Cheryl Bushnell Named Director of Stroke Center

October 11, 2010

Cheryl D. Bushnell, M.D., associate professor of neurology at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center (WFUBMC), has been named director of the Medical Center’s stroke center. 

Stroke is a major focus at Wake Forest Baptist and its neurosciences program is recognized as among the top 50 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Allison Brashear, M.D., chair, department of neurology at Wake Forest Baptist, said, “Dr. Bushnell brings a unique blend of leadership, research and clinical expertise to the WFUBMC stroke center. Her research involves prevention and education in the care of stroke patients and will significantly impact the type of stroke care neurologists deliver in the future. The appointment of Dr. Bushnell as medical director will improve the delivery of care for patients with stroke.”

Bushnell is a noted leader in stroke prevention, treatment and education. As a fellow of the American Heart Association Stroke Council, she is among the physicians who crafted primary prevention guidelines for stroke and similar recommendations for prevention of cardiovascular disease in women. Likewise, her research focus is on improving the quality of stroke care, especially among women who have, historically, been underrepresented in clinical studies and for whom there is little data. As associate director of the Medical Center’s Women’s Health Center of Excellence, she uses her role to educate women about the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease.

The need for more education is apparent in her recent study, published in the JAMA/Archives of Neurology. Bushnell found that 25 percent of stroke patients stop taking one or more of their stroke medications within three months after discharge. Bushnell hopes to provide education and better tools for neurologists, primary care providers, and patients alike.

Bushnell received her medical degree from Medical College of Wisconsin, in Milwaukee and completed her neurology residency at Duke University Medical Center. While in her stroke research fellowship at Duke, she was simultaneously enrolled in the school’s clinical research training program and received a master’s degree in health sciences and clinical research. Following her training, Bushnell was on the faculty at Duke and held a dual position as director of the Stroke Clinical Events Committee at Duke Clinical Research Institute. She joined Wake Forest Baptist in 2007 and is board certified in neurology, vascular neurology and neurovascular ultrasound.

Bushnell sits on a number of editorial boards for peer-reviewed journals such as Stroke, and is a sought after presenter and lecturer on the topic of stroke in women and young adults. She is author of numerous papers and publications.

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