Cerebrovascular Diseases and Stroke

Disorders and Services

Ischemic Stroke, Transient Ischemic Attacks, Intracerebral Hemorrhage, Carotid Stenosis, Aneurysms and Subarachnoid Hemorrhage, Vascular Malformations of the Brain and Spinal Cord

Overview and Mission

University Medical Center/Arizona Health Sciences Center (UMC/AHSC) has offered quality stroke care for over 30 years. The Department of Neurology is central to the Stroke Program and includes approximately 20 board certified Neurologists and 16 residents, all who have specific training in current guidelines and treatment of stroke. In 2009, UMC received Joint Commission stroke center certification, Southern Arizona's first certified stroke center.
The mission of the UMC/AHSC Stroke Program is to provide age appropriate, culturally sensitive, optimal care to patients with stroke, to individualize care to meet the needs of each patient and family, to collaborate with other health care professionals and ancillary services to meet the age appropriate needs of the patient and family.

Hospital Services for Stroke

UMC/AHSC Stroke Program brings together the combined expertise of a multidiscipline team, including physicians, nurses, and therapists. The stroke team at UMC/AHSC includes members from neurology, nursing, neurosurgery, neuroradiology, emergency care, therapy, and laboratory services.
Our program has designated units and specially trained staff for patients with stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA). The Stroke Program uses specific stroke protocols and measures benchmarks of care. Our program consistently exceeds The Joint Commission expectations for the care of stroke.
UMC/AHSC has a state-of-the-art neuroimaging center which includes CT scanning, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), magnetic resonance angiography, digital angiography, as well as carotid Duplex and Transcranial Doppler Ultrasound. Functional neuroimaging such as positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) is also available. 

Outpatient (Clinic) Services for Stroke

The Stroke Clinic is offered as a Department of Neurology outpatient clinic. Stroke Clinics are located in Tucson (one on the south side and one on the north side), Green Valley and Sierra Vista.  Patients are referred to the Stroke Clinic for stroke-like symptoms, stroke prevention, follow-up care after discharge from the hospital, or for stroke rehabilitation. In the stroke clinic(s), patients are initially evaluated by a physician specializing in stroke. Consultation from other specialists is obtained as needed and additional diagnostic tests may be ordered as needed. All care is carried out in concert with the patient's primary physician, who becomes an integral member of the team. After evaluation is completed and results are reviewed with the patient, a detailed summary is sent to the primary physician.


The Stroke Program provides education to the patient, family/caregivers, healthcare professionals, and the community. Patient education begins in the hospital and focuses on knowledge of their current condition, risk factors for stroke and TIA, and their readiness for discharge. In collaboration with the Sarver Heart Center, faculty participate in stroke education events for the public. The Stroke Program also provides ongoing stroke education for healthcare professionals. Weekly Neuroscience Grand Rounds and an annual William Feinberg Memorial Stroke Lecture is provided. The Stroke Program also provides stroke-specific training opportunities for medical students, residents, fellows and nurses.

Stroke Support Groups

Dr. Leslie Ritter founded and continues to facilitate stroke survivor and caregiver support groups in Tucson and Green Valley, Ariz. Sharing similar problems helps stroke survivors, caregivers and their family members learn to live with the changes in their lives. Stroke support groups offer chances to share concerns, lift each other up, unite around common experiences and find positive solutions.
The Green Valley Stroke Support Group meets every second Thursday of the month, from 10 a.m. - 11 a.m. in the Zuni Room, La Perla at La Posada.
The UAMC Stroke Support Group meets every second Monday of the month in the University of Arizona Medical Center - University Campus, Cafeteria Dining Room C, from 10 a.m. - 11 a.m. Please park in the UAMC Patient/Visitor Parking Garage or request valet parking at the entrance to the hospital's main lobby.
For more information and to RSVP for either group, please call 520-626-2901 or check here for more information: http://heart.arizona.edu/stroke-support-groups


Kendra Drake, MD (Co-Medical Director)
Chelsea S. Kidwell, MD (Co-Medical Director)
Bruce Coull, MD
Leslie Ritter, PhD, RN

Contact Us

(520) 694-8888