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VCU Medical Center receives first and only advanced certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Center in Virginia

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The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association recognized Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center for meeting its standards for Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification, identifying VCU as part of an elite group of providers focused on complex stroke care. Comprehensive Stroke Centers are recognized as health care leaders and are responsible for setting the national agenda in highly specialized stroke care.

“The Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification affirms our team’s excellent work in preserving and restoring health to all people, to seek the cause and cure of diseases through innovative research, and to educate those who serve humanity,” said John Duval, CEO, VCU Hospitals. “VCU Medical Center is thoroughly committed to providing our patients with the highest quality stroke care based on current scientific research to ensure continuous improvement in care and being a certified Comprehensive Stroke Center gives us the opportunity to deliver on that commitment.”

Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification recognizes hospitals that have state-of-the-art infrastructure and the staff and training to receive and treat patients with the most complex strokes. Joint Commission experts reviewed VCU Medical Center’s compliance with the Comprehensive Stroke Center standards and requirements, including advanced imaging capabilities, 24/7 availability of vascular neurologists, cerebrovascular neurosurgeons, vascular surgeons, and neurointensivists, specialized treatments, advanced imaging capabilities, and staff with the unique experience and expertise to care for patients with complex stroke. Complex stroke patients include those with large ischemic stroke requiring emergency intervention, intracerebral hemorrhage, subarachnoid hemorrhage, and brain aneurysm.

“Stroke is one of the leading causes of death in the country and it is the leading cause of disability in adults,” said Jerome F. Strauss III, M.D., Ph.D., interim vice president, VCU Health Sciences. “VCU Health Sciences is committed to providing the very best in education, research and practice to help combat stroke in Virginia and our growing global community. We are very proud to become the state’s first and only Comprehensive Stroke Center.”

Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification was developed in collaboration with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association and derived from the Brain Attack Coalition’s “Recommendations for Comprehensive Stroke Centers,” (Stroke, 2005), and “Metrics for Measuring Quality of Care in Comprehensive Stroke Centers,” (Stroke, 2011), and on recommendations from a multidisciplinary advisory panel of experts in complex stroke care.  

“It is a tremendous honor to receive the certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Center,” said Warren Felton III, M.D., professor of neurology and ophthalmology and medical director of the VCU Stroke Center. “This certification is the work of a superior interdisciplinary team that includes physicians, nurses, support staff, administrators and many others, all of whom are committed to providing optimal outcomes for stroke patients.”

For more information on The Joint Commission and American Heart Association’s Advanced Certification for Comprehensive Stroke Center visit http://www.jointcommission.org/ or www.heart.org/myhospital.

About VCU and VCU Medical Center

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 226 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-seven of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University comprise VCU Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. For more, see www.vcu.edu.

About the Joint Commission

Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission evaluates and accredits more than 20,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States, including more than 10,600 hospitals and home care organizations, and more than 6,600 other health care organizations that provide long term care, behavioral health care, laboratory and ambulatory care services. The Joint Commission also certifies more than 2,400 disease-specific care programs such as stroke, heart failure, joint replacement and stroke rehabilitation, and 400 health care staffing services. An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation's oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Learn more about The Joint Commission at www.jointcommission.org.

About the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit www.heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. The familiar Heart-Check mark now helps consumers evaluate their choices in hospital care. Each mark given to a hospital is earned by meeting specific standards for the care of patients with heart disease and/or stroke. The Heart-Check mark can only be displayed by hospitals that have achieved and defined requirements set by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. For more information on the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Hospital Accreditation Program visit www.heart.org/myhospitals.