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Providence Saint Joseph Medical Named LA County's Third Primary Stroke Center

Designation Follows HealthGrades Award for Being in Top 5% Nationwide in

Stroke Care

BURBANK, Calif., April 9, 2008 /PRNewswire/ -- Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center has received the Gold Seal of Approval(TM) from The Joint Commission for Advanced Primary Stroke Centers, becoming only the third hospital in Los Angeles County to receive this designation.

This distinction follows a recent honor by HealthGrades(R), the nation's leading healthcare ratings company, that ranks Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center among the top 5 percent in the nation for the treatment of stroke.

"I am proud that the Joint Commission has recognized the great work our physicians, nurses and staff are doing to treat and care for stroke patients," said Melvin Belafsky, M.D., a neurologist who is Medical Director of the Providence Saint Joseph Stroke Center. "We are committed to remaining in the forefront in the prevention of stroke, and in the treatment and care of stroke patients."

Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center currently treats more than 500 stroke patients each year. Stroke is the third leading cause of death and the leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States.

"Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center demonstrated its stroke care follows national standards and guidelines that can significantly improve outcomes for stroke patients," said Jean E. Range, M.S., RN, C.P.H.Q., executive director, Disease-Specific Care Certification, Joint Commission.

Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center places a major emphasis in treating and preventing stroke and other neurologically-involved disorders. The medical center will soon open the $11 million Neuroscience Unit as part of the Hycy and Howard Hill Neuroscience Institute, only the second of its kind in Los Angeles County and the first in the San Fernando Valley. Renowned TV personality and American Bandstand host Dick Clark, who was cared for at Providence Saint Joseph after he suffered a stroke, and his wife Kari are honorary co-chairs of the Neuroscience Institute's fundraising campaign.

As a Primary Stroke Center, Providence Saint Joseph also participates in research, including a current trial conducted by the University of California, Los Angeles on methods to reduce the severity of long-term disabilities of patients who suffer a stroke.

In addition, Providence Saint Joseph holds two support groups for stroke victims, including one for young people who are stricken by a stroke in the midst of their working careers.

Founded in 1951, the Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve the safety and quality of care provided to the public through the provision of health care accreditation and related services that support performance improvement in health care organizations.

The Joint Commission's Primary Stroke Center Certification is based on the recommendations for primary stroke centers published by the Brain Attack Coalition and the American Stroke Association's statements/guidelines for stroke care. The Joint Commission launched the program -- the nation's first -- in 2003.

For more information on the Primary Stroke Center at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center, call toll free 1-888-HEALING (1-888-432-5464) or visit

SOURCE Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center
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