Shands Jacksonville stroke program recertified by Joint Commission

Published: December 26, 2012 By: Dan Leveton
Scott L. Silliman, M.D.

Shands Jacksonville Medical Center is proud to announce that its Comprehensive Stroke Program at the Shands Jacksonville Neuroscience Institute has been recertified by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. The recertification was awarded following a survey by the commission that recognized physicians, clinical staff and administrators for their excellence in care.

"This designation is another example of the pride our staff takes in providing the best possible care for the people of northeast Florida and south Georgia," said Jim Burkhart, president and CEO of Shands Jacksonville. "I applaud our caregivers for their dedication to our patients."

UF&Shands Jacksonville is at the forefront of stroke awareness and treatment, providing comprehensive inpatient and outpatient services for the diagnosis, management and rehabilitation of stroke patients. Shands Jacksonville's Comprehensive Stroke Program first received the Gold Seal of Approval from the Joint Commission in 2004. And in 2006, it became the first stroke program in North Florida to receive accreditation as a Comprehensive Stroke Center from the Agency for Health Care Administration.

Such sophisticated care is important because research shows that patients improve faster and recover more completely when managed in a dedicated stroke facility. Emergency care also includes the use of TraumaOne flight services to transport patients showing stroke symptoms to Shands Jacksonville for rapid treatment.

"Sometimes the difference between life and death is a matter of seconds, and recognizing stroke symptoms is the first and most important step in getting patients stabilized and treated," said Scott Silliman, M.D., a University of Florida associate professor of neurology and medical director of Shands Jacksonville's Comprehensive Stroke Program. "The Joint Commission's decision is testament to the expertise of our caregivers."

Each year about 800,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke, which is the nation's third leading cause of death. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds and someone dies of a stroke every 3.1 minutes. Stroke is a leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States, with millions of stroke survivors alive today.

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