Skip Navigation

Stroke Center at Sibley Memorial Hospital

Stroke Center Doctors Reviewing Scan

The Sibley Stroke Program is a center of excellence in stroke care. It brings together physicians and health care providers from multiple specialties to provide comprehensive evaluation and management of stroke patients. We aim to provide outstanding care to all patients with acute stroke. This includes diagnosis with the newest modalities: treatment with standard therapies such as tPA as well as innovative therapies; and state of the art hospital-based and post discharge care by nurses, therapists and physicians experienced in stroke.


Sibley Memorial Hospital is a Primary Stroke Center

The Joint Commission, in conjunction with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, has recognized Sibley Memorial Hospital with Advanced Certification as a Primary Stroke Center. This Primary Stroke Center certification and recertification means that the program has been evaluated by an independent organization and has been found to meet critical elements of performance needed to achieve long-term success in improving outcomes for stroke patients. Recertification is undertaken annually. This certification signifies our dedication to fostering better outcomes for patients. 

Sibley underwent a rigorous on-site review in October 2014. A Joint Commission expert reviewed Sibley’s compliance with the requirements for The Joint Commission’s Disease-Specific Care Certification program as well as primary stroke center requirements, such as collecting Joint Commission core measure data and using it for performance improvement activities.

Developed in collaboration with the American Stroke Association and launched in 2003, The Joint Commission’s Primary Stroke Center Certification program is based on the Brain Attack Coalition’s Recommendations for the Establishment of Primary Stroke Centers. Certification is available only to stroke programs in Joint Commission-accredited acute care hospitals.

Our Approach to Stroke Care

  • Within minutes of a patient arriving at Sibley with stroke symptoms, the Stroke Response Team is activated to ensure rapid assessment and treatment. The first step in treatment is to diagnose the cause of the stroke. A CT scan or MRI is performed look at the brain in order to determine if the stroke is a result of bleeding (known as a hemorrhagic stroke) or of blockage due to a blood clot (known as a ischemic stroke).

    In the event of a major stroke, Sibley has the technology and trained staff needed to provide the best emergency treatment. Our stroke center also may administer tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), a protein that breaks down blood clots within a patient’s body; when injected, tPA can help dissolve the blockage causing stroke symptoms.

    Utilizing the expertise of our stroke response professionals and the emergency department team, Sibley offers patients suffering from strokes the best possible start to their recovery.

  • When a patient is admitted to our dedicated inpatient Stroke Unit or ICU, all the services they need are available in one location, delivered by an interdisciplinary team of medical professionals who are specifically trained and certified to assess and treat stroke patients. A neurologist is available 24/7 to provide immediate treatment. Our nurses undergo in-depth training and continuing education to ensure they provide the very best care to patients recovering from stroke; intensive rehabilitation begins right away.

    At Sibley, we utilize a multidisciplinary team approach to provide the best care possible to each and every patient. The stroke team includes the following:

    • Emergency Department Physicians
    • Stroke Neurologists
    • Intensivists
    • Cardiologists
    • Medical Hospitalists
    • Stroke Team Coordinators
    • Physical Therapists
    • Speech and Language Therapists
    • Occupational Therapists
    • Case Coordinators
    • Dieticians
    • Pharmacists
    • Registered Nurses
    • Patient Care Technicians

    With the patient’s and family members’ involvement, our team develops a customized treatment plan that takes into account the patient’s overall condition, special needs, personal goals and specific challenges. Physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech pathologists work with the patient as soon as possible to help him or her regain strength and coordination. Patients are taught techniques and tools to make everyday activities simpler and safer as recovery continues at home.

  • A quarter of strokes in the U.S. are recurrent, according to The National Stroke Association. Accordingly, the stroke staff at Sibley educates patients and family members on methods to prevent future strokes and promote wellness. The treatment team emphasizes the importance of healthy living and stroke risk factor reduction, emphasizing the importance of a healthy diet and exercise. A pharmacist is available to discuss medications and the importance of taking them as prescribed. The case coordinator helps patients and their families prepare to return home, arranges for outpatient therapy and services and when necessary facilitates the transfer of the patient to an inpatient rehabilitation facility.

  • If you or someone you care for has had a stroke, join us via Zoom to learn and share experiences. On the first Wednesday of every month at 1 p.m., our virtual meetings provide social support, relevant guest speakers and discussion. Connecting with other survivors and caregivers to share experiences, information and advice can be incredibly beneficial. For more information, please contact Amy Chew, community resource assistance, Stroke Team, at [email protected].

    When: The first Wednesday of the month from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
    Where: ZOOM:

    The Stroke Support Group meets virtually on the first Wednesday of each month. View the Community Event Calendar for information on upcoming sessions.

Bundled Payment for Care Improvement Advanced (BPCI Advanced) 

As of October 1, 2018, Sibley Memorial Hospital is participating in a Medicare initiative called the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Advanced (BPCI Advanced) Model focusing on inpatient and post-discharge care for stroke patients. As a participant, Sibley Memorial Hospital will work with Medicare to improve care for patients.

The BPCI Advanced Model is an innovative Medicare initiative that encourages doctors, hospitals and other health care providers to work more closely together so patients get better care during and following certain hospital stays. In this initiative, doctors and hospitals may work closely with certain health care providers and suppliers that help patients recover after discharge from the hospital, including skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, inpatient rehabilitation facilities and long term care hospitals. By working together, the health care providers are trying to more efficiently provide well-managed, high-quality, patient-centered care for stroke patients. 

Philanthropy In Action

The Advanced Stroke Life Support training of nine RNs was funded by the Sibley Foundation. An anonymous donor gave $1 million to fund the Stroke Program.

Donations have made it possible to provide services and support the highest quality of care.

Patient Resources

  • American Stroke Association

    The American Heart Association created the Dallas-based American Stroke Association as a division in 1998. 

    7272 Greenville Avenue
    Dallas, TX  75231
    Phone: 888-478-7653

    A toll-free referral and information line, free stroke materials, daily living tips, referrals to stroke support groups, a national stroke support group registry, and the Stroke Connection Magazine. The Stroke Family, “Warmline,” also offers many educational support services for stroke survivors, caregivers, family members, and health care professionals.

    The American Heart Association provides information on cholesterol reduction, lifestyle changes, managing stress, medicine management, physical activity, recipe modification, quitting smoking, and weight loss.

    Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases

    Stroke Statistics and Maps

    Up-to-date facts, statistics, maps, and other information related to stroke in these reports and resources.

    View from Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Atlas of Stroke Mortality

    The Atlas of Stroke Mortality: Racial, Ethnic, and Geographic Disparities in the United States is the third in a series of CDC atlases related to cardiovascular disease, which have been published through a collaboration between CDC, West Virginia University, and the University of South Florida. In this section, you can view national and state maps that show local disparities in stroke death rates for the five largest racial and ethnic groups in the United States. 

    The Brain Attack Coalition

    Coalition provides guidelines, pathways, orders, and links for developing and implementing systems to enable the rapid diagnosis and treatment of acute stroke: stroke scales, information for the public, links to educational materials. 

    View website.

  • Public Health Service – Agency for Health Care Policy and Research.

    Governmental publications are available on many stroke-related topics. 


    Public Health Service – National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

    This institute receives funding from the National Institutes of Health and provides clinical information packets on stroke.

    P.O. Box 5801
    Bethesda, MD  20824

  • American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

    This center is an automated line that provides listings of physiatrists in local areas.

    1 IBM Plaza
    Chicago, IL  60611
    Phone: 312-464-9700

    American Occupational Therapy Association

    This association helps people locate occupational therapists in their local area.

    4720 Montgomery Lane
    Bethesda, MD  20814
    Phone: 301-652-2682

    American Physical Therapy Association 

    1111 North Fairfax Street
    Alexandria, VA  22314
    Phone: 800-999-2782 or 703-684-2782

    American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

    10801 Rockville Pike
    Rockville, MD  20852
    800-638-8255 or 301-498-2071

    This organization can provide a list of speech therapists in your state.

    National Aphasia Association

    29 John Street, Suite 1103
    New York, NY  10038

    This organization provides information and support services for people living with aphasia.

    National Association of Social Workers

    750 1st Street, NE, Suite 700
    Washington, DC  20002
    800-638-8799 or 202-408-8600

    This national association provides a list of local social workers.

    National Easter Seal Society

    230 West Monroe Street, Suite 1800
    Chicago, IL  60606

    This organization helps people with disabilities achieve independence by locating funding sources to assist with medical and assistive equipment and medical bills (on occasion).

    National Rehabilitation Information Center

    4200 Forbes Blvd., Suite 202
    Lanham, MD  20706

    This toll-free number provides information on types of rehabilitation, adaptive devices, and other aids for recovery.

    Vocational Services for the Disabled


    A New York-based service that refers consumers to local state offices providing vocational and educational services for people with disabilities.

  • Eldercare Locator

    927 15th Street, NW  6th Floor
    Washington, DC  20005

    A nationwide database that gives caregivers access to local area resources that provide care to older people.

    Family Caregiver Alliance

    690 Market, Suite 600
    San Francisco, CA  94104

    This organization provides caregiver support and educational opportunities through research, advocacy, legal consultation, and training workshops.

    Flying Wheels Travel

    143 West Bridge Street
    P.O. Box 382
    Owatonna, MN  55060

    This for-profit travel agency provides worldwide travel assistance for the disabled for leisure and vacation purposes only.

    National Council on Aging

    409 Third Street, SW, Suite 200
    Washington, DC  20024

    This organization provides lists of  community resources that help improve the quality of life for older people.

    Caregiver Action Network

    10400 Connecticut Ave., Suite 500
    Kensington, MD  20895


    AARP provides information on aging and senior citizens. It also has literature for a variety of health and benefit questions important to seniors.

    601 E Street, NW
    Washington, DC  20049
    Phone: 800-424-2277

  • American Association of Suicidology

    4201 Connecticut Avenue, Suite 408
    Washington, DC  20008

    This association provides information on suicide and a referral to the nearest suicide crisis center in your area.

    American Psychiatric Association

    1400 K Street, NW
    Washington, DC  20005

    This organization provides information on choosing a psychiatrist, as well as research on emotional illness.

    National Foundation for Depressive Illness

    P.O. Box 2257
    New York, NY  10116

    This foundation provides information and referrals to the public about depressive illnesses.

  • Medicare Hotline


    Call this toll-free number for information about Medicare and financial assistance for people age 65 and over. They can also help find medical specialists in local areas.

    National Insurance Consumer Helpline

    110 William Street
    New York, NY  10038

    This toll-free number gives assistance with questions about health and life insurance, as well as information about individual health insurance companies.

    Social Security


    A national, toll-free number that provides assistance with Social Security benefit questions and makes referrals to local Social Security offices.

  • ADA Helpline – Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

    P.O. Box 12549
    Cincinnati, OH  45212-0549

    This commission has a toll-free number for information about discrimination against people with disabilities for the workforce.

    Higher Education and Training for People With Handicaps


    This number is an automated information line that provides information on post-secondary education for the disabled.

    IBM’s National Support Center for People With Disabilities 


    This clearinghouse helps health care leaders, agency directors, policy makers, employers, educators, public officials, and individuals learn how computers can enhance the quality of life in the school, home, and workplace for people with disabilities.

  • Center for Parent Information and Resources

    P.O. Box 1492
    Washington, DC  20013

    This agency is an information, resource, and policy center focusing on adolescents with chronic illnesses and disabilities, and the issues surrounding their transition to adult life.

back to top button