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 or