Johns Hopkins Medicine
Office of Corporate Communications
Media Contacts:    
   The Johns Hopkins Hospital
Trent Stockton;  [email protected]  410-955-8665
   Hopkins Bayview
Sandy Reckert; [email protected] 410-550-0128

May 24, 2005    


Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and The Johns Hopkins Hospital have earned the Gold Seal of Approval™ for stroke care from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). Hopkins Bayview achieved its designation in January and JHH did so in May. Both are among the first hospitals in Maryland to be awarded the distinct Primary Stroke Center Certification.

JCAHO’s certification program, launched in 2003 as the nation’s first, is based on nationally recognized standards and guidelines published by the Brain Attack Coalition and the American Stroke Association.

“Achieving certification means we have clearly demonstrated the effectiveness of our stroke care programs and that means improved outcomes for our patients," says Edward D. Miller, M.D., dean and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine. “We are pleased that both of our programs, which work closely together sharing faculty, clinicians and resources, have achieved high praise and recognition.”

Each year, nearly 700,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke, the nation's third leading cause of death. Caused by blockages or ruptures in blood vessels located in the brain, stroke is a leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States. Some 4.7 million Americans are coping with the aftermath of stroke today.

"To receive this recognition means a great deal to both of our institutions, our stroke care teams, and the communities we serve," says Rafael Llinas, M.D., director of the Stroke Center at Hopkins Bayview. “The JCAHO certification affirms the ongoing excellent and high-quality care we've been providing to stroke patients for years.”

According to the American Stroke Association, the certification program was designed to address the serious fragmentation of stroke care in the United States. “Patients have a right to expect that services related to prevention, acute treatment or rehabilitation will be integrated, “ says Eric Aldrich, M.D., medical director of the Stroke Center at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. “They have a right to expect that when they need help, a team of providers, beginning with the person who answers the phone when you call 9-1-1, will know what to do.”

Fortunately for Maryland residents, Aldrich adds, the state is among the leaders in this country for providing emergency medical services and soon will be among the first with a statewide stroke-response plan. Once the plan is implemented, any patient identified as showing signs of stroke within three hours will be transported to one of the designated stroke centers for state of the art stroke therapy.

Because many who experience a stroke will be unable to call for help on their own, prevention includes community education programs to increase stroke symptom awareness. One example, currently under way, is a partnership among 10 hospitals in the Baltimore and Annapolis area that have pooled resources to buy ads that describe early warning symptoms of stroke, including numbness on one side of the body, sudden confusion, dizziness and severe headache and trouble speaking. (For a complete list of symptoms, go to .)

The partnership, whose campaign is based on the public service campaign initiated by the American Stroke Association and the Ad Council, is using television, radio and print media. Along with Hopkins and Bayview, participating hospitals include Anne Arundel Medical Center, Franklin Square Hospital Center, Good Samaritan Hospital, Mercy Medical Center, Sinai Hospital, St. Agnes Hospital, St. Joseph Medical Center, and the University of Maryland Medical Center.

 For information about JHH and Hopkins Bayview stroke treatment programs, visit

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