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Stroke Care Program at Richmond University Medical Center Makes History

May 20, 2019 – Long recognized for its role as a leading provider of care for stroke victims, Richmond University Medical Center’s reputation was further solidified last week when the hospital earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Heart-Check mark for Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers. Awarded to the hospital for the first time, the certification comes on the heels of the hospital unveiling its new stroke thrombectomy program in early April.

To achieve certification, Joint Commission experts evaluated the medical center’s compliance with stroke-related standards and requirements, including program management, the delivery of clinical care, and performance improvement. The comprehensive evaluation included several key departments vital to administering stroke-related care to patients, including neurology, emergency, radiology, laboratory, respiratory, nursing, and rehabilitation.

“Effective stroke treatment is a multidisciplinary effort,” Dr. Allan Perel, RUMC’s board certified director of neurology said. “This certification from the joint commission is an extraordinary accomplishment for our stroke program, and will allow RUMC to continue providing the best and most innovative treatment for our patients with stroke.”

Stroke is the number five cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States, according to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

Established in 2003, Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers is awarded for a two-year period to Joint Commission-accredited acute care hospitals, such as RUMC. Prior to this new certification from The Joint Commission, the quality of stroke-related care provided at RUMC earned the hospital national accreditation in previous years from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

“Richmond University Medical Center has thoroughly demonstrated the greatest level of commitment to the care of stroke patients through its Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers,” said Patrick Phelan, executive director, Hospital Business Development, The Joint Commission. “We commend RUMC for becoming a leader in stroke care, potentially providing a higher standard of service for stroke patients in its community.”

“By adhering to this very specific set of treatment guidelines RUMC has clearly made it a priority to deliver high quality care to all patients affected by stroke,” said Nancy Brown, chief executive officer, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

In early April, the hospital also performed its first successful mechanical thrombectomy procedure. A thrombectomy is a procedure that removes a blood clot from a blood vessel using a catheter inserted into an artery and a net-like device called a stent retriever. The first recipient of this new procedure regained use of their extremities following the procedure and is currently undergoing rehabilitation.

Prior to having the capability to perform a thrombectomy on site, stroke victims treated at RUMC in need of the procedure were transferred to other medical facilities. By partnering with Interventional Neuro Associates (INA), this procedure adds to the stroke-care services offered at the hospital. The medical team at INA are affiliated with some of the top ranked facilities in the country including NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn, Hackensack University Medical Center, and St. Francis Hospital.

“Endovascular thrombectomy is a revolutionary treatment for ischemic stroke,” Dr. Perel said. “We at RUMC now have the most up to date cutting edge technology to treat patients with an acute stroke, and improve their function post stroke.”