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Published on September 04, 2013

Abington Memorial Hospital Awarded Advanced Certification for Comprehensive Stroke Centers

Abington, PA (September 4, 2013) — Abington Memorial Hospital (AMH) is one of seven hospitals in Pennsylvania and one of only 56 in the nation to earn Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification from The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Complex Stroke Centers are recognized as industry leaders and are responsible for setting the national agenda in highly-specialized stroke care.

Comprehensive Stroke Certification logoComprehensive Stroke Center Certification recognizes those hospitals that have state-of-the-art infrastructure, staff and training to receive and treat patients with the most complex strokes. AMH underwent a rigorous onsite review in June 2013. Joint Commission experts reviewed Abington’s compliance with the Comprehensive Stroke Center standards and requirements including advanced imaging capabilities, 24/7 availability of specialized treatments, and staff with the unique education and competencies to care for complex stroke patients.

"By achieving this advanced certification, Abington Memorial Hospital has thoroughly demonstrated the greatest level of commitment to the care of its patients with a complex stroke condition,” says Mark R. Chassin, M.D., FACP, M.P.P., M.P.H., president, The Joint Commission. “Certification is a voluntary process and The Joint Commission commends Abington for successfully undertaking this challenge to elevate the standard of its care for the community it serves.”

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.

“This designation is a great source of pride for our organization,” said Laurence M. Merlis, president and chief executive officer, Abington Health, “and comes after a decade of hard work by many talented clinicians and support staff.”

“The staff of Abington Memorial Hospital has an unwavering commitment to providing patients with the highest quality stroke care based on current scientific research,” said John J. Kelly, M.D., chief of staff, Abington Memorial Hospital.  “Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification confirms that AMH is part of an elite group of providers focused on complex stroke care, and it gives us the opportunity to highlight the exceptional stroke care we provide for our patients and our community.”

For more than 30 years, Abington Memorial Hospital has devoted extensive resources to treating stroke. The Diamond Stroke Center, now under the medical direction of Dan J. Gzesh, M.D., was established to align critical hospital resources for emergency stroke intervention and follow-up. In fact, the Stroke Center was the first in Pennsylvania to earn the Gold Seal of Approval from the Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center.

The Diamond Stroke Center is named in honor of its founder, B. Franklin Diamond, MD. Dr. Diamond was a leader in stroke care in our community, and in the Delaware Valley, for more than 30 years.

For more information on The Joint Commission and American Heart Association’s Advanced Certification for Comprehensive Stroke Center visit http://www.jointcommission.org/ or www.heart.org/myhospital.

About Abington Memorial Hospital

Abington Memorial Hospital is a 665-bed, acute care teaching hospital with a medical staff of more than 900 physicians and more than 5,500 employees. These professionals provide medical care and health services to residents of Bucks, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties. A regional provider, Abington Memorial Hospital has the only Level II accredited trauma center in Montgomery County and offers highly specialized services in cardiac care, cancer care, neurosciences, orthopaedics, maternal/child health and home health.

About Abington Health’s Neurosciences Institute

At the forefront of rapidly changing, complex treatments for brain, nerves, spine, blood vessel and muscle diseases, the Neurosciences Institute provides expert advanced care for a variety of conditions, including stroke. Our board-certified physicians possess deep experience in specialty areas and participate in clinical trials research. They provide proven advanced procedures and technologies in neurology, neurosurgery, neurovascular and endovascular interventions and neuroradiology.

About The Joint Commission

Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission evaluates and accredits more than 20,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States, including more than 10,600 hospitals and home care organizations, and more than 6,600 other health care organizations that provide long term care, behavioral health care, laboratory and ambulatory care services. The Joint Commission also certifies more than 2,400 disease-specific care programs such as stroke, heart failure, joint replacement and stroke rehabilitation, and 400 health care staffing services. An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation's oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Learn more about The Joint Commission at www.jointcommission.org.

About the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 3 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit www.heart.org or call any of our offices around the country.

The familiar Heart-Check mark now helps consumers evaluate their choices in hospital care. Each mark given to a hospital is earned by meeting specific standards for the care of patients with heart disease and/or stroke. The Heart-Check mark can only be displayed by hospitals that have achieved and defined requirements set by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. For more information on the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Hospital Accreditation Program visit www.heart.org/myhospitals.

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