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South County Hospital Recertified as a Primary Stroke Center

Published 06/06/2023

The Stroke Center at South County Hospital Earns National Accreditation from The Joint Commission for Stroke Care

South County Hospital's Emergency Department Stroke Team
From Left: Arista D., RN; Steve Juchnik, RN, Emergency Services Director; Michael Frade, Transporter; Peter Graves, MD, Medical Director, Emergency Services


South County Hospital has been recertified as a Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission, the nation’s predominant standard-setting and accredited body in health care. Achievement of this certification signifies that South County Hospital is providing stroke care that is consistent with current evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients.

“We’re honored to receive this recertification from The Joint Commission for Stroke Care,” said Dr. Peter Bellafiore, Medical Director of South County Health’s Stroke Program. “This is a real testament to the quality and dedication of our multidisciplinary team, and an acknowledgement of the high level of care that we provide as Rhode Island’s Most Trusted Health Partner to all of our stroke patients, including the many patients requiring this acute level of care.”

South County Hospital underwent a rigorous review of their stroke program in March. During the visit, a Joint Commission reviewer evaluated compliance with related certification standards including program management, quality and safety standards, delivering and facilitating clinical care, and meeting national benchmarks. Joint Commission standards are developed in consultation with health care experts and providers, measurement experts, and patients. The reviewer also conducted observations and clinical staff interviews.

“South County Hospital’s Certification recognizes their commitment to fostering continuous improvement in patient safety and quality of care,” said Deborah Ryan, MS, RN, interim executive vice president, Accreditation and Certification Operations, The Joint Commission. “We commend South County Hospital for using certification to reduce variation in its clinical processes and to strengthen its program structure and management framework for stroke patients.”

South County Hospital was first designated as a Primary Stroke Center in 2014. Hospitals that receive this designation must undergo a review by The Joint Commission every two years.

Stroke is one of the leading causes of serious disability in the United States. Access to specialized stroke care is critical to the community to reduce the overall physical and psychological burdens of stroke. This certification is given to hospitals that provide emergency stroke care, evaluation for acute stroke treatments, processes to reduce additional strokes and recovery.

South County Hospital’s interdisciplinary stroke team has demonstrated its commitment to improving the quality of stroke care delivered through compliance with stroke quality measures, continuous process improvement and ongoing data collection. South County Hospital is also a recipient of the Women’s Choice Award for America’s Best Hospital for meeting high standards in stroke care.

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