Kennedy – Washington Township Named Comprehensive Stroke Center
Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Kennedy – Washington Township Named Comprehensive Stroke Center

Kennedy University Hospital in Washington Township, NJ, has been designated a Comprehensive Stroke Center by the New Jersey Department of Health & Senior Services. Kennedy is one of only two hospitals located south of Trenton to hold this designation.

The Comprehensive Stroke Center designation is the state’s highest level for hospital-based stroke care. It was awarded to Kennedy only months after the launch of the hospital’s Neuroscience Center of Southern New Jersey, based at Kennedy – Washington Township. The Kennedy Neuroscience Center has a team of healthcare professionals made up of neurosurgeons, neurologists, and other neuroscience professionals. This life-saving program has quickly earned a reputation for clinical excellence, with more than 300 admissions and over 125 neurosurgical interventions/surgeries in the first six months alone.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have earned this prestigious designation,” said Kennedy President & CEO Martin A. Bieber. “This ensures that Kennedy meets rigorous standards and is well-equipped to treat stroke patients – including those who experience complex strokes -- quickly and effectively. Most importantly, it signifies that South Jersey residents can receive world-class stroke care without having to travel outside of the region.”

As a Comprehensive Stroke Center, Kennedy – Washington Township provides the following patient care and support services to ensure optimal treatment:

  • A neurosurgical team capable of assessing and treating complex stroke and stroke-like syndromes.
  • Neuro-imaging services with digital subtraction angiography and a special $6 million procedures suite equipped for neuro-interventional procedures available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Policies regarding ongoing evaluation and quality improvement activities by using data maintained by the Stroke Center.

“Kennedy’s Comprehensive Stroke Center uses evidence-based care protocols to ensure the best possible care and outcomes for our patients,” Bieber said.

Kennedy’s other two hospitals – located in Cherry Hill and Stratford, NJ -- are state-designated Primary Stroke Centers. They, along with Kennedy–Washington Township, provide the following patient care and support services:

  • An acute stroke team.
  • Board-certified neurologists and radiologists.
  • Neurology and emergency department personnel trained in the diagnosis and treatment of acute stroke.
  • Neuro-imaging services capability available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Acute care rehabilitation services.
  • Stroke database or registry capable of tracking outcomes for quality improvement and evaluation.
  • Demonstrate a continuing commitment to ongoing education to the general public about stroke.
  • Access to rehabilitation services.

Ethan Benardete, MD, PhD – Medical Director of Kennedy’s Stroke Program and Site Director of Neurosurgery – said the designation is “well-deserved, and confirmation of Kennedy’s ongoing commitment to provide the finest in advanced treatment for people who experience stroke.”

Linda Carrick, PhD, RN, CNAA, Kennedy’s Senior Vice President of Clinical Operations and Chief Nursing Officer, notes that since 2006, Kennedy University Hospitals' three campuses have all received awards from the American Stroke Association/American Heart Association Get With the Guidelines for their high level of care.

“For Kennedy’s Washington Township hospital to receive Comprehensive Stroke Center designation so soon after the launch of our neurosciences program is a strong confirmation about the level of care offered,” Carrick said.

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States, affecting more than 700,000 Americans each year. On average, someone dies of stroke every four minutes. Survival, and the lessening of stroke-related disabilities, is greatly impacted by how quickly treatment is provided to a stroke victim.

“Our commitment is to provide the highest level of care available to ensure the finest outcomes we can,” Dr. Benardete said.