Bethesda, Md., December 13, 2011 – After undergoing an on-site evaluation and demonstrating compliance with nationally developed standards for stroke care, the Suburban Hospital NIH Stroke Center has earned re-certification as a Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission. The Joint Commission evaluates and accredits more than 18,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States.
Established in 1999, the Stroke Center is a partnership between Suburban Hospital and the National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) of the National Institutes of Health. In 2005, it was the first stroke program in Montgomery County to receive the Gold Seal of Approval as a Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission.
“We are pleased and proud that The Joint Commission continues to recognize our commitment to providing the best possible care to our patients and our community,” said Dr. Jose Merino, medical director of the Stroke Center.
“By achieving this certification, Suburban Hospital has proven that it has the ability to provide effective, timely care to stroke victims and can significantly improve outcomes for stroke patients,” says Jean E. Range, M.S., R.N., C.P.H.Q., executive director, Disease Specific Care Certification, The Joint Commission.
The Stroke Center incorporates a rapid-response medical team that uses state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment procedures as soon as a stroke patient arrives. A unique aspect of the Stroke Center is the use of MRI to see a stroke as it is occurring in the brain, while damage is still potentially reversible. Ongoing NIH Stroke Center research projects focus on evaluating new interventions for stroke that will extend the window of time for effective treatment.
“The entire Stroke Team should be congratulated for this achievement,” said Robert Rothstein, M.D., vice president of medical affairs at Suburban Hospital. “But the true beneficiaries are stroke patients.”
Each year about 795,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke, making it the nation’s 4th leading cause of death. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds and someone dies of a stroke every 3.1 minutes. It is a leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States, with about 4.7 million stroke survivors alive today.
The Joint Commission’s Primary Stroke Center Certification is based on the recommendations for primary stroke centers published by the Brain Attack Coalition and the American Stroke Association’s statements and guidelines for stroke care. The Joint Commission launched the program—the nation’s first—in 2003.
About Suburban Hospital
Suburban Hospital, a member of Johns Hopkins Medicine, is a not-for-profit, community-based hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, that has served Montgomery County and the surrounding area for more than 65 years. Suburban Hospital is distinguished by a cutting-edge stroke program; level II trauma center; centers of excellence in cardiac care, orthopedics and joint replacement surgery, neurosciences and oncology; state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment tools; and affiliations with world-class institutions, including the neighboring National Institutes of Health.