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Sentara Obici Hospital Earns National Stroke Certification 

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Western Tidewater Hospital Named in Virginia’s Top-rated Stroke Centers

Suffolk, Virginia (September 13, 2011) – The stroke program at Sentara Obici Hospital in Suffolk, Virginia, gains national recognition as a Certified Primary Stroke Center. This certification places the only hospital serving Western Tidewater among Virginia’s and the nation’s top-rated stroke centers.

 Sentara Obici Hospital Stroke program Medical Director Tha Thomas U, MD
Sentara Obici Hospital
is acclaimed by Joint Commission for using proven methods to achieve better outcomes for stroke patients.  With this certification, Sentara Obici Hospital joins other top-rated and quality stroke centers in Virginia and is the sixth Sentara hospital in Hampton Roads to gain this recognition.

“This is an achievement for our community. Receiving certification is proof of the quality care we’ve always provided,” says Kurt Hofelich, president of Sentara Obici Hospital. Hofelich adds he appreciates staff efforts to gain this voluntary certification and educate the community on recognizing signs and symptoms of stroke.

The Joint Commission, a national hospital accrediting organization, certifies top-rated stroke programs based on quality and safety measures in three areas: compliance with national standards for stroke care, clinical guidelines for care; and performance measurement guidelines.  The evaluation involved a rigorous on-site review by a Joint Commission stroke care expert.

“As the only hospital in Western Tidewater, Sentara Obici Hospital being named a primary stroke center gives our community assurance of the excellent stroke care it has been receiving,” says the hospital’s stroke program medical director Tha Thomas U, MD, a neurologist with Sentara Medical Group who treats stroke patients.

Certification demonstrates a facility is patient-centered; employs performance measures to promote ongoing improvement in health status; encourages communication among the provider team; uses nationally recognized guidelines; and evaluates its care delivery sites to help put quality where it counts.

Stroke Belt
Virginia is within the Stroke Belt of the U.S. where mortality rates for stroke are higher than the rest of the nation. Stroke is third leading cause of death in the U.S. and every 40 seconds someone in America has a stroke. About 795,000 Americans will suffer a stroke this year with about one quarter being under the age of 65. It’s estimated about 232,000 Americans will die from stroke this year. 

Can you recognize the stroke symptoms?
Remember to think and act F.A.S.T. by doing this test.

F= Face          Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
A=Arm            Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S=Speech     Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Does the speech sound slurred or 
T=Time          If you observe any of these signs, it’s time to call 9-1-1. Studies show stroke
                        patients who arrive at the hospital by ambulance receive quicker treatment than
                        those who arrive on their own.

If you think someone may be experiencing stroke symptoms, act F.A.S.T. and call 911.

Related Links:
Sentara Obici Hospital
Sentara Neurosciences
Sentara Stroke Centers
Sentara Stroke Program
The Joint Commission - Primary Stroke Center Certification

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