The Daily Item
In her second rotation during residency, Dr. Jessica Ahlum said she found her calling, which has quickly evolved into a new role as the medical director of the Primary Stroke Center at Evangelical Community Hospital.
As director, Ahlum is responsible for oversight of the Primary Stroke Program that provides high-quality stroke care to patients of the community. Ahlum — who specializes in diseases and treatment of the nervous system — has been with Evangelical since 2020.
She will remain on as a neurologist in addition to her directorship, hospital officials announced.
Ahlum has been an employed physician at Neurology of Evangelical since 2020. As a neurology physician, Ahlum specializes in diseases and treatment of the nervous system.
Ahlum, a Danville High graduate, said she was immediately struck by neurology.
“In medical schools, my first clinical rotation was surgery and I new it wasn’t the right fit for me,” she said. “My second was neurology. I fell in love with it.
“The images, looking at scans and vessel images, spinal images. A neurological exam is sort of a map to where an issue is coming from.”
Ahlum received her Doctor of Medicine from Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia. She completed her neurology residency and her Neurophysiology Fellowship at SUNY Upstate University Hospital, Syracuse, N.Y. As an undergraduate, Ahlum obtained her bachelor of science in chemistry with a minor in biology at The Pennsylvania State University, Eberly College of Science, University Park. She is a member of the American Academy of Neurology.
“Under Dr. Jessica Ahlum, we know the accredited program is in good hands. She brings a fresh approach to care with a passion for the best possible outcomes for patients undergoing strokes of varying degrees,” Angela Lahr, vice president of Clinical Operations for Evangelical, said.
“With a condition like stroke, where time is everything, Dr. Ahlum’s commitment to speedy diagnosis and treatment for the patient will serve the hospital and those impacted by stroke well. We look forward to watching her grow the already strong program.”
At Evangelical’s stroke center, the hospital is able to offer 24/7 patient-centered care from inpatient through rehabilitation services including emergency medicine, laboratory, radiology, hospitalist and neurologist care, and physical, occupational and speech therapy.
“Because we work so closely with the patients, we can determine the best path forward,” Ahlum said. “Risk management is a long-term goal, making sure all the factors are under control. In addition, we do have acute rehab, and we see a patient through their course.”
Lahr said she is confident the program will thrive under Ahlum’s guidance.
“Since the establishment of the Primary Stroke Center at Evangelical Community Hospital in 2013, the program has flourished under strong leadership with a focus on education and training of staff,” she said.