Heritage Valley Health System Hospitals Receive Advanced Certification for Stroke Care

Heritage Valley Health System announced that both hospitals, Heritage Valley Beaver and Heritage Valley Sewickley, have earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Heart-Check mark for Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers. The Gold Seal of Approval® and the Heart-Check mark represent symbols of quality from their respective organizations.

Heritage Valley Beaver and Heritage Valley Sewickley underwent rigorous onsite reviews in October 2015. Joint Commission experts evaluated compliance with stroke-related standards and requirements, including program management, the delivery of clinical care and performance improvement.

“Heritage Valley Beaver and Heritage Valley Sewickley have demonstrated an exceptional level of commitment to the care of stroke patients by achieving Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers,” said Wendi Roberts, RN, MS, TNS, CLNC, executive director, Disease-Specific Care Certification, The Joint Commission. “We commend both hospitals for being leaders in the identification, intervention and treatment of stroke care for patients. Certified primary stroke centers consistently set a higher standard of care for stroke patients in their communities.”

As a result of the reviews, Heritage Valley Beaver and Heritage Valley Sewickley also received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes each hospital’s commitment and success in ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate, timely treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.  Additionally, Heritage Valley Beaver received the Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll designation as part of its achievement. To qualify for the Target: Stroke Honor Roll, a hospital must meet quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke.

“We congratulate Heritage Valley Beaver and Heritage Valley Sewickley for achieving this designation,” said Nancy Brown, Chief Executive Officer of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. “By adhering to this very specific set of treatment guidelines Heritage Valley Health System has clearly made it a priority to deliver high quality care to all patients affected by stroke.”

“The Beaver and Sewickley hospitals of Heritage Valley Health System are pleased to receive Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers from The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association,” said Linda Homyk, vice president and chief nursing officer, patient care services at Heritage Valley Health System. “The certifications provide us with the opportunity to highlight the exceptional stroke care we provide to our patients in our community as we continue to strive to advance our care even further.”

Heritage Valley Health System is focused on bringing additional services and specialties into the community to improve the care of stroke patients. Most recently, Heritage Valley partnered with Butler Health System on a joint venture, BHS/HVHS Multispecialty Group, Inc., whose first subspecialty practice is the PA Brain & Spine Institute under the leadership of Dr. Michael Horowitz and Dr. Richard Spiro.

For several years, Heritage Valley has participated in “telestroke,” a state-of-the-art program that uses advanced video equipment to connect expert stroke neurologists with Heritage Valley’s emergency department and critical care physicians and nurses, along with patients and their families. At Heritage Valley Beaver, the telestroke program is linked to neurologists at UPMC.  At Heritage Valley Sewickley, the program is linked to neurologists at Allegheny Health Network/Allegheny General Hospital.  

“With a stroke, time lost is brain loss,” said Ronald Leckey, MD, Director of Emergency Medicine and Stroke Care. “This certification and award demonstrates our commitment to ensuring patients receive care based on nationally-recognized clinical guidelines. At Heritage Valley we’ll continue to identify innovative ways to improve stroke care and patient outcomes for those in our service area.”

Established in 2003, Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers is awarded for a two-year period to Joint Commission-accredited acute care hospitals. The certification was derived from the Brain Attack Coalition’s “Recommendations for the Establishment of Primary Stroke Centers” (JAMA, 2000) and the “Revised and Updated Recommendations for the Establishment of Primary Stroke Centers” (Stroke, 2011).

Stroke is the number five cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States, according to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

 

The Joint Commission
Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission accredits and certifies nearly 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. An independent, nonprofit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Learn more about The Joint Commission at www.jointcommission.org.

About the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association:
The American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association are devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke- America’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. The American Stroke Association is a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About Heritage Valley Health System
Heritage Valley Health System is a $480 million integrated delivery network providing comprehensive health care for residents of Allegheny, Beaver, Butler and Lawrence counties, in Pennsylvania; eastern Ohio; and the panhandle of West Virginia. In partnership with 3,700 employees and more than 480 physicians, Heritage Valley offers a broad range of medical, surgical and diagnostic services at its two hospitals, Heritage Valley Sewickley and Heritage Valley Beaver; in 60 physician offices; and 18 community satellite facilities.  For more information about Heritage Valley Health System, please visit www.heritagevalley.org.