The West Virginia University Stroke Center has earned Primary Stroke Center re-certification from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. The program earned the distinction after a rigorous on-site review in March.

The WVU Stroke Center is being honored also by the American Heart Association with a Stroke Silver Performance Achievement Award. The national award recognizes the efforts made by WVU Hospitals and healthcare providers to improve the lives of stroke patients, following guidelines established by the AHA.

At an event May 27 celebrating the re-certification and award, WVU Hospitals President and CEO Bruce McClymonds said these are significant achievements. “This recognizes our commitment to providing outstanding care to our patients and our community,” McClymonds said.

In 2009, WVU cared for about 800 stroke patients from throughout West Virginia and neighboring states.

“It’s our multidisciplinary team that makes the difference. We have experts in emergency medicine, radiology, neurology, neurosurgery and more,” John Brick, M.D., chair of neurology at WVU, said. “Our emergency response team answers calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to evaluate and treat a stroke quickly. We’re saving lives and reducing the chance of disability for our patients.”

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the country. It’s also the leading cause of serious, long-term disability, with about 6.4 million stroke survivors alive today. Each year, about 700,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke. While stroke is primarily thought of as a disease related to age, people of all ages, including children, can suffer from stroke.

The Joint Commission’s Primary Stroke Center Certification is based on the recommendations published by the Brain Attack Coalition and the American Stroke Association’s guidelines for stroke care. The WVU Stroke Center was first designated as a Primary Stroke Center by JCAHO in 2006.

The American Heart Association’s Silver Performance Award is achieved when hospitals use the AHA’s premier hospital-based quality improvement program, Get With the Guidelines, for the treatment of stroke patients. WVU Hospital previously earned the Bronze Performance Award.

May is National Stroke Awareness Month.



CONTACT: Amy Johns, HSC News Service