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Memorial Medical Center Earns Highest National Designation for Comprehensive Stroke Center

For the third time, Memorial Medical Center has earned the nation’s highest designation for stroke care – one of only 19 hospitals in Illinois to achieve that level of certification.

The nonprofit hospital’s certification as a comprehensive stroke center, a level of care achieved by an estimated 300 of the nation’s 5,600 hospitals, recognizes Memorial for its ability to provide expert, around-the-clock care for the most complex stroke patients.

Memorial Medical Center treats an estimated 1,200 stroke cases annually. Of the 19 Illinois hospitals to achieve the comprehensive stroke designation, Memorial is one of only three hospitals outside of the Chicago region.

“When treating stroke, every second counts,” Tiffany Whitaker, director of Memorial's Comprehensive Stroke Center, said. “As the only comprehensive stroke center serving the southern half of Illinois, Memorial is committed to providing the best level of care for stroke, from the emergency department to rehabilitation.”

Memorial Medical Center has been accredited by The Joint Commission as a primary stroke center since 2010 and was first certified as a comprehensive stroke center in 2015 and again in 2017.

The certification means that Memorial has highly qualified physicians in key medical specialties (including neurology, neurosurgery, diagnostic and interventional neuroradiology, and emergency medicine), hospital staff with unique and ongoing training, and the latest technology to provide each patient with a full spectrum of treatment options and interventions, Whitaker said.

Memorial’s comprehensive, interdisciplinary stroke team has the capability to quickly evaluate stroke symptoms using advanced medical imaging and deliver time-sensitive treatments and procedures to prevent death and life-altering disabilities.

The stroke team at Memorial includes board-certified physicians and surgeons from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Clinical Radiologists, Mid-America Emergency Physicians and Springfield Clinic, in addition to health care professionals from a variety of clinical disciplines.

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and the leading cause of adult disability in Illinois, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Requirements for a comprehensive stroke center include having the infrastructure, staff and training resources to provide state-of-the-art care to all stroke patients; providing a dedicated neurointensive-care unit with round-the-clock neurointensive care for complex stroke patients; and using advanced imaging capabilities.

 “We are extremely proud of the dedication and expertise of Memorial’s stroke team, of their achievement in attaining this elite national designation as a comprehensive stroke center, and the opportunity to provide the highest level of stroke care to the patients, families and communities we serve,” Whitaker said.

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