St. Francis Medical Center has received The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® and the American Stroke Association’s Heart-Check mark for Advanced Certification as a Primary Stroke Center. This achievement effectively continues the hospital’s certification status since it first earned this recognition in July 2014, when the hospital joined the Los Angeles County stroke care network.

St. Francis Medical Center underwent a rigorous, unannounced onsite review on July 9, 2021. During the visit, a team of Joint Commission reviewers evaluated compliance with related certification standards, including program management, supporting self-management and delivering and facilitating clinical care. Joint Commission standards are developed in consultation with healthcare experts and providers, measurement experts and patients. The reviewers also conducted onsite observations and interviews.

St. Francis Medical Center Stroke Program Medical Director Amir Zangiabadi, MD, said the team was well-prepared for the onsite review. “St. Francis Medical Center’s stroke program is a collaborative commitment shared by the doctors, nurses, therapists, dietitians and other specialists who provide the very best care to stroke patients every day along with our partners at EMS and collaborating first responders. Through the team’s focus on delivering evidence-based treatment, we meet or exceed program standards, clinical practice guidelines and performance measurements that comprise The Joint Commission criteria and form the foundation for consistency of care and improved patient outcomes.”

St. Francis Medical Center treats more than 300 stroke patients each year. As an approved Stroke Receiving Center by Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services, it provides immediate life-saving care and access for the community when minutes matter. In addition to critical treatment services, St. Francis also advances awareness and prevention through ongoing community education and outreach.

“Advanced Primary Stroke Center Certification recognizes healthcare organizations committed to fostering continuous quality improvement in patient safety and quality of care,” said Mark Pelletier, RN, MS, chief operating officer, Accreditation and Certification Operations, and chief nursing executive, The Joint Commission. “We commend St. Francis Medical Center for using certification to reduce variation in its clinical processes and to strengthen its program structure and management framework for stroke patients.”

Nancy Brown, chief executive officer, American Stroke Association, said, “We congratulate St. Francis Medical Center for this outstanding achievement. This certification reflects its commitment to providing the highest quality of care for stroke patients.”

St. Francis Medical Center Interim Chief Executive Officer Kristin Christophersen, DNP, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, CENP, CPHQ, CLSSGB, FACHE, said proudly, “Earning advanced certification as a primary stroke center from The Joint Commission is something we were absolutely committed to achieving. Through the hard work and dedication of our Stroke Care Team, we are ensuring our community has access to essential stroke care and preserving life and quality of life for patients and families.”

Certificate of Distinction

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