SALEM, VA – December, 2016 – LewisGale Medical Center is pleased to announce it has once again earned recertification as a Primary Stroke Center from The Joint Commission. LewisGale Medical Center has been a Certified Primary Stroke Center since 2012. Primary Stroke Center certification is awarded for a two-year period, and recognizes hospitals equipped to treat stroke patients with timely, evidence-based care.

LewisGale Medical Center underwent a rigorous onsite review on November 2, 2016 to assess its compliance with AHA/ASA Guidelines, which include a dedicated stroke-focused program, staffing by qualified medical professionals trained in stroke care, collaboration with local emergency medical services, ability to perform rapid diagnostic and laboratory testing around the clock, and administer intravenous clot-busting medications to eligible patients.

“Currently, nearly half of the population in the United States live 60 miles or more away from a Primary Stroke Center or Comprehensive Stroke Center,” said Lee H. Schwamm, MD, American Stroke Association. “If patients who experience an acute ischemic stroke can be treated with clot-busting medications quickly, more lives would be saved and more patients would have improved outcomes.

“We are delighted to receive recertification as a Primary Stroke Center from The Joint Commission,” said Brian Baumgardner, President and Chief Executive Officer for LewisGale Health System. “This certification demonstrates our commitment to the communities we serve in providing the highest standard of care to stroke patients, while also addressing the gap in access to acute stroke services.”

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.