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Auburn, Calif.- ย– Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital received certification from the Joint Commission this month and is now a certified Primary Stroke Center.

Sutter Auburn Faith joins its sister South Placer County hospital, Sutter Roseville Medical Center, which received its certification in December 2010. The two will share resources, standardize care and work together in order to ensure that anyone who comes to the hospitals with stroke symptoms will receive the right care quickly for the best possible outcome.

‘Research has shown that having a Primary Stroke Center in a community helps reduce morbidity, mortality and disability related to stroke,’ said Asim Mahmood, M.D., medical director of stroke services for Sutter Health Sacramento Sierra Region. ‘This is mostly due to timeliness and consistency of quality care at such centers.’

The Joint Commission, an independent, not-for-profit organization that accredits and certifies hospitals across the United States to provide acute stroke treatment, reviewed and evaluated Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital’s stroke program and determined that it qualified as an advanced center for stroke care.

‘Having hospitals that are all Primary Stroke Centers helps standardize stroke care and bring awareness to the staff and community with a hope to improve outcomes,’ said Dr. Mahmood. ‘In addition, multiple facilities that are connected and taking similar care of patients are attractive sites for clinical research, which is another service to local communities.’

Dr. Mahmood joined Sutter Health in 2010 and one of his priorities is to have certified Primary Stroke Centers at all of the Sutter hospitals in the Sacramento region. Now, both Sutter Medical Center hospitals in Sacramento ย– Sutter General and Sutter Memorial ย– and the two in South Placer County have received certification. This year, it is hoped that Sutter hospitals in Davis, Solano County and Amador County will also receive their certifications.

Part of the mission of Primary Stroke Centers is to educate the public on how to recognize stroke symptoms and to get to a certified hospital immediately. One of the most effective treatments for a stroke is the clot-busting medication called tissue plasminogen activator, commonly referred to as tPA, but it has to be administered within three hours of the onset of stroke.

‘Our goal is to educate the public on the importance of receiving the proper care in a timely manner,’ said Tess Carter, stroke program coordinator at both Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital and Sutter Roseville Medical Center. ‘We want to meet with civic, religious and other community groups to get the word out.’

Both Sutter Auburn Faith and Sutter Roseville have organized stroke alert response teams made up of an Emergency Department physician and registered nurse, nursing supervisor, a board-certified neurologist specializing in strokes, and other clinicians.

Sutter has the most comprehensive stroke program in the Placer County-Sacramento area, with three board-certified stroke neurologists, specialized neurointerventionalists and neurosurgeons, and neuroradiology imaging technology. In addition, the Sutter Rehabilitation Center on the Sutter Roseville campus has built a reputation in just two years as being the premier center for stroke rehab in the region.

The stroke programs at Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital and Sutter Roseville Medical Center are part of the Sutter Neuroscience Institute, which has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation’s top programs for neurology and neurosurgery.

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