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Penn State Stroke Center again earns highest level of designation

Penn State Stroke Center has once again earned a designation that recognizes the high level of care it provides to patients with the most severe and challenging types of strokes.

The Center has been re-certified as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by the Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. It represents the highest level of stroke center certification awarded by those organizations.

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is the only Comprehensive Stroke Center in central Pennsylvania. Seven hospitals statewide and 100 in the United States have earned the designation. The Medical Center first received the highest level of certification in 2013, after having served as a Primary Stroke Center since 2006.

“This designation as a Comprehensive Stroke Center reassures the people of central Pennsylvania that the resources and expertise to treat the most difficult stroke cases will be ready and waiting when needed,” said Dr. Kevin Cockroft, co-director, Penn State Stroke Center.

The recertification process included an onsite review by Joint Commission experts who examined the Center’s compliance with several standards and requirements. Comprehensive Stroke Centers are set apart by their ability to treat all types of stroke patients, including bleeding – or hemorrhagic – strokes, such as those caused by brain aneurysms. They are also required to have a dedicated neuroscience intensive care unit for stroke patients as well as around-the-clock access to neurosurgeons and minimally invasive catheter procedures to treat stroke.

In addition to caring for stroke patients brought to the Medical Center, the Penn State Stroke Center team also aids in the rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at 14 other hospitals through the LionNet telemedicine system.

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