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St. Luke’s Health Memorial’s Stroke Center Earns National Re-Certification

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St. Luke’s Health Memorial in Lufkin continues to recognize the dire need for high level stroke care, and as the first and only Joint Commission Certified Primary Care Stroke Center in East Texas, the hospital once again earned the National Gold Seal of Approval for Stroke Care, highlighting Memorial’s commitment to outstanding, quality care.

Memorial’s Primary Care Stroke Center program was originally certified in 2010 through the success of the East Texas Stroke Initiative. The initiative was funded through the T.L.L. Temple Foundation and aimed to decrease the number of strokes in East Texas through a widespread community education program and advanced treatment modalities, while helping to restore quality of life for those who have suffered a stroke.

St. Luke’s Health Memorial underwent a rigorous onsite review for the voluntary re-certification process.  Joint Commission experts evaluated compliance with stroke-related standards and requirements, including program management, the delivery of clinical care and performance improvement.  It was determined Memorial continued to achieve the strict criteria maintained by the national organizations specifically earning 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. 

“CHI St. Luke’s Health Memorial has thoroughly demonstrated the greatest level of commitment to the care of stroke patients through its Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers,” said Michele Sacco, M.S., interim executive director, Certification Programs. “We commend Memorial for becoming a leader in stroke care providing a higher standard of service for stroke patients in its community.”

The certification, which occurs every two years, demonstrates that Memorial’s stroke program meets critical elements of performance to achieve long-term success in improving outcomes for stroke patients.

“We congratulate St. Luke’s Health for achieving this designation,” said Nancy Brown, chief executive officer, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. “By adhering to this very specific set of treatment guidelines Memorial has clearly made it a priority to deliver high quality care to all patients affected by stroke.”

Located in what is known as the “Stroke Belt” of the United States, residents in Lufkin and the surrounding deep East Texas region suffer from an elevated number of strokes each year. Stroke prevalence, incidence and mortality rates are currently higher than the national average.

“The certification provides us with the opportunity to highlight the exceptional stroke care we provide as well as to continually strive to advance our care even further,” said Shawn Barnett, St. Luke’s Health Memorial Chief Operating Officer and Lufkin President.

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.

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