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Time and Quality Care is Critical in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Stroke

Arlington, VA (May 12, 2009) - Virginia Hospital Center has earned the Gold Seal of Approval™ from The Joint Commission for Primary Stroke Centers. Virginia Hospital Center earned this distinction after the Joint Commission conducted an extensive, announced, on-site evaluation on February 10, 2009 by Joint Commission reviewers.

The Joint Commission's Primary Stroke Center Certification is based on the recommendations for primary stroke centers published by the Brain Attack Coalition and the American Stroke Association's statements/guidelines for stroke care. Virginia Hospital Center's Primary Stroke Center met these guidelines due to the use and development of written care protocols, education programs, outcomes/quality, and improvement activities support, and thanks to the support and involvement of the following services:

  • Acute Stroke Teams
  • Emergency Medical Services (EMS)
  • Emergency Department
  • Stroke Unit
  • Neurological Services
  • Medical Organizations
  • Neuro-imaging
  • Laboratory Services


Primary Stroke Centers are evaluated against Joint Commission standards for Disease Specific Certification through an assessment of the program's processes, the program's ability to evaluate and improve care within its own organization, the emphasis on patient self-management, and interviews with patients and staff.

Disease-specific programs that successfully demonstrate compliance in three areas are awarded certification for a two-year period. To maintain certification, the cycle repeats with an on-site review conducted every two years and a bi-annual submission of an acceptable assessment of compliance by the organization.

"We are extremely proud to achieve this recognition as we know time-sensitive care ensures the best chance of a full recovery for patients," says Darlene Vrotsos, Vice President & Chief Nursing Officer at Virginia Hospital Center.

Stroke is the nation's third leading cause of death as well as the leading cause of serious, long-term disability. It is important to know the warning signs of stroke and teach them to your friends and family.

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause


If you think you or someone else may be having a stroke, call 9-1-1 immediately! Time is essential in the diagnosis and treatment of stroke. The best chances of survival and recovery are if a person gets treatment within 3 hours. Do not waste any time. Stroke is an emergency so act F.A.S.T.

FACE Facial droop or uneven smile

ARM Arm numbness or arm weakness

SPEECH Slurred speech, difficulty speaking or understanding

TIME Call 911 and get to the hospital immediately

About Virginia Hospital Center

For over 60 years, Virginia Hospital Center has provided exceptional medical services to the Washington metropolitan area. Virginia Hospital Center's $150 million state-of-the-art facility offers comprehensive healthcare and multiple Centers of Excellence including Cardiology & Cardiovascular Surgery, the first NAPBC-accredited Center for Breast Health in Virginia, Neuroscience, Oncology, Total Joint Replacement (hip and knee), Women & Infant Health and Urology. Growing service lines include Executive Health and the only Lung Cancer Center in northern Virginia. Virginia Hospital Center is a teaching hospital, long-associated with Georgetown University's School of Medicine, and accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) and Licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Health. For additional information, please visit www.virginiahospitalcenter.com.


2016 Leapfrog Top Teaching Hospital Award

Virginia Hospital Center takes great pride in being a Magnet® hospital

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