Sierra Vista Awarded Primary Stroke Center Accreditation 
Ron Yukelson 
Wednesday, 20 April 2011 
Sierra Vista Awarded Gold Seal of Approval by The Joint Commission 

Following a rigorous on-site evaluation and demonstrating compliance with nationally developed standards for stroke care, Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for certification as a Primary Stroke Center. Sierra Vista is the only Primary Stroke Center between Santa Barbara and San Jose.

“In stroke care, time is brain,” said Jean E. Range, M.S., R.N., executive director, Disease Specific Care Certification for The Joint Commission. “By achieving certification as a Primary Stroke Center, Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center has proven that it has the ability to provide effective, timely care to stroke patients and can significantly improve outcomes for stroke patients.”

Each year about 795,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke, which is the nation’s third leading cause of death. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds and someone dies of a stroke every 3.1 minutes. Stroke is a leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States, with about 4.7 million stroke survivors alive today.

“A Stroke Center accredited by The Joint Commission is a major step forward in the evolution of care in our community,” said Dr. Thomas Clark, medical director of the Sierra Vista Stroke Center. “What this means to patients is Sierra Vista has policies and procedures in place that derive from evidence-based medicine and clinical best practices for the treatment of stroke.” 

The Joint Commission’s Primary Stroke Center Certification is based on the recommendations for primary stroke centers published by the Brain Attack Coalition and the American Stroke Associations statements and guidelines for stroke care.

The Joint Commission evaluates and accredits more than 18,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care.