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News Release

Media Contact: Tom Grant

Published on April 28, 2011

Washington Adventist Hospital Obtains Designation Based on High Quality Care for Stroke Patients

Coordinated Approach Shown to Provide Best Outcomes for Stroke Patients

Takoma Park, MDWashington Adventist Hospital has obtained an important designation from the Maryland Institute of Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS) that highlights the hospital’s high-quality care to patients suffering from a stroke.

The five-year designation as a Primary Stroke Center from MIEMSS was granted following a detailed review of key clinical processes demonstrating enhanced care and a coordinated approach for stroke patients.

A stroke is a "brain attack" that literally cuts off vital blood flow and oxygen to the brain. During a stroke, two million brain cells die every minute, increasing risk of permanent brain damage, disability or death. In the U.S., stroke is the third leading cause of death, killing around 160,000 people each year, and the leading cause of adult disability. Published research has shown that the rapid and coordinated team approach provided by Primary Stroke Centers leads to the best outcomes for stroke patients.

“We are pleased to achieve this important designation for Washington Adventist Hospital,” said Joyce Portela, President of Washington Adventist Hospital. “Congratulations to the physicians and staff on our Emergency and Stroke teams for their commitment to creating comprehensive programs that provide the highest level of care that our community members have come to rely on.”

Hospitals that are Primary Stroke Centers must establish a number of key elements to enhance care to stroke patients, including an acute stroke unit, an integrated emergency response system, and 24-hour neurosurgical and neuroimaging services. They must also develop and implement evidence based stroke pathways of care. Prior to designating a hospital a Primary Stroke Center, MIEMSS conducts a one-day, on-site survey to assess the stroke program. Washington Adventist Hospital successfully completed its survey on April 7, and official notification of the designation came from MIEMSS last week.

"For stroke patients, quick actions can save lives and limit disabilities,” said Dr. Drew White, Medical Director of the Emergency Department. “Washington Adventist’s highly skilled stroke team has put important systems in place to provide life-saving care to stroke patients at our hospital.”

Earlier this month, MIEMSS also designated Washington Adventist Hospital and Shady Grove Adventist Hospital as cardiac interventional centers, after both hospitals demonstrated the delivery of high-quality care in their interventional heart programs. Since April 1, 2011, EMS in Maryland only brings patients suspected of suffering from a heart attack to hospitals that hold the interventional designation from MIEMSS.

Washington Adventist Hospital is a 281-bed acute-care facility located in Takoma Park, Maryland. Washington Adventist Hospital is Montgomery County’s first cardiac center, performing more than 500 open-heart surgeries and more than 6,000 heart catheterizations each year. The Hospital is the first accredited Cycle III Chest Pain Center in the DC Metro Area. Washington Adventist Hospital is part of Adventist HealthCare, an integrated health-care delivery system based in Rockville, Maryland, that is one of the largest employers in the state of Maryland. 

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