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Barnes-Jewish Hospital receives advanced certification for Comprehensive Stroke Centers

  • June 20, 2013
  • Number of views: 5302

ST. LOUIS – The Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Hospital Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center is the first in Missouri to achieve Comprehensive Stroke Center certification. The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association certify Comprehensive Stroke Centers as industry leaders responsible for setting the national agenda in highly-specialized stroke care.

Comprehensive Stroke Center certification recognizes stroke centers that have state-of-the-art infrastructure, staff and training to receive and treat patients with the most complex strokes. Washington University and Barnes-Jewish underwent a rigorous onsite review in early April 2013.

“Comprehensive Stroke Center certification strengthens our partnerships with other hospitals throughout the region to provide a full service stroke system of care,” says Mary Spencer, MSN, RN, neuroscience program director at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.  “It validates our mission to improve stroke care locally and regionally, providing the highest level of stroke treatment available while allowing patients and families to remain in their communities.”

The Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center at Barnes-Jewish was recognized by The Joint Commission as the first Primary Stroke Center in Missouri in 2005. Comprehensive certification expands on the criteria for Advanced Primary Stroke Centers, recognizing the significant differences in resources, staff and training that are necessary for the treatment of complex stroke cases, such as brain aneurysms.

  Comprehensive certification expands on criteria for Advanced Primary Stroke Centers. Click here to learn more.  

“What makes Comprehensive Stroke Centers truly comprehensive is the coordination of the entire spectrum of stroke care in a community, as well as the full spectrum of stroke treatment, from clot-dissolving medicine to complex interventions and surgery for brain aneurysms,” says David Carpenter, MD, a Washington University vascular neurologist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

The Joint Commission requires Comprehensive Stroke Centers to have the human and hardware resources to perform emergent neurosurgical or endovascular procedures, as well as the capability to perform advanced imaging during the hyperacute phase of stroke. Qualified centers must also participate in stroke research and coordinate the care of stroke patients with emergency medical services across the region. Another key difference is the requirement that Comprehensive Stroke Centers must coordinate post-hospital care for patients.

"Current evidence indicates that the best possible outcome in stroke is achieved when acute interventions are paired with intense and specialized rehabilitation in the first few weeks of care," says Maurizio Corbetta, MD, Washington University neurorehabilitation specialist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and the Rehabilitation Institute of St. Louis. "In addition to developing novel strategies for care delivery and interventions that we hope will improve stroke outcomes, we are also committed to state-of-the-art rehabilitation." 

For a side-by-side comparison of Comprehensive Stroke Center and Primary Stroke Center certification criteria, visit

For more information on The Joint Commission and American Heart Association’s Advanced Certification for Comprehensive Stroke Center visit or


Barnes-Jewish Hospital is a 1,315 bed teaching hospital affiliated with Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo. The hospital has a 1,763 member medical staff, with many recognized as Best Doctors in America. Barnes-Jewish is a member of BJC HealthCare, which provides a full range of health care services through its 13 hospitals and more than 100 health care sites in Missouri and Illinois. U.S. News & World Report consistently recognizes Barnes-Jewish and Washington University in its elite Honor Roll of America’s Best Hospitals, with a current ranking of sixth in the nation.


Becky Cowin
[email protected]

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