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Hospital made gold-seal stroke center

Posted: March 9, 2010 10:38 p.m.
Updated: March 10, 2010 4:55 a.m.
 
Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital announced Tuesday that it has been certified as an advanced primary stroke center, which hospital officials said is a vital focus given the valley's growing senior population.

The gold seal designation was made by the Joint Commission for Primary Stroke Centers, a nonprofit organization that has certified and accredited more than 17,000 health care organizations and programs nationally.

The commission launched its certification program in 2003.

"(Newhall Memorial) demonstrated that its stroke care program follows national standards and guidelines that can significantly improve outcomes for stroke patients," Jean E. Range, executive director of disease-specific care certification for the commission, said in a statement.

The certification was granted Tuesday after a on-site review of the hospital Monday.

To achieve the certification, a stroke center team led by director of neurology Dr. Mark Schultz oversaw a process including adoption of guidelines, staff training and monitoring and improvement of measurable performance, according to a news release.

"It's a designation that we really needed," hospital spokeswoman Andie Bogdan said. "It's a huge testimony to the quality of care we provide."

Newhall Memorial has also hired a stroke nurse navigator, Bogdan said, who will follow the care of stroke patients from start to finish.
With a growing senior population in Santa Clarita Valley, she said, "we need to be prepared."

According to information provided by the hospital, each year about 700,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke, which is the nation's third leading cause of death.

"(The certification) was our goal for our community that Henry Mayo be a Primary Stroke Center," Schultz said in a statement. "This matters to every patient who walks out of our hospital who would have otherwise been paralyzed or disabled for life - they are the ones we do this for."

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