UF Health Stroke Center named among the nation's best

Published: November 5 2014


The University of Florida Health Shands Comprehensive Stroke Center has earned national comprehensive stroke center certification from The Joint Commission. UF Health is the only stroke center with this designation in north Central Florida, one of only two in the state and 78 in the entire nation.

The center joins an elite group of hospitals focused on quality and effective stroke care proven to improve patients’ outcomes. These stroke centers, recognized as industry leaders, set the national agenda in highly specialized stroke care.

“The superb teamwork between UF faculty, hospital leadership, nurses and staff helped us achieve this important milestone,” said David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., UF senior vice president for health affairs and UF Health president.

Comprehensive stroke center certification recognizes hospitals that have state-of-the-art infrastructure, experienced staff and specialized training to receive and treat all patients, including those with the most complex strokes.

Michael Waters, M.D., Ph.D., medical director of the UF Health Shands Comprehensive Stroke Center, said this new certification recognizes that UF Health has world-class stroke care available for the citizens of north Central Florida.

“This new certification validates that UF Health has the highest level of stroke care available anywhere in the world,” Waters said. “We have a dedicated team of vascular neurologists and highly trained endovascular neurosurgeons available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

UF Health underwent a rigorous on-site review in August. Experts from The Joint Commission reviewed compliance with comprehensive stroke center standards and requirements, including advanced imaging capabilities, 24/7 availability of specialized treatment options, and staff with the unique education and competencies to care for stroke patients.

“This designation acknowledges the highly specialized team we have in place who provide a level of care aimed at achieving superior outcomes, helping people to again return to leading productive lives,” said Ed Jimenez, interim UF Health Shands chief executive officer. “On behalf of our entire health system, I commend all of them for their efforts in achieving this momentous accomplishment.”

Waters said much of the program’s success hinges on the multidisciplinary collaboration between health care providers.

“We are extremely proud of the program we have built here,” Waters said. “This certification really marks the beginning of a new evolution in stroke care at UF Health.”

For more information about the UF Health Shands Comprehensive Stroke Center, visit Stroke.UFHealth.org. To learn more about The Joint Commission comprehensive stroke center designation, visit JointCommission.org.

You may also contact Nickie Doria at 352-265-0373 or dorian@shands.ufl.edu.