Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, MI, has officially re-solidified its position as a national leader in stroke care. The Joint Commission has recertified the hospital’s Harris Stroke Center as an Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center, the highest designation of its kind.
“We are so thrilled to be recognized once again among this elite group of healthcare providers,” said John Popovich Jr., M.D., President and CEO, Henry Ford Hospital. “Henry Ford’s long standing commitment to the advancement of neuroscience has made us a trusted leader and this designation really allows us to highlight the exceptional stroke care we provide for our patients.”
The Joint Commission conducted a rigorous review of more than 250 care standards, including quality measurements and guidelines, before awarding the recertification, which Henry Ford Hospital first earned in 2016. The designation means stroke patients across the entire Henry Ford Health System have access to the most advanced technology, specialized treatment available day or night, 365 days a year, and a uniquely educated and highly trained team prepared to act at a moment’s notice.
“When it comes to stroke care, every second counts,” said Stephan Mayer, M.D., F.C.C.M., Chair of the Department of Neurology and Co-Chair, Henry Ford Neuroscience Institute. “We have made it our relentless mission to push the frontier of innovation for both treatment and research – and with each new discovery, we are able to fight for more of those precious seconds for every patient that comes through our doors.”
The certification is backed by Henry Ford’s Stroke Interdisciplinary Team, as well as the Ford Acute Stroke Treatment Team – or FAST Team, which can rapidly diagnose a patient at any Henry Ford Emergency department and determine in minutes if the patient should be sent to Henry Ford Hospital for advanced surgical or catheter-based treatments. One of those advancements is known as an endovascular thrombectomy, where a tiny catheter inserted directly into the brain can retrieve stroke-causing blood clots, restoring normal blood flow in seconds.
“There is no doubt that these endovascular treatments have revolutionized the way we treat patients with stroke,” said Steven N. Kalkanis, M.D., Chair, Department of Neurosurgery and Co-Chair, Henry Ford Neuroscience Institute. “When you combine this type of advanced procedure with the multidisciplinary resources and clinical experience we already have, Henry Ford Hospital is truly the safest place for patients to be.”
Since its initial certification in 2016, Henry Ford Hospital has experienced a 10% increase in Ischemic Stroke patients and a 151% increase in endovascular thrombectomies. “In the two years since our initial certification by the Joint Commission, we have also made multiple process improvements to deliver care more efficiently and seamlessly,” said Panayiotis Mitsias, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Harris Stroke and Neurovascular Center at Henry Ford Hospital.
Pioneers in stroke research as well, Henry Ford was instrumental in the development of the drug commonly known as tPA, serving as the national coordinating center and one of the primary sites for the national clinical trials. Administered within the first four and a half hours of a stroke onset, tPA targets blood clots and improves blood flow. The results of the trial appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine and changed the way hospitals cared for stroke patients nationwide.
“We’ve long known that equally important to exceptional patient care, in building a successful stroke program, is the essential research that shapes that care,” said Angelos Katramados, M.D., Quality Director, Stroke Program. “This recertification affirms our diligence and commitment to both.”
Nearly 800,000 people suffer strokes annually in the U.S. It’s the leading preventable cause of disability and the fifth leading cause of death nationwide. Henry Ford Hospital is one of the only certified Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Centers in Wayne County and one of only nine in the state of Michigan.
Brenda D. Craig
Director, Media Relations
Henry Ford Health System