As a teenager, Sasha-Fae Lopez used to go into the imaging department at Baptist Health Floyd, then Floyd Memorial Hospital, to talk to her mother who worked there along with Dr. Ed Reed. However, these were no ordinary conversations.
Reed taught the young Lopez basics of reading films. Her interest in medicine just grew from there. Lopez was recently named the new stroke/sepsis coordinator at Baptist Health Floyd.
Lopez began her nursing career as an LPN and found her niche in quality outcomes management and neurology. She has a Master’s in nursing with an emphasis in health-care informatics. She was most recently at University of Louisville Health where she was stroke program data manager, overseeing two primary stroke centers and one comprehensive stroke center.
But, she said, she missed being in a community hospital and was eager to join the Baptist Health Floyd team.
“My mom worked in health care for 30 years and said this was her favorite place,” she said.
Lopez said she “has big dreams” for the stroke program at the hospital and wants to make it “the best” it can be.
“We will continue to implement best practices to grow our stroke program to better serve our community,” she said. “The more the community is aware of the signs and symptoms of sepsis and stroke, the more of a decrease in mortality and morbidity because both are related to time and treatment. Recognition, getting here quickly, utilizing EMS and getting treated quickly are key.”
She said strokes affect all ages and the key is to be aware of early warning signs by remembering BE FAST — Balance, Eyes, Face, Arm and Speech Time — as a way to identify stroke symptoms.
During the pandemic, with more people isolated from family, symptoms were ignored. Now, for the past six months, stroke volumes have increased nationwide, Lopez said.
“People and families are getting back together and seeing one another and recognizing symptoms,” she said. “Statistics show that more strokes are detected at mealtime when we are around family members.”
Lopez was nominated in 2021 for president of GLC-AANN, Greater Louisville Chapter-American Association of Neuroscience Nurses, and has presented at the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses National Conference and the Healthcare Systems Process Improvement Conference.
“I am ecstatic to welcome Sasha to our Baptist Health Floyd family,” said Michael Northcraft, director of critical and intermediate care at Baptist Health Floyd.
“Sasha’s expertise and passion for neuroscience care will help us take our stroke care to the next level — ultimately improving care and outcomes for so many in our community.”