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Memorial Stroke Programs Earn Certification as Primary Stroke Centers

May 2005 — Memorial's Stroke Programs recently earned certification as Primary Stroke Centers by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) — the nation's predominant standards-setting and accrediting body in healthcare.

The programs, operational at both Memorial Regional Hospital and Memorial Hospital West, are two of only six JCAHO-certified programs in Florida. JCAHO'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.

"We are extremely proud of the physicians, nurses, support and ancillary staff who worked diligently to make this distinction possible," says J. E. Piriz, Administrator of Memorial Regional Hospital. "This certification is a testament of Memorial's dedication and commitment to offer the best healthcare available to residents of South Broward County and beyond."

Leading Expertise and Treatment

Each year, about 700,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke, which is the nation's third leading cause of death. Stroke also is a leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States, with about 4.7 million stroke survivors alive today.

A stroke, or brain attack, occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted by a blocked or burst blood vessel. This deprives the brain of oxygen, and as a result, can affect bodily functions, such as speech, sight or mobility.

A Brain Attack Team is available at both Memorial Regional Hospital and Memorial Hospital Miramar 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to provide some of the latest neurovascular treatments, including administration of tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) to help prevent serious brain injury. The Brain Attack Team collaborates with emergency medical services (EMS) personnel for prompt, coordinated intervention and features acute-stroke physicians and nurses certified by the National Institutes of Health.

"By recognizing selected medical facilities for their advanced stroke care, the JCAHO designation helps the public identify which hospitals offer the best possible outcomes for stroke patients," says Zeff Ross, Administrator of Memorial Hospital West.

If you are concerned about your risk for stroke and would like a referral to a physician, call Memorial Physician Referral Service toll-free at
(800) 944-DOCS
. We're available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.