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Allegheny Valley Hospital earns advanced certification for stroke care | TribLIVE.com
Valley News Dispatch

Allegheny Valley Hospital earns advanced certification for stroke care

Brian C. Rittmeyer
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Brian C. Rittmeyer | Tribune-Review

Allegheny Valley Hospital has been recognized for its care of stroke patients.

The Harrison hospital earned an advanced certification for primary stroke centers from The Joint Commission, the hospital announced Friday.

This is the first time the hospital has received the certification, Allegheny Health Network spokeswoman Stephanie Waite said.

Founded in 1951, the nonprofit commission accredits and certifies more than 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the U.S.

The hospital earned the commission’s “Gold Seal of Approval” and a “Heart-Check” mark from the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association.

Joint Commission experts conducted an on-site review of the hospital using standards developed with the heart and stroke associations to evaluate compliance with stroke-related care standards and requirements.

“We commend Allegheny Valley Hospital for becoming a leader in stroke care, potentially providing a higher standard of service for stroke patients in the community,” said Patrick Phelan, executive director of hospital business development for The Joint Commission.

The hospital is the only certified primary stroke center in the Alle-Kiski Valley, interim President and CEO Jeffrey Carlson said.

“When someone suffers a stroke, time to treatment is of the utmost importance in giving that person the best chance at a full recovery,” he said. “Residents of the region can be assured that our skilled caregivers are providing a high level of stroke care, as confirmed by these prestigious national organizations.”

Stroke is the fourth-leading cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability, affecting nearly 800,000 people each year. Symptoms include a drooping face and arm weakness, particularly on one side of the body, along with slurred speech and difficulty seeing.

People with high blood pressure and cholesterol levels and those who smoke or are obese are at risk; African-Americans and people over 60 are also at higher risk.

Started in 2003, the advanced certification is awarded for two years to Joint Commission-accredited acute care hospitals.

“We are grateful for this national recognition as it reflects our success in offering patients who suffer from this common and often disabling cerebrovascular injury the highest quality of care at AVH and through Allegheny Health Network,” said Dr. Ashis Tayal, medical director of the Comprehensive Stroke Center at Allegheny General Hospital and director of the network’s Cerebrovascular Center.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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