Capital Health Attains Highest Level of Joint Commission Stroke Designation

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Capital Health meets new Joint Commission Advanced Stroke Designation. The new designation is available only to elite stroke centers that meet the Joint Commission's highest standards required to provide complex stroke care.

Dr. Erol Veznedaroglu

Dr. Erol Veznedaroglu

Capital Health Regional Medical Center has attained Advanced Certification from The Joint Commission for its Comprehensive Stroke Center, a new designation available only to elite centers that meet the Joint Commission’s highest standards required to provide complex stroke care.

The Comprehensive Stroke Center is an integral part of the Capital Institute for Neurosciences.
The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association recently launched the Advanced Certification program for Comprehensive Stroke Centers (CSCs) to recognize the significant resources in technology, staff and training that comprehensive stroke centers must have today to provide the highest level of stroke care.

In a statement, The Joint Commission said it expects states and regions to begin developing networks that funnel the most complicated stroke patients to these highly specialized centers, leading to better outcomes for patients. The Joint Commission called comprehensive stroke centers with Advanced Certification “industry leaders responsible for setting the national agenda in stroke care.”

More than 85 health care facilities in the tri-state area transfer patients with complex strokes and other neurologic conditions to Capital Health.    

"By achieving this advanced certification, Capital Health has thoroughly demonstrated the greatest level of commitment to the care of its patients with a complex stroke condition,” says Mark R. Chassin, M.D., FACP, M.P.P., M.P.H., president and CEO, The Joint Commission. “Certification is a voluntary process and The Joint Commission commends Capital Health for successfully undertaking this challenge to elevate the standard of its care for the community it serves.”

Joint Commission experts extensively reviewed Capital Health’s ability to meet Comprehensive Stroke Centers stringent standards, including dedicated neuro-intensive care unit beds for complex stroke patients with 24/7 neuro-critical care, advanced imaging capability, coordination of patient’s post-hospital care, and participation in stroke research.

Perhaps the most important, the Institute for Neurosciences exceeded minimum volume requirements for treating patients with various neurosurgical conditions, including subarachnoid hemorrhage, aneurysms (both endovascular coiling and surgical clipping) and in administering potentially lifesaving clot-busting medication, IV tPA.

“This prestigious designation confirms that we achieved what we set out to accomplish four years ago when we opened our institute: create a state-of-the art center providing the highest level of neurologic care possible,” said Dr. Erol Veznedaroglu, Director of the Capital Institute for Neurosciences. “Our model brings top physicians from around the nation under one roof to focus on one specialty — diseases and injury to the brain and spine — and to perform better in that specialty than anyone else,” Dr. Veznedaroglu said.

The advanced capabilities at the Capital Institute for Neurosciences include:

  •     A 40-bed dedicated, closed Neuro Intensive Care Unit, one of the largest in the nation.
  •     The nation’s only emergency department specifically for brain emergencies, called the Center for Neurologic Emergency Medicine.
  •     Neurosurgeons dual trained in both traditional and endovascular neurosurgical approaches.

In addition, the Capital Institute for Neurosciences treated more patients requiring brain and aneurysm surgeries in 2011 than any other hospital in the State of New Jersey. The institute was one of only eight hospitals in the country reporting stroke care measures in 2011 to be recognized by The Joint Commission as a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures®.

“Today, getting the right treatment from the right stroke center at the right time can make an enormous difference in whether a patient survives a stroke and is able to return to his or her former life,” said Dr. Mandy J. Binning, Director of the Comprehensive Stroke Center at the Capital Institute for Neurosciences. “Every day we see the difference we are making in our patient’s outcomes. The best emergency stroke care can make the difference between a patient going back to work — or a patient facing a life of profound disability.”

Dr. Binning noted that the advanced certification for comprehensive stroke is not a requirement. “We invited The Joint Commission to review our program. As a result we received their input, approval, as well as praise for providing ‘best practices’ in multiple areas,” Dr. Binning said.

Al Maghazehe, President and CEO of Capital Health, said the hospital system has become widely known in the field of neuroscience care.

"I am extremely proud of our entire team for this recognition and their tireless commitment to providing stroke care that serves as an example to other hospitals throughout the country,” he said.

Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification was developed in collaboration with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association and derived from the Brain Attack Coalition’s “Recommendations for Comprehensive Stroke Centers,” (Stroke, 2005), and “Metrics for Measuring Quality of Care in Comprehensive Stroke Centers,” (Stroke, 2011), and on recommendations from a multidisciplinary advisory panel of experts in complex stroke care.

“The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association congratulates Capital Health on its Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification,” said Mark J. Alberts, M.D., FAHA, American Heart Association/American Stroke Association and incoming Vice-Chair of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics at UT Southwestern Medical Center. “Comprehensive Stroke Centers offer a high level of care for patients with the most severe and challenging types of strokes and cerebrovascular disease.”

For more information on The Joint Commission and American Heart Association’s Advanced Certification for Comprehensive Stroke Center visit or


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 20,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States, including more than 10,600 hospitals and home care organizations, and more than 6,600 other health care organizations that provide long term care, behavioral health care, laboratory and ambulatory care services. The Joint Commission also certifies more than 2,400 disease-specific care programs such as stroke, heart failure, joint replacement and stroke rehabilitation, and 400 health care staffing services. 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

About the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association:
The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 3 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit or call any of our offices around the country.

The familiar Heart-Check mark now helps consumers evaluate their choices in hospital care. Each mark given to a hospital is earned by meeting specific standards for the care of patients with heart disease and/or stroke. The Heart-Check mark can only be displayed by hospitals that have achieved and defined requirements set by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. For more information on the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Hospital Accreditation Program visit

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Carol Ann Campbell
Jaffe Communications
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