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Polk Medical Center Now an Acute Stroke Ready Hospital
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Polk Medical Center Now an Acute Stroke Ready Hospital


Polk Medical Center is now an Acute Stroke Ready Hospital after earning certification from The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association.

The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval® and the American Heart Association's Stroke Check Mark for Acute Stroke Ready Certification signify that Polk Medical Center can quickly and effectively treat and stabilize stroke patients prior to sending them to a primary or comprehensive stroke center. Floyd Medical Center, just 22 miles north of Polk Medical Center, is recognized as a Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission.

“This is great news for our community," said Tifani Kinard, Administrator and Chief Nursing Officer at Polk Medical Center. “Someone who suffers a stroke can rely on us to provide lifesaving care and make sure they are safely transported to a facility where they can receive further treatment."

As part of the certification process, Polk Medical Center underwent a rigorous, unannounced onsite review on Jan. 5 from a team of Joint Commission reviewers. They evaluated the hospital's compliance with certification standards and its ability to provide excellent clinical care for stroke patients.

“Acute Stroke Ready Certification recognizes health care organizations committed to fostering continuous quality improvement in patient safety and quality of care," said Mark Pelletier, RN, MS, chief operating officer, Accreditation and Certification Operations, and chief nursing executive, The Joint Commission.

“We congratulate Polk Medical Center for this outstanding achievement," says Nancy Brown, chief executive officer, the American Stroke Association. “This certification reflects its commitment to providing the highest quality of care for stroke patients."

​According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone in the U.S. has a stroke every 40 seconds, and someone dies from stroke every 3 minutes and 33 seconds.

Remember the acronym F.A.S.T. to quickly recognize the signs of a stroke:  

  • FaceAsk the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?  
  • Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?        
  • Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?        
  • Time: If you observe any of these signs, call 911 immediately.