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AVMC Earns 3rd Advanced Stroke Certification

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Antelope Valley Medical Center (AVMC) has again earned Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers from The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. The recertification, which was granted in April, reaffirms that AVMC has the equipment, infrastructure, staff and training programs needed to quickly diagnose and treat patients presenting with acute stroke.

"The Antelope Valley has a high incidence of stroke, which underscores the importance of having a local hospital with unsurpassed experience in recognizing and treating stroke,” said Ed Mirzabegian, hospital CEO. “As the area’s first medical center to achieve this designation, Antelope Valley Medical Center has been on the forefront of delivering top-quality neurovascular care to hundreds of patients every year.”

Immediate diagnosis and treatment are vital to reducing a patient’s risk of long-term disability and death. To effectively treat the most common type of stroke – ischemic stroke – an intravenous clot-dissolving medication within 4 1/2 hours from the onset of symptoms. AVMC is able to exceed this target and consistently averages less than the 60-minute door-to-needle goal.

"As an Advanced Primary Stroke Center, we have a dedicated team of professionals who are specially trained to recognize the symptoms of stroke, identify what type of stroke a person is experiencing, and determine the best course of treatment," said Colleen Littlejohn, RN, BSN, PHN, stroke program coordinator at AVMC. "We are incredibly proud to have once again earned this prestigious designation, and are even more proud of the high-level care we are able to provide to our community.”

In 2014, AVMC became the first facility in the Antelope Valley to be certified by The Joint Commission as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center. The hospital’s second certification was earned in 2017. The most recent certification, which is valid for two years, was earned after a rigorous onsite review by The Joint Commission. The hospital was evaluated on compliance with stroke-related standards and requirements, including program management, the delivery of clinical care and performance improvement.

Stroke is the number four cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and nearly 800,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.