November 9, 2020

When it comes to strokes, seconds could be the difference between full recovery and long-term effects. For decades, people could rely on Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) to provide clot-busting drugs that might save their lives, but they would have to be transferred to other hospitals outside the region if other critical procedures were needed. Now – thanks to NGMC adding new technology and welcoming a new stroke expert – people can receive all the stroke care they need closer to home, saving valuable time and increasing the chances for recovery.

Sung Lee, MD, will perform critical stroke intervention procedures in NGMC Gainesville’s new Neurointerventional Lab. The lab features the latest stroke-fighting technology to perform mechanical thrombectomies, a procedure that uses small catheters and wires to remove blood clots from the brain. He is the only doctor in the northeast Georgia region performing the procedure, and the lab is the only one of its kind in the region.

“Even though we are grateful for our colleagues in Atlanta, the delay in getting to timely treatment was a real detriment to our community,” said Dr. Lee, a neurointerventional surgeon with Northeast Georgia Physicians Group (NGPG) and NGMC’s medical director of Neurointerventional Surgery. “This is a game-changer for how we not only treat strokes, but it also gives us the ability to perform other complex brain, spinal and vascular procedures. It’s the dawn of a new era of neurological care in Hall County and the surrounding region.”

In addition to providing round-the-clock care at NGMC Gainesville, Dr. Lee is also seeing patients at his NGPG practice in Gainesville. He received his medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia before completing a residency in neurology at the Mayo Clinic, a sub-specialty fellowship in neurocritical care and stroke at the University of California in San Francisco and an additional fellowship in neurointerventional radiology at Emory University. He is board certified in Neurology, Vascular Neurology and Neurocritical Care.

“We’re excited that Dr. Lee is helping lead our stroke team, as we continually push the boundaries to improve our services and make sure patients who come in with stroke symptoms receive the best and quickest treatment possible,” said Holley Adams, Stroke Program coordinator at NGMC Gainesville. “Our community is truly a safer place now that we offer this level of care.”

If you or a loved one suspect a stroke, remember the acronym BE FAST:

  • Balance difficulties
  • Eyesight changes
  • Face drooping
  • Arm weakness
  • Speech slurring
  • Time to call 911

For more information about recognizing the signs of stroke and to learn more about stroke care at NGMC, visit To learn more about NGPG Neurointerventional Surgery, call 770-219-6520 or visit