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Legacy Mount Hood earns Certificate of Distinction as a Primary Stroke Center

The national certification by the Joint Commission recognizes the center's efforts to foster better outcomes for stroke patient care. The Center also receives the American Heart Association's Get with the Guidelines Stroke Bronze Quality Achievement Award.

Portland, Oregon - September 6, 2011 - Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center has earned The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of ApprovalTM for certification as a Primary Stroke Center. The certification recognizes the commitment the medical center has made and signifies that stroke services provided have the critical elements to achieve long-term success in improving outcomes. The certification process was awarded after on-site evaluation and demonstrating compliance with nationally developed standards for stroke care.

"In stroke care, time is brain," says Kiran Beyer, M.D., a physician champion for the stroke certification program at Mount Hood. "Achieving certification as a Primary Stroke Center demonstrates that Mount Hood Medical Center has the capability to provide effective, timely care to stroke victims and foster better outcomes for patients."

Stroke is a leading cause of death and serious, long-term disability in the United States. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds. Each year about 795,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke, the nation's third leading cause of death.

"We're proud to achieve this distinction from The Joint Commission and have worked hard to develop a nationally recognized stroke program for those we serve," says Marcia Soderling, nurse executive at Mount Hood Medical Center. "The certification recognizes our commitment to providing the best possible stroke care to our patients and our community."

Mount Hood Medical Center recently received the American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Bronze Quality Achievement Award. Get With The Guidelines® is the premier hospital-based quality improvement program, and the award recognizes Mount Hood's commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care by ensuring that stroke patients receive treatment according to nationally accepted standards and recommendations.

Get with the Guidelines addresses the important element of time in stroke care," said Soderling. Mount Hood has developed a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the emergency department. This includes always being equipped to provide brain imaging scans, having neurologists available to conduct patient evaluations and using clot-busting medications when appropriate.

Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Bronze Quality Achievement Award recognizes Mount Hood's success in implementing protocols and consistently followed the treatment guidelines for 90 days. These include aggressive use of medications like tPA, antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, DVT prophylaxis, cholesterol reducing drugs, and smoking cessation. The 90-day evaluation period is the first in an ongoing self-evaluation by the hospital to continually reach the 85 percent compliance level needed to sustain this award.

Get With The Guidelines-Stroke uses the "teachable moment," the time soon after a patient has had a stroke, when they are most likely to listen to and follow the guidance of their healthcare professionals. Studies demonstrate that patients who are taught how to manage their risk factors while still in the hospital reduce their risk of a second stroke. Customized patient education materials are also made available at the point of discharge, based on patients' individual risk profiles.

Legacy Health is a leader in nationally accredited stroke programs in the Portland-Vancouver metro region. The Joint Commission has designated five Legacy hospitals - Emanuel, Good Samaritan, Meridian Park, Salmon Creek, and Mount Hood as Primary Stroke Centers.

About Legacy Health

Legacy Health, Oregon's only locally owned nonprofit healthcare organization, includes Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, The Children's Hospital Legacy Emanuel, Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center, Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center, Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center, Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center, Legacy Laboratory Services, Legacy Research, Legacy Medical Group and CareMark/Managed HealthCare Northwest PPO.