Jefferson Washington Township Hospital awarded Comprehensive Stroke Certification

Jefferson Washington Township Hospital was recently certified by the Joint Commission as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, the highest distinction of its kind, which recognizes hospitals with the ability to receive and treat the most complex stroke cases.

“Achieving Comprehensive Stroke Center accreditation is another example of how our highly experienced teams bring the most sophisticated level of complex care to South Jersey, including world-class cancer care, specialized cardiac treatments and OB/GYN services for women’s health,” Dr. Baligh Yehia, president of Jefferson Health, said. “I’m very proud that the Jefferson Heath Washington Township Hospital team has been recognized by the Joint Commission for the high-quality care they provide to our community.”

An independent, not-for-profit organization that accredits and certifies more than 22,000 health care organizations and programs in the U.S., the Joint Commission conducted a rigorous review of the hospital’s stroke program. During the visit, a team of Joint Commission reviewers evaluated compliance with related certification standards, including efficiency and timeliness of treatment, continuity of care and outcomes.

“We are honored to have earned Comprehensive Stroke Center accreditation from the Joint Commission,” Aaron Chang, president of Jefferson Health – East Region said. “This prestigious designation shows Jefferson’s ongoing commitment to the highest level of complex neurovascular care offered close-to-home for our New Jersey communities.”

The Joint Commission reviewers evaluated compliance with related certification standards including:

  • Board certified endovascular/vascular neurosurgeons are available 24/7 to provide neurosurgical intervention for stroke patients;
  • An acute stroke team with training and expertise in stroke treatment is available 24/7 to evaluate any patient within minutes of arrival;
  • The hospital has a specialized neurological intensive care unit with highly trained physicians and staff.

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the fifth-leading cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the U.S. On average, someone in the U.S. has a stroke every 40 seconds, and someone dies from a stroke every three minutes and 33 seconds. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts (ruptures). When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so it and brain cells die. Jefferson Health treats the largest volume of stroke cases in the Delaware Valley region. Yearly, Jefferson Health discharges over 5,000 stroke patients.

In 2020, Jefferson Washington Township Hospital was certified through the Joint Commission as an Advanced Thrombectomy-Capable Stroke Center, which recognizes it for having the tools and expertise to provide a mechanical thrombectomy, a minimally invasive surgical procedure to remove a blood clot from an artery. Thrombectomy-capable stroke centers also have neurointensive care and 24/7 on-site critical care coverage.