Published: Feb. 11, 2013

MSU, Sparrow named Michigan’s first Comprehensive Stroke Center

Contact(s): Andy McGlashen Media Communications office: (517) 355-2281

The Sparrow Stroke Center, in collaboration with Michigan State University, has achieved recognition as the first facility in Michigan and one of only about 20 nationally to be certified as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by the Joint Commission.

Nearly every family in America has been impacted by stroke in some way; stroke is the fourth-leading cause of death in the United States and the leading cause for disability among adults. The Comprehensive Stroke Center designation recognizes elite hospital stroke programs that have the infrastructure, well-trained caregivers and state-of-the-art equipment to diagnose and treat patients with the most complex strokes.

To earn the certification from the Joint Commission – an independent nonprofit that certifies health care facilities in the United States – providers must demonstrate a multidisciplinary approach to stroke. The foundation for this designation was laid by the collaborative efforts between stroke specialists at Sparrow, MSU’s Department of Neurology and Ophthalmology, MSU HealthTeam and Lansing Neurosurgery to treat complex stroke patients.

James Cady, 42, of Lansing suffered a massive stroke and was promptly treated at the center, which is staffed by physicians from Sparrow and MSU HealthTeam. He has made a remarkable recovery with barely any residual effects from his stroke and continues to receive rehabilitative treatment.

“The care from Sparrow and MSU is top-notch,” Cady said. “My stroke was serious enough that I could have died. Instead, I’m able to continue my active lifestyle as a runner thanks to the excellent care I receive. When it comes to stroke, other hospitals in Michigan can’t compete.”

According to the American Stroke Association, nearly 800,000 Americans suffer a stroke each year. That means on average a stroke occurs every 40 seconds. Many are fatal, with an American dying of a stroke about every four minutes. Often, patients who survive will face a lifetime of serious physical disabilities.

During a rigorous evaluation process that included a two-day site visit, Joint Commission experts reviewed the center’s compliance with the Comprehensive Stroke Center standards and requirements, including advanced imaging capabilities, 24/7 availability of specialized treatments and staff with the unique education and competencies to care for patients with complex strokes.

The Sparrow Stroke Center also is at the forefront of stroke research, with experts in neurology, neurosurgery, cardiology, radiology, critical care, emergency medicine, nursing, rehabilitation services and other fields.

“We are honored to have met the Joint Commission’s very rigorous standards and to put Sparrow on the map as a truly world-class stroke center,” said Syed Hussain, medical director of stroke services at Sparrow and an MSU HealthTeam neurologist. “Michigan State University and Sparrow are committed to constantly improving the quality of our care and providing patients the best possible treatment at all stages of stroke.”

The Sparrow Stroke Center has been nationally recognized for excellent service for nearly a decade, earning numerous awards such as the distinction of a Gold Plus Performer by the American Stroke Association and was first certified as a Primary Stroke Center in 2004.

“The groundbreaking work that’s being done at our stroke center is helping to save lives and prevent future strokes from occurring,” said Tom Ostrander, Sparrow vice president of professional services.

The Sparrow Stroke Center also is ranked among the nation’s fastest for the delivery of powerful stroke-stopping treatments, making it one of America’s best hospitals for stroke treatment.

“We are so pleased to help bring this level of care to the Lansing area,” said Richard T. Ward, CEO of MSU HealthTeam. “Our combined clinical capabilities mean patients here have access to the best medical expertise not just in stroke, but in a wide range of health conditions.”

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