WVU Medicine Wheeling Hospital awarded Advanced Primary Stroke Center Certification

WVU Medicine Wheeling Hospital has achieved Advanced Primary Stroke Center Certification by earning The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval and the Heart-Check mark from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA).

The hospital’s Stroke Center underwent a rigorous, unannounced onsite review on Aug. 25. During the visit, a team of Joint Commission reviewers evaluated compliance with related certification standards including: assessment and treatment of acute stroke with focus on stroke-specific time metrics; timely treatment of acute ischemic stroke with IV thrombolysis; stroke education; secondary stroke prevention interventions; and evaluation/treatment of rehabilitation needs.

Lucas Burkhardt, director of the Advanced Primary Stroke Center, said, "I have been fortunate enough to have involved with and witnessed the evolution of our stroke care practices since the program’s inception. The Advanced Primary Stroke Center designation is a validation of our care practices, team oriented approach and reaffirms our commitment to stroke care.  This designation sets the standard for our team members and serves as motivation to maintain our evolution and improvement in stroke care practices as we move into the future."

“I could not be prouder of this team for this prestigious recognition,” hospital President and CEO Douglass Harrison said. “This is the culmination of years’ worth of preparation and dedication to improving patient outcomes. This is yet another example of the high level of care being offered at WVU Medicine Wheeling Hospital. Our priority is to make sure that people don’t have to leave the area for advanced care and this is a perfect example of that commitment.”

Joint Commission standards are developed in consultation with healthcare experts and providers, measurement experts and patients. The reviewers also conducted onsite observations and interviews.

Burkhardt said the hospital prepared for the certification process by developing its stroke team, acute stroke protocols/processes, stroke activation system, and robust hospital-wide education.

“The commitment of our administration and team members has led to incredible, sustained improvement in the care provided to those within our community and beyond,” Burkhardt said. “Having been born and raised in this community I take great pride in knowing that my family, friends and neighbors can rely on our team in times of emergency.”

Mark Pelletier, RN, MS, chief operating officer, Accreditation and Certification Operations, and chief nursing executive, The Joint Commission, said, “The Primary certification recognizes healthcare organizations committed to fostering continuous quality improvement in patient safety and quality of care. We commend Wheeling Hospital for using certification to reduce variation in its clinical processes and to strengthen its program structure and management framework for stroke patients.”

“We congratulate Wheeling Hospital for this outstanding achievement,” says Nancy Brown, chief executive officer, AHA/ASA. “This certification reflects its commitment to providing the highest quality of care for stroke patients.”