American Family Children's Hospital

UW Hospital Among the Nation's First Joint Commission Certified Comprehensive Stroke Centers

Originally published in September 2013:


University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics joins an elite group as one of the first hospitals in the country to receive Comprehensive Stroke Center Certifications from The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. UW Hospital and Clinics, which also provides stroke consultations to several hospitals via The Wisconsin Telestroke Program, was the first in the upper Midwest to achieve the certification.


"We are so pleased to have this recognition of the high standard of care UW Hospital provides to its stroke patients," says Donna Katen-Bahensky, hospital president and CEO. "We were confident we could meet the highest standards of care for complex stroke cases, so we invited The Joint Commission inspection. It is indeed an honor to be among the first hospitals in the nation to be recognized for this standard of care."


Because quick action saves brain cells in stroke, The Joint Commission reviewed and documented every step of a stroke patient's care, from first radio contact with the ambulance crew through the emergency department, imaging, neurology, neurosurgery, hospital care and rehabilitation. To meet the "comprehensive" standard, the hospital had to prove it was ready 24/7 to treat multiple complex stroke cases at the same time. Certified Comprehensive Stroke Centers must have advanced imaging and treatment capabilities, specialists on staff around the clock, specially trained staff and physicians, and faculty engaged in stroke research.


"I am very happy to see this recognition of our wonderful team effort," says Robert J. Dempsey, MD, professor and chairman of neurosurgery and a stroke researcher. "Stroke has always been a devastating disease; however, we are dedicated to changing the future through prevention, acute treatment, rehabilitation and family support."


Justin Sattin, MD, assistant professor of neurology and medical director of the stroke program, agreed, saying the award itself is recognition of UW Health's tremendous team effort in providing patients with the best care.


"Comprehensive stroke center certification recognizes the tremendous amount of interdisciplinary collaboration required to care for the most complex stroke patients in the Wisconsin region," says. Dr. Sattin. "Our team has demonstrated an intense commitment to providing patient-centered, evidence-based care for the most vulnerable patient population."


Dr. Sattin adds that the Wisconsin Telestroke Program allows UW Health to share its Comprehensive Stroke Center expertise with hospitals throughout the region through telemedicine.


"This isn't only good news for us, but for people around the state where hospitals are part of our telestroke network," Dr. Sattin notes. "It allows us to advance the Wisconsin ideas – that the knowledge of the university extends across the state – in the service of the region's stroke patients and their families."