Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) announced that it has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Heart-Check mark for Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Center. The Gold Seal of Approval® and the Heart-Check mark represent symbols of quality from their respective organizations.

The hospital has held this prestigious certification since 2009.

“I’m very proud to be part of a growing Primary Stroke Center where our patients receive the best and up-to-date care,” said Sandy Tackett, PMC trauma director and stroke program coordinator. “Our team works to exceed national benchmarks for stroke care and treatment, resulting in better outcomes for our patients.”

PMC underwent a rigorous onsite review in August of this year. Joint Commission experts evaluated compliance with stroke-related standards and requirements, including program management, the delivery of clinical care and performance improvement.

“PMC has thoroughly demonstrated the greatest level of commitment to the care of stroke patients through its Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers,” said Patrick Phelan, executive director, Hospital Business Development, The Joint Commission. “We commend PMC for becoming a leader in stroke care, potentially providing a higher standard of service for stroke patients in its community.”

“We congratulate PMC for achieving this designation,” said Nancy Brown, chief executive officer, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. “By adhering to this very specific set of treatment guidelines PMC has clearly made it a priority to deliver high quality care to all patients affected by stroke.”

“PMC is pleased to receive advanced certification from The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association,” said Primary Stroke Center Medical Director, Naveed Ahmed, MD. “The certification provides us with the opportunity to highlight the exceptional stroke care we provide, as well as to continually strive to advance our care even further,” Dr. Ahmed continued. “The success of the program depends on teamwork, but also depends on the support of our administration, with Mr. Donovan Blackburn helping the Stroke Program by bringing in the best equipment, making us a top-notch facility in Eastern Kentucky.”

“Pikeville Medical Center is committed to doing all we can to provide quality care to our stroke patients,” said PMC CEO Donavan Blackburn. “Receiving the Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers is a testament to the dedication of the health care professionals in the stroke program and everyone involved.”

Established in 2003, Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers is awarded for a two-year period to Joint Commission-accredited acute care hospitals.

“Stroke care has substantially evolved during the past several decades,” explained Tackett. “Pikeville Medical Center offers treatment, prevention, and rehabilitation for stroke patients.”

Stroke is the number four cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States, according to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. 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 each year.

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