The Primary Stroke Center at the University of Virginia Health System has received bi-annual recertification from The Joint Commission, earning its Gold Seal of Approval for the third time. A premiere symbol of quality, Joint Commission certification is awarded to stroke care programs that make exceptional efforts to improve long-term patient outcomes and that meet rigorous standards for continuously upgrading the safety and quality of patient care.
Established in 1986, UVA’s Primary Stroke Center is the only certified stroke center in central Virginia and is staffed by a multi-disciplinary team trained in stroke medicine. It is also the region’s only center that has stroke neurologists on call 24-hours a day as well as vascular neurosurgeons and interventional neuro-radiologists on staff. The team also includes stroke-care nurses, neurointensivists and emergency department physicians.
Each year, the UVA Primary Stroke Center evaluates and treats more than 1,000 neurovascular patients, 70 percent of whom are admitted with acute strokes. The center administers the clot buster t-PA, offers all FDA-approved therapies and provides advanced stroke imaging, leading-edge interventional neuroradiology procedures and investigational medical and surgical therapies.
Welcoming The Joint Commission’s announcement, Stroke Center Medical Director of Neurology, E. Clarke Haley, MD, says, “Recertification is an important distinction that lets patients know they will receive the best, most comprehensive care at UVA.”
His colleague, Aaron Dumont, MD, the stroke center’s medical director of neurosurgery, observes, “Recertification indicates how effectively our multi-disciplinary team works together to provide 24/7 care to our stroke patients.”
For almost two decades, UVA has been a national leader in establishing new standards of care for stroke patients through its intensive program of clinical research and specialized treatment protocols. During the 1990s, UVA neurologists led multi-center clinical trials of the clot-buster, t-PA, which led to its approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The UVA Stroke Center has held Joint Commission certification since 2005.