1 active alert Show

Stroke Program

Our Stroke Team

ChristianaCare Stroke Program has a team with specialized expertise.

Our Stroke Team

The ChristianaCare Comprehensive Stroke Program brings specialists from many disciplines together into a comprehensive stroke treatment and recovery team, including:

  • Neurocritical care: A specially-trained physician with expertise in both critical illness and stroke treatment will guide your care if you have a severe stroke requiring a stay in the intensive care unit.
  • Nursing: Your nurse will coordinate with your doctor and stroke team to manage your medical care. Your nurse will help you to manage pain, and also teach you and your family about stroke and how to take your medications safely.
  • NeuroInterventional Surgery: NeuroInterventional surgery enables minimally invasive treatment of aneurysms, strokes and other conditions affecting the brain and spine that were once only treatable through open surgery.
  • Neurosurgery: Neurosurgeons are available at all times to provide emergency surgery on the brain and blood vessels if needed to treat your stroke.
  • Physical therapy: Physical therapists will help you to regain strength and balance, and learn how to safely get in and out of bed, stand, walk and climb stairs. If needed, you will learn to use a wheelchair, walker, cane or other device to help you move about safely.
  • Occupational therapy: Occupational therapists will help you to regain your ability to eat, groom, bathe, dress and carry out the other activities of daily living. Your therapist will also help you to determine what equipment or changes you may need at home after discharge.
  • Speech-language pathology: Your speech therapist will focus on your ability to speak clearly, put thoughts into words, understand what others say to you, think and memorize. If you have trouble chewing or swallowing, or if you choke or cough while swallowing, your therapist will help you to improve your swallowing skills and determine any diet changes you may need.
  • Nutritionist: Your nutritionist can make recommendations about a healthy diet designed to improve stroke risk factors, reduce your risk of a second stroke, and benefit your overall health.
  • Social work: Social workers can link you with community and government programs to help you and your family deal with problems that often accompany an illness or injury. They will meet with you and with your stroke team to discuss and arrange services or equipment you might need after discharge, and they can help with service referrals, counseling, financial assistance, support groups and transportation.
  • Case management: Your case manager is a specially trained nurse who will coordinate your care and provide you with education, support, referral sources and insurance information.
  • Rehabilitation liaison: A rehabilitation liaison or physiatrist may provide acute rehabilitation services and evaluate whether acute rehabilitation in the hospital may be necessary after discharge. Rehabilitation goals may include increasing productive activity, reducing dependence and relieving the anxiety that hospitalization can cause.

Experts at Stroke Care

The ChristianaCare Stroke Program includes services at Christiana Hospital, Wilmington Hospital, and the freestanding Middletown Emergency Department. All three facilities have been awarded by The Joint Commission, a national certifying organization. Christiana Hospital has been recognized as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, the most advanced level of expertise in stroke care by The Joint Commission. Wilmington Hospital has been awarded as a Primary Stroke Center. Middletown Emergency Department has been awarded as an Acute Stroke Ready Hospital. Our program provides 24-7 availability of expertise in stroke care including neurologists, neurosurgeons, and neurointerventional radiologists. For patients who arrive within a few hours of the start of stroke symptoms, we offer a full range of emergency treatment options including medications and advanced surgical techniques to restore blood flow to the brain and prevent further brain injury.

Meet Our Team

Kimberly P. Gannon, MD, PhD

Medical Director, ChristianaCare Comprehensive Stroke Program
Vascular Neurologist

Mary Ciechanowski, MSN, RN, APRN, ACNS-BC, CCRN-K

Stroke Program Coordinator, ChristianaCare Comprehensive Stroke Program: Comprehensive Stroke Center 


Associate Director, ChristianaCare Comprehensive Stroke Program
Emergency Department Physician

Valerie Dechant, MD

Chief Medical Officer, Newark Campus

Reina McAndrew, MS, APRN, FNP-BC, SCRN

Stroke Program Coordinator, ChristianaCare Comprehensive Stroke Program: Primary Stroke Center 

Thinesh Sivapatham, MD

Associate Director, ChristianaCare Comprehensive Stroke
Neurointerventional Radiologist

ChristianaCare brings specialists from many disciplines together to provide comprehensive stroke treatment and recovery.


Primary Stroke Center
Acute Stroke Ready Hospital
Comprehensive Stroke center
Treatment Of Stroke-2020- Fiver Star Recipient Healthgrades

Related Content

Discover Patient Stories and ChristianaCare News related to Neurological Care.
With hugs, smiles, Eastern Shore resident reunites with health team