Erlanger Physician Launches National Stroke Program in Vietnam

Chattanooga,Tenn.– A prominent stroke radiologist at Erlanger Southeast Regional Stroke Center is launching the National Stroke Program in Vietnam this week.

Blaise Baxter, Chief of Interventional Radiology at the Erlanger Southeast Regional Stroke Center, introduced the program as featured speaker at the Vietnam Medical Congress in Ho Chi Minh City. Approximately 250 doctors from across Southeast Asia attended this conference, including neurologists, neurosurgeons and cardiologists.

“It’s very gratifying to launch a national stroke program, especially in a developing country likeVietnam. The physicians there are inspired by the advanced therapies available to our acute stroke patients at Erlanger,” Baxter said.

“We hope to extend these initiatives throughout the international community in the years to come,” said Dr. Tom Devlin, Medical Director of the Erlanger Southeast Regional Stroke Center.

Medical procedures offered by the Erlanger Southeast Regional Stroke Center are designed to halt and reverse stroke before patients suffer permanent disabilities or fatalities. This year, approximately 1,600 patients from a land area of 50,000 square miles will be treated at the Erlanger Southeast Regional Stroke Center.

Dr. Cuong Tran Chi, lead physician inVietnam, studied advanced medical procedures at the National Stroke Intervention Training Center at Erlanger in 2009. The Training Centeris a cooperative effort between the non-profit Pleiades Foundation and Erlanger. Almost 100 physicians and support staff from across the U.S., as well as Asia,India and the Middle East, have attended courses taught by Erlanger physicians, support staff and executive managers.

Dr. Cuong noted that the population ofVietnamis now more than 85 million and there are thousands of deaths every year from stroke. Because those numbers are rapidly increasing, “the demand for stroke medical management inVietnamis very urgent,” he said.  “Dr. Baxter is the most important lecturer and speaker at the Congress and will also visit several large hospitals and universities inHo Chi Minh Cityand Danang.”

About Erlanger Health System

The Erlanger Health System has five Tennessee-based medical campuses, including the region’s only children’s hospital and Level 1 Trauma Center, providing the highest level of trauma care.  Affiliated with the University of Tennessee College of Medicine Chattanooga, Erlanger is also the region’s only academic teaching center and treats more than a quarter million patients every year.

Staff Photo by D. Patrick Harding