Date: 1/15/2013

Stroke Care Program Receives Certification from The Joint Commission

HOBART, IN — St. Mary Medical Center’s stroke care program has earned the Gold Seal of Approval™ from The Joint Commission for Primary Stroke Centers. St. Mary Medical Center was awarded this distinction after the Joint Commission conducted an on-site review of its stroke care program, treatment standards and guidelines, and preventive education.

“Our stroke team is dedicated to ensuring that stoke patients receive the highest quality care as quickly as possible, recognizing that the timely diagnosis and treatment can limit the amount of brain damage and complication risks,” said Janice Ryba, Chief Executive Officer of St. Mary Medical Center. “The Primary Stroke Center Certification from the Joint Commission serves as further confirmation that St. Mary Medical Center is at the forefront of cardiovascular care, stroke treatment and prevention.”

Each year about 700,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke, which is the nation’s third leading cause of death. Stroke is a leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States, with about 4.7 million stroke survivors alive today. A stroke takes place as the blood supply to part of the brain is interrupted or severely limited, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients. Within minutes, brain cells begin to die. Early treatment can make a big difference helping to limit damage to the brain and the potential for stroke complications.

St. Mary Medical Center’s Stroke Center of Excellence works to spread awareness of stroke symptoms and prevention, and to diagnose and treat stroke patients as quickly as possible. The center, which involves the services of Nursing, Radiology, Laboratory, Pharmacy, Emergency Medical Services and Rehabilitation, uses a multi-disciplinary approach to stroke management covering everything from stroke prevention and diagnosis to acute care and rehabilitation.

Stroke patients at St. Mary Medical Center benefit from individualized care that aims to optimize recovery and maximize independence. Members of the stroke team meet on a regular basis to review care guidelines and treatment regimens and analyze quality measures.

“St. Mary Medical Center has an expert stroke team that is tremendously engaged in implementing the stroke care protocol and partnering with physicians and other caregivers in continually evaluating that these standards are best serving the needs of our stroke patients,” said Mark Simaga, M.D., neurologist and director of Medical Staff at St. Mary Medical Center.

In addition to emergent and acute inpatient care for stroke patients, St. Mary Medical Center offers a full continuum of stroke treatment, rehabilitation and support, including inpatient and outpatient programs. Ongoing education for patients and families, and stroke support groups are also available to all stroke patients.

For more information about the accredited Stroke Center of Excellence at St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart, visit us online at or call 1-866-836-3477.