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Virginia Mason Medical Center (VM) announced today the formal dedication of The Stroke Center at Virginia Mason, designed to bring expert stroke services in the areas of prevention, treatment and rehabilitation to the region. The official establishment of The Stroke Center at Virginia Mason is the culmination of years of experience and commitment to providing the highest quality stroke services available.

The Stroke Center team will be led by Neurology Section Head Michael A. Elliott, MD, who has been named medical director. A coordinated team approach to care with excellence in neurosciences, cardiovascular, interventional radiology along with rehabilitation programs is the core strength of the center. A board-certified neurologist leads each patient care team, providing oversight of a stroke patient’s treatment from the minute they enter the hospital.

Virginia Mason is rated “Best in the Seattle region” for treatment of stroke* by HealthGrades, the health care quality company. This five-star rating represents the highest mark of excellence and is based on quality medical outcomes.

“Stroke treatment managed quickly can minimize potential long-term impairment and disability. The fact that every member of our acute stroke team is based within our hospital and adjacent clinic is a real advantage to our patients,” explains Dr. Elliott. “An ideal stroke patient work up happens within three hours and time is of the essence.”

Outstanding Virginia Mason stroke treatment services include:
  • 24-hour MRI scan ability and 24-hour CT scan ability not found in many service settings
  • Cutting-edge neuro-imaging technology
  • A team approach to care — a dedicated stroke team with integrated services throughout the continuity of care
  • Exceptional surgical treatment options
  • Interventional neuro-radiology expertise with advanced endovascular therapies such as coiling and stent procedures.
  • Clinical Excellence. The 2004 HealthGrades Distinguished Hospital Award, ranking Virginia Mason among the top 5 percent of Acute-Care Hospitals in the country, underscores our focus on clinical excellence.
The Stroke Center at Virginia Mason has established an integrated stroke care plan with prevention services throughout the medical center network and acute-care and rehabilitation services located at the Seattle Main Campus. Virginia Mason’s efforts to prevent stroke have resulted in the identification of 24,000 high-risk patients in the last two years. VM’s team of primary care physicians, nurses, pharmacists and specialists provided these patients with vascular risk assessments and appropriate treatment. Excellent Care
Virginia Mason Medical Center meets the criteria to be named a Primary Stroke Center as identified by the American Heart Association and by National Stroke Association guidelines. Virginia Mason is applying to be an early adopter of the Primary Stroke Center Certification through the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (JCAHO). A commitment to attaining these certifications underscores Virginia Mason’s pursuit of excellence in patient care.

Stroke patients represent the highest volume diagnosis in Virginia Mason’s Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Section. Virginia Mason’s rehabilitation program has more certified rehabilitation nurses than any other center in the Seattle area. The Rehab Unit uses Uniform Data System Functional Improvement Measures (UDSFIM) and achieves stroke rehabilitation success rates that are in the top 5 percent nationally.

Rehabilitation goals include minimizing impairment, disability and activity limitations. “Our care teams work with patients to ensure a successful transition home, positive re-entry to the work force and sustained success with their rehabilitation,” says Michael S. Weinstein, MD, medical director, Neurological Rehabilitation Services.

Prevention is crucial to the management of the onset of a stroke. Virginia Mason offers a stroke and heart attack risk reduction program to diminish risks such as elevated blood cholesterol, blood sugar, high blood pressure, smoking, sedentary lifestyles and excess weight. In addition, for the past 12 years Virginia Mason has had a unique management program for patients prone to experience cardio-embolic stroke. Approximately 5,000 such patients who enrolled in VM’s integrated anticoagulation clinics have had a 70 percent lower risk of stroke compared to published benchmarks. Virginia Mason’s model has been adopted by other facilities in the United States and Canada.

May is National Stroke Awareness Month
Stroke is the number three killer of Americans. Virginia Mason follows prevention guidelines set forth by the National Stroke Association and encourages regular blood pressure screenings. For helpful tips on stroke prevention, please visit Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention Guidelines.

Virginia Mason Medical Center, founded in 1920, is a non-profit comprehensive regional health care system that combines a primary and specialty care group practice of nearly 400 physicians with a 336-bed acute care Seattle hospital. In addition, Virginia Mason has a network of clinics located throughout the Puget Sound area, and manages Bailey-Boushay House, a nursing residence and adult day health program for people living with HIV and AIDS. Virginia Mason also has an internationally recognized research center, Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason.

*based on in-hospital mortality rates

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