Easton, and UM Shore Emergency Center at Queenstown are excellent at triaging acute strokes.”
Besides ensuring UM Shore Regional Health continues to meet national benchmarks for brain imaging and reaching goal treatment times, Dr. Sukhdeo-Singh said she is committed to following patients’ recovery periods.
“After the acute phase, there is usually a long recovery period that takes a lot of patience and adjustments,” she said. “I always want my patients to feel like they are being heard and are getting the best possible care.”
The Primary Stroke Center at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton has received multiple awards from the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association’s Get with the Guidelines Stroke Recognition program, which recognizes hospitals for providing the most effective stroke treatment according to nationally acknowledged, research-based guidelines.
Most recently, University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Easton’s Primary Stroke Center was recognized by the American Heart Association (AHA)/American Stroke Association (ASA) by receiving the Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus quality achievement award with Target Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll.
According to the ASA, hospitals earning the Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award have reached an aggressive goal of treating patients with 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month periods and have achieved 75 percent or higher compliance with five of eight Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality measures.
“We follow each treatment case to look for opportunities for improvement,” Dr. Sukhdeo-Singh said. “As Medical Director, I also plan to engage in public education about strokes, collaborate with our local emergency medical services and the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems counterparts, and ensure that from the first 911 call to discharge, patients are getting the best care for their stroke.”
Dr. Kamsheh has been the Primary Stroke Center’s Medical Director since 2017, and has been practicing medicine as a neurologist on Maryland’s Eastern Shore for more than 30 years. This year, he celebrated 10 years with the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS).
“For the past few years I have had the honor and privilege to be the Medical Director of the Stroke Center,” Dr. Kamsheh said. “We should be proud, as such a small hospital, to be certified as a Primary Stroke Center. To achieve recognition, it takes a special, dedicated team on the ground that includes the ER staff, physicians, nurses, techs and support from UMMS, as well as the support of local emergency crews. Now it is time for me to pass this directorship to another great physician. She is stroke-trained at NIH and will lead us into the future of stroke care.”
Dr. Kamsheh continues to see patients at UM SMG-Neurology and Sleep Medicine’s Easton office. This growing practice specializes in the study and treatment of brain, spinal cord and nerve disorders, as well as sleep-related disorders.
UM Shore Regional Health also offers a Stroke Support Group, facilitated by Nicole Leonard, UM SRH’s Stroke Coordinator. This virtual group takes place on the first Thursday of each month, from noon to 1 p.m. Patients, caregivers and loved ones are invited to participate. For more information or to receive login credentials for the Zoom group, please call Leonard at 410-822-1000, extension 5068.
UM SMG-Neurology and Sleep Medicine offers appointments in-person and via telemedicine. For more information or to schedule an appointment, speak to your primary care physician, call 410-770-5250 or visit umshoreregional.org.
About University of Maryland Shore Regional Health
As part of the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS), University of Maryland Shore Regional Health is the principal provider of comprehensive health care services for more than 170,000 residents of Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. UM Shore Regional Health’s team of more than 2,200 employees, medical staff, board members and volunteers works with various community partners to fulfill the organization’s mission of Creating Healthier Communities Together.
About the University of Maryland Medical System
The University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) is a university-based regional health care system focused on serving the health care needs of Maryland, bringing innovation, discovery and research to the care we provide and educating the state’s future physician and health care professionals through our partnership with the University of Maryland School of Medicine and University of Maryland, Baltimore professional schools (Nursing, Pharmacy, Social Work and Dentistry) in Baltimore. As one of the largest private employers in the State, the health system’s more than 29,500 employees and 4,000 affiliated physicians provide primary and specialty care in more than 150 locations, including 13 hospitals and 9 University of Maryland Urgent Care centers. The UMMS flagship academic campus, the University of Maryland Medical Center in downtown Baltimore, is recognized regionally and nationally for excellence and innovation in specialized care. Our acute care and specialty rehabilitation hospitals serve urban, suburban and rural communities and are located in 13 counties across the State. For more information, visit www.umms.org.