The nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care has awarded St. Luke’s Health-Memorial Lufkin re-certification of its Primary Care Stroke Center.
This achievement highlights Memorial’s continued commitment to quality, affordable stroke care for East Texans.
Memorial’s Primary Care Stroke Center program, the first Joint Commission Certified Primary Stroke Center in East Texas, 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 an 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.
“It has been a long journey and a culmination of hard work from all of our staff — from nursing to administration to physicians to all of the caretakers for stroke patients at St. Luke’s Health and in this area,’’ said Dr. Sunil Cherry, the hospital’s medical director. ‘‘It makes us feel very good about what we do.’’
The certification, which occurs every two years, demonstrates Memorial’s stroke program meets critical elements of performance to achieve long-term success in improving outcomes for stroke patients.
“This is a culmination of hours and hours of work by our staff and shows our commitment to excellence at St. Luke’s Health-Memorial,” said Monte Bostwick, market president and hospital CEO. “I could not be prouder of our team. I am super excited about and it and looking forward to the future.”
Quality analyst Jacquie Evans said this achievement is another milestone in St. Luke’s Health-Memorial’s successful implementation of guideline-based treatment for stroke patients.
“It is our mission to help each stroke patient live their personal best life following a stroke,’’ she said. ‘‘To do so, we must remain diligent to not only have the techniques and technology but also give each patient the personal care needed to recover from a stroke.’’
Located in the “Stroke Belt” of the United States, residents in Lufkin and 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.
Cherry said the program has made great strides in the last 12 years in the treatment and prevention of stroke.
“The number of stroke patients seen at St. Luke’s Health-Memorial has gone up, the quality of care has significantly improved, making the Stroke Center a real asset to this community.”
He believes the future of the Stroke Center and the care for stroke patients looks great because there is a stronger core of local physicians, nurses and administrators who support the system.
He said the awards, including the re-certification by The Joint Commission, is a great show of what the future brings. And he said the partnership with Baylor St. Luke’s in Houston is another big aspect to the bright future of the stroke patients in this community.
“This type of certification means that the members of our community get access to the best stroke care that is offered anywhere in the world,” he said.