If you're experiencing symptoms of a stroke, Dr. Mark Parshall, the director of the new Telemedicine Stroke Program at Carthage Area Hospital, will tell you time is everything.

"Historically people just don't come in soon enough or there is a delay in the emergency room...By the time we realize the patient is having a stroke, the time window has gone too far to be able to give them the medication that could ultimately save their lives," he said.

To solve this problem, Carthage Area hospital is using the telemedicine stroke technology program.

Patients are seen by stroke neurologists at Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse with the use of a camera.

Dr. Parshall says right now there are no designated stroke centers in Jefferson, Lewis and St, Lawrence counties.

A designated stroke center guarantees it can give a patient the stroke medication needed within an hour of entering the emergency room.

Carthage Area hospital hopes to become the first by using the Telemedicine Stroke Program.

"It allows us to do what we call level the geographic disparity; the rural hospitals do not have the same access to the neurology expertise that we're able to have in the major cities," said Rochelle Clark, Upstate University Hospital Stroke Program coordinator.

Dr. Parshall says if all goes well, the hospital hopes to become a designated stroke center in the beginning of the new year.