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AHN’s Allegheny Valley Hospital Awarded Advanced Certification as a Primary Stroke Center

Friday, April 12, 2019

HARRISON TWP. –  Allegheny Valley Hospital (AVH), part of the Allegheny Health Network (AHN), has earned an Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers from The Joint Commission, recognizing its capabilities for and commitment to providing the highest quality care to patients affected by stroke.

AVH earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s (AHA/ASA) Heart-Check mark, both symbols of quality from the respective organizations. The Heart-Check mark can only be displayed by hospitals that have met all requirements set by the heart and stroke associations.

Joint Commission experts conducted a rigorous onsite review at AVH, using standards developed collaboratively with the AHA/ASA to evaluate compliance with stroke-related care standards and requirements, including program management, the delivery of clinical care and performance improvement including rapid delivery (less than 60 minutes) of intravenous tPA (clot buster), and evaluation by telestroke neurologists for stroke thrombectomy, which involves removal of a blood clot in the brain artery using specialized catheters, stents and suction devices.

“When someone suffers a stroke, time to treatment is of the utmost importance in giving that person the best chance at a full recovery. AVH is the only certified primary stroke center in the Alle-Kiski valley region. 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,” said Jeffrey Carlson, interim president and CEO, AVH.

Established in 2003, Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers is awarded for a two-year period to Joint Commission-accredited acute care hospitals.

“Our AHN clinicians are dedicated to providing high-quality care and are able to treat patients who suffer stroke more effectively than ever before, said Ashis Tayal, MD, Medical Director of the Comprehensive Stroke Center at Allegheny General Hospital and Director of the AHN Cerebrovascular Center. “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 throughout AHN.”

Stroke is the fourth-leading cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability nationwide, affecting nearly 800,000 people annually. Symptoms include a drooping face and arm weakness, particularly on one side of the body, along with slurred speech and difficulty seeing. People at risk include those with high blood pressure and cholesterol, and people who smoke or are obese. African-Americans and people over age 60 are also at higher risk.

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

“By adhering to this very specific set of treatment guidelines, Allegheny Valley Hospital has clearly made it a priority to deliver high quality care to all patients affected by stroke,” said Nancy Brown, chief executive officer, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. “We congratulate Allegheny Valley Hospital for achieving this designation.”