The Joint Commission has recertified
North Oaks Medical Center as a
Primary Stroke Center.
Recertification follows a rigorous on-site review in December 2018 and
validates the continuation of certification first earned five years ago
in 2014. The Joint Commission conducts a recertification survey every
With recertification, North Oaks Medical Center has earned The Joint Commission’s
Gold Seal of Approval®. North Oaks also has received the American
Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Heart-Check mark
for Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers, for using best
practices in providing prompt stroke intervention and care and for improving
“North Oaks Medical Center has thoroughly demonstrated the greatest
level of commitment to the care of stroke patients through its recertification
as a Primary Stroke Center,” comments Patrick Phelan, who is executive
director of hospital business development for The Joint Commission. “We
commend the hospital as a leader in stroke care.”
Since 2015, North Oaks Medical Center has cared for 1,769 stroke patients.
Nancy Brown, chief executive officer of the American Heart Association/American
Stroke Association, adds, “We congratulate North Oaks Medical Center
for achieving this designation.
By adhering to this very specific set of treatment guidelines, North Oaks
has clearly made it a priority to deliver high quality care to all patients
affected by stroke.”
“We are pleased to receive recertification from The Joint Commission
and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association,”
affirms Michele Sutton, president and chief executive officer of North
Oaks Health System. “Recertification validates the exceptional stroke
care our team provides and our commitment to advancing stroke care even
One way that the hospital continues to advance stroke care is by utilizing
a minimally invasive interventional radiology technique called intracranial
mechanical thrombectomy. North Oaks is the only Northshore hospital using
the procedure to help victims of ischemic strokes -- the most common type
-- regain movement, language and other abilities.
When an ischemic stroke occurs, the blood supply to the brain is blocked
by a blood clot or plaque. Without a healthy blood supply, the brain doesn’t
receive the oxygen and nutrients needed to work properly, and brain tissue
begins to die.
Historically, a clot-busting drug called tPA has been used to treat this
type of stroke, but it must be administered within three to four hours
of onset of symptoms.
According to Interventional Radiologist
Zachary Liner, M.D., intracranial mechanical thrombectomy is a game changer because it widens
the treatment window up to 24 hours after the initial appearance of symptoms
for ischemic strokes. The procedure is made possible by image-guided catheters
and a wire cage device, called a stent retriever, which are used to remove
blood clots in large vessels in the brain. The catheter is threaded through
an artery in the groin up to the blockage in the brain. A stent retriever
is then deployed through the clot. Once the clot is captured, the stent
retriever is removed through the catheter that was placed in the artery.
Thirteen intracranial mechanical thrombectomy cases have been performed
at North Oaks Medical Center since the procedure was implemented at the
hospital in February 2018.
Developed in collaboration with the American Stroke Association and launched
in 2003, The Joint Commission's Primary Stroke Center Certification
program is based on the Brain Attack Coalition's "Recommendations
for the Establishment of Primary Stroke Centers" and the “Revised
and Updated Recommendations for the Establishment of Primary Stroke Centers.”
Stroke is the No. 4 cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability
in Louisiana and the U.S., according to the American Heart Association/American
Stroke Association. On average in the U.S., 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.
Other stroke-related services offered by North Oaks Health System include
North Oaks Rehabilitation Hospital’s Stroke Specialty Program, accredited by the Commission on Accreditation
of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). It is one of only five such programs
For more information about North Oaks Medical Center’s Certified
Primary Stroke Center or North Oaks Rehabilitation Hospital’s Stroke
Specialty Program, call North Oaks Public Relations at
(985) 230-6647. Click
here for more information on The Joint Commission and
here for more information on the American Heart Association’s Advanced
Certification for Primary Stroke Center.
North Oaks Medical Center Stroke Team members gather to celebrate the hospital’s
recertification as a Primary Stroke Center in conjunction with National
Stroke Awareness Month in May. Members include: (first row, from left)
Advanced Imaging Manager Tim Hollywood, Performance Improvement Lead Jennifer
Mercer, (second row) Emergency Department Director Eric Neal, Speech Pathologist
Robin Musfeldt, Telemetry West Clinical Nurse Manager Britanie Breland,
(third row) Nurse Residency Coordinator Ashley McCammon, Clinical Lab
Regulatory Analyst Nishita Desai, (fourth row) Post-Operative Director
Jackie Carr, Ortho/Neuro Clinical Nurse Manager Heidi Morreale, (fifth
row) Vice President of Performance Management Larry Daigle and Laboratory
Director Steven Ceulemans.