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UPMC Harrisburg designated Thrombectomy-Capable Stroke Center by The Joint Commission


April 11, 2024

HARRISBURG, Pa. — UPMC Harrisburg has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® and the American Stroke Association’s Heart-Check mark for Thrombectomy-Capable Stroke Center Certification. The designation is evidence of UPMC’s commitment to providing excellent stroke care for patients in the central Pennsylvania region.

“This is a sign to our community that we’re ready to provide top-quality stroke care anywhere in the region, when every minute truly matters,” said Brandon Wattai, Stroke Program Director for UPMC in Central PA. “The Joint Commission recognized that our care teams, emergency medical services partners, and support staff are highly coordinated in our efforts to help patients get rapidly treated for and recover from strokes.”

Thrombectomy is the surgical removal of blood clots from the brain and if performed promptly, can help reduce the risk of severe disability or death by restoring blood flow as quickly as possible. While the procedure is performed solely at UPMC Harrisburg, patients across UPMC in Central Pa.’s network have access to this care thanks to careful coordination between UPMC in Central Pa. hospitals and emergency medical services teams. This follows rapid detection using advanced AI-enhanced neuroimaging available at all sites, and real-time virtual collaboration on patient cases with Pittsburgh-based vascular neurologists.

“Congratulations to our exceptional physicians, care teams, administrative staff, and emergency medical services teams on achieving this designation,” said Elizabeth Ritter, president, UPMC Harrisburg. “This recognition by The Joint Commission is a testament to your teamwork and compassionate care and is just another example of how UPMC delivers life changing medicine in central Pennsylvania.”

UPMC in Central Pa.’s Stroke Program underwent a rigorous onsite review in February. Joint Commission standards are developed in consultation with health care experts and providers, measurement experts and patients. The reviewers also conducted onsite observations and interviews and noted that care teams demonstrated excellent communication, coordination with emergency medical services, and a passion about their roles in caring for patients and striving for the highest levels of quality.

“Thrombectomy-Capable Stroke Center Certification recognizes healthcare organizations committed to striving for excellence and fostering continuous improvement in patient safety and quality of care,” said Ken Grubbs, DNP, MBA, RN, executive vice president of Accreditation and Certification Operations and chief nursing officer, The Joint Commission. “We commend UPMC for using The Joint Commission certification process to reduce variation in clinical processes and to strengthen its clinical program to drive safer, higher quality and more compassionate care for individuals served.”

For more information, visit The Joint Commission website.

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