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Community Hospital South awarded stroke certification from the Joint Commission; All Indianapolis-area Community Hospitals have designation, standardized stroke care

For release on September 08, 2011

Indianapolis, IN---After undergoing an on-site evaluation and demonstrating compliance with nationally developed standards for stroke care, Community Hospital South has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™ for certification as a Primary Stroke Center. Community Hospital North received the designation in May, while Community Hospital East received it in 2007. The stroke certification for all Indianapolis Community Hospitals means standardized stroke care will be performed at each site.

“In stroke care, time is brain,” says Jean E. Range, executive director, Disease-Specific Care Certification, The Joint Commission. “By achieving certification as a Primary Stroke Center, Community South has proven that it has the ability to provide effective, timely care to stroke victims and can significantly improve outcomes for stroke patients.”

“We’re proud to achieve this distinction from The Joint Commission,” said Clif Knight, chief medical officer of Community Health Network. “We are pleased to have The Joint Commission recognize our commitment to providing the best possible care to our patients and our community. This means that all patients presenting with stroke symptoms at Community Hospitals East, North and South will receive standardized, evidence-based excellence in care.”

The Joint Commission’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’s statements and guidelines for stroke care. The Joint Commission launched the program—the nation’s first—in 2003. A list of programs certified by The Joint Commission is available at www.qualitycheck.org.

Each year about 795,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke, which is the nation’s third leading cause of death. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds and someone dies of a stroke every 3.1 minutes. Stroke is a leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States, with about 4.7 million stroke survivors alive today.

Watch for these signs and symptoms of a stroke:

  • Trouble with walking (loss of coordination, sudden dizziness, loss of balance)
  • Trouble with speaking and understanding (confusion, slurred words)
  • Sudden numbness, paralysis or weakness on one side of the body or face
  • Sudden blurred, blackened or double vision
  • Sudden severe headache (may be accompanied by vomiting or dizziness)

A stroke is a medical emergency and occurs when blood supply to the brain is interrupted or reduced. It’s best to get to an emergency room immediately—within one hour of the onset of symptoms. A common drug used for ischemic stroke, TPA, a clot-busting drug, can be administered within 3 hours of a stroke to minimize brain damage and help patients recover more fully.

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 18,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. 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 Community Health Network
Ranked among the nation’s most integrated healthcare systems, Community Health Network is Central Indiana’s leader in access to innovative and compassionate healthcare services, where and when patients need them—in hospitals, in convenient health pavilions and doctor’s offices, in the workplace, at schools, in the home and online. As a non-profit health system with multiple sites of care and affiliates throughout Indiana, Community’s full continuum of care integrates hundreds of physicians, acute care and specialty hospitals, surgery centers, physician offices, home care services, walk-in care centers and employer health services. To put the needs and the convenience of patients first, Community pioneers advanced treatments and world-class health information technologies, with a focus on ease of access to exceptional care.


Lynda de Widt, Media Relations
Lynda de Widt
Media Relations