Good Samaritan Hospital is First in the State to Receive Dual Stroke Center Designations

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The Stroke Center at Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern, New York is the first center in the state to receive both the Gold Seal of ApprovalÂ? certification by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations as a Primary Stroke Center as well as official designation as a Stroke Center by The New York State Department of Health.

The Stroke Center at Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern, New York is the first center in the state to receive both the Gold Seal of Approval™ certification by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations as a Primary Stroke Center as well as official designation as a Stroke Center by The New York State Department of Health.

"We're proud to be the first Stroke Center in the state to achieve these important distinctions," said Michael Schnieders, Executive Vice President and Administrator of Good Samaritan Hospital. "This certification and designation means that Good Samaritan Hospital is providing leading edge care for stroke patients. We're proud to have achieved the Joint Commission Primary Stroke Center Gold Seal Certification, which validates our belief that we are providing the very best care available to our patients."

Hospitals with state-Designated Stroke Centers meet the Brain Attack Coalition guidelines, a model that requires that centers include acute stroke teams available to respond 24 hours a day, seven days a week; a specialized unit dedicated to stroke care; appropriate laboratory services; and an experienced staff that undergoes regular continuing medical education.

Accreditation and certification by Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) acknowledges the high quality of care for acute stroke provided by the staff at Good Samaritan, under the guidance of the stroke team. The Joint Commission's Primary Stroke Center Certification is also based on the recommendations for primary stroke centers published by the Brain Attack Coalition as well as the American Stroke Association's statements/guidelines for stroke care.

"Good Samaritan Hospital has demonstrated that its stroke care program follows national standards and guidelines that can significantly improve outcomes for stroke patients," says Charles A. Mowll, Executive Vice President, Business Development, Government, and External Relations, Joint Commission.

According to Stuart Lestch, MD, a neurologist and director of the Stroke Center at Good Samaritan Hospital, this award emphasizes the quality of healthcare delivery offered at Good Samaritan. “We have built this program to offer the highest level and quality of clinical care available for the people of our community,” noted Dr. Letsch. “The Stroke Center is yet another important part of the high quality continuum of first-class, leading edge healthcare that is being provided at Good Samaritan Hospital.”

A stroke, which is sometimes also called a “brain attack,” occurs when a blood vessel (artery) that supplies blood to the brain bursts or is blocked by a blood clot. Within minutes, the nerve cells in that area of the brain are damaged, and they die within a few hours. As a result, the part of the body controlled by the damaged section of the brain cannot function properly. The concept behind Designated Stroke Centers is to reduce mortality and complications and improve clinical outcomes so more people who experience stroke can go home to resume the rest of their lives, instead of having to go to long-term care or extensive rehabilitation.

Designated Stroke Centers administer clot-busting therapy and respond with needed tests and exams for acute stroke patients better than hospitals lacking certification, according to two new studies presented at the American Stroke Association’s 2005 International Stroke Conference earlier this year in New Orleans. Giving clot busters within three hours of symptom onset can reduce disability from stroke.

“The success of treatment for stroke depends greatly on people’s ability to recognize signs and symptoms of a brain attack, or a stroke, and in getting to the hospital quickly,” said Dr. Lestch, who noted the five warning signs of stroke, which include:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body,
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding,
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes,
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination,
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause.

“If you or anyone you are with experience one or more of these symptoms, it is essential to get to a hospital immediately. Treatment within three hours of symptom onset can be the difference between full recovery and long-term problems,” said Dr. Lestch.

Good Samaritan Hospital is a member of Bon Secours Health System, Inc., one of the nation’s leading Catholic healthcare systems. It is also part of the regional Bon Secours Charity Health System, which includes St. Anthony Community Hospital in Warwick, NY and Bon Secours Community Hospital in Port Jervis, New York. Additionally, Bon Secours Charity Health System provides the services of a Certified Home Health Agency, two long-term care facilities, an assisted living and adult home facility and several other medical programs. For more information about the Stroke Center at Good Samaritan Hospital, or any of its programs, visit their website at http://www.goodsamhosp.org, or contact Good Samaritan Hospital at 845-368-5000.

Media Contact:

John Lonsdorf

R&J Public Relations, LLC

(908) 722-5757

Jlonsdorf@RandJpr.com

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