The Joint Commission Designates UM Stroke Center as "Comprehensive Stroke Center"

For immediate release: July 01, 2014


Sharon Boston

[email protected] | 410-328-8919

Recognition Places UMMC Among Nation’s Top Stroke Programs

Comprehensive Stroke CenterBaltimore, MD – The University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) is now among an elite group of medical institutions to achieve The Joint Commission’s Advanced Certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Center (CSC), a new designation awarded to fewer than 70 stroke centers in the United States.

The Joint Commission, an independent, not-for-profit organization that certifies hospitals and sets health care standards, awarded UMMC the designation after a rigorous application process. To become a Comprehensive Stroke Center, hospitals must demonstrate utilization of state-of-the-art technology (including advanced imaging capabilities), 24/7 availability of specialized treatments, and staff with the unique education and competencies to care for complex stroke patients.

“The Joint Commission designation as a Comprehensive Stroke Center represents the pinnacle of excellence in stroke care and reflects our commitment to providing the best care to our stroke patients. Having a neurocritical unit staffed by caregivers who are expert in stroke is integral to the care of complex stroke patients,” says Barney Stern, M.D., professor and interim chair of neurology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and director of the Comprehensive Stroke Center.

“Our integrated teams of specialized doctors, nurses, therapists and other health professionals work tirelessly to ensure our patients receive the best possible care,” adds Dr. Stern, who is a stroke specialist at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

The Joint Commission launched the CSC program in the fall of 2012 as a way to recognize a new level of certification for hospitals with the infrastructure, staff and training necessary to provide state-of-the art stroke care.

“The Joint Commission has set a high bar for the standards in comprehensive stroke care. We are proud of our stroke care team who exemplify UMMC’s leadership in time-sensitive critical care medicine,” says Jeffrey A. Rivest, president and chief executive officer of the University of Maryland Medical Center.

"By achieving this advanced certification, the University of Maryland Medical Center has thoroughly demonstrated the greatest level of commitment to the care of its patients with a complex stroke condition,” says Mark R. Chassin, M.D., FACP, M.P.P., M.P.H., president, The Joint Commission. “Certification is a voluntary process and The Joint Commission commends the University of Maryland Medical Center for successfully undertaking this challenge to elevate the standard of its care for the community it serves.”

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the number four cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke every year.

“Stroke can be a complex and challenging condition. At the University of Maryland Medical Center, we are continually striving to provide the best and most advanced care to our stroke patients. We are honored to receive this prestigious designation,” says Karen Yarbrough, RN, UMMC stroke program director.

About the University of Maryland Medical Center

The University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) is comprised of two hospitals in Baltimore: an 800-bed teaching hospital--the flagship institution of the 12-hospital University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) – and a 200-bed community teaching hospital, UMMC Midtown Campus. UMMC is national and regional referral center for trauma, cancer care, neurocare, cardiac care, diabetes and endocrinology, women's and children's health and physical rehabilitation and has one of the largest solid organ transplant programs in the country. All physicians on staff at the flagship hospital are faculty physicians of the University of Maryland School of Medicine. At UMMC Midtown Campus, faculty physicians work alongside community physicians to provide patients with the highest quality care. UMMC Midtown Campus was founded in 1881 and is located a mile away from the University Campus hospital.

About The Joint Commission

Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission evaluates and accredits more than 20,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States, including more than 10,600 hospitals and home care organizations, and more than 6,600 other health care organizations that provide long term care, behavioral health care, laboratory and ambulatory care services. The Joint Commission also certifies more than 2,400 disease-specific care programs such as stroke, heart failure, joint replacement and stroke rehabilitation, and 400 health care staffing services. An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation's oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Learn more about The Joint Commission at