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News Room: Press Releases

Virtua earns Primary Stroke Center Designation

Virtua Health has been awarded Primary Stroke Center Designation at its four hospitals by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services.

"Virtua is at the forefront of stroke care in South Jersey," said James Dwyer, DO, Virtua's executive vice president and chief medical officer. "This designation is a tangible way to show that our teams of professionals are always ready to rapidly diagnose and treat stroke. We are extremely proud of this honor."

An estimated 780,000 new or recurrent strokes occur each year in the United States, according to the American Stroke Association. That's an average of one every 40 seconds. Stroke is the number three cause of death in America, behind heart disease and cancer. It's also a leading cause of serious long-term disability.

To receive the designation, a hospital must demonstrate successful evaluation, stabilization and emergency care to patients with acute stroke, which occurs when blood flow is interrupted to the brain. The state created the designation to improve medical care for the largest possible number of stroke patients in New Jersey.

"Everyone on the team is educated and trained in responding to symptoms of stroke and treating it as an emergency using the best means possible," said Catherine Curley, RN, MSN, director of Virtua's Neurology Program of Excellence. "This designation confirms our commitment to excellent stroke care."

The primary stroke centers at Virtua Berlin, Marlton, Memorial and Voorhees are staffed by a trained, multidisciplinary team 24 hours a days, seven days a week, with services available through each hospital's emergency department. The team includes neurologists, radiologists and specially trained nurses. Anyone experiencing symptoms of stroke should call 911. These include sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body; sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding; sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes, sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination; or sudden, severe headache with no known cause.
As one of New Jersey’s largest health systems, Virtua helps people be well, get well and stay well through a comprehensive range of health care services. Services are delivered through three health and wellness centers, three fitness centers, four acute care hospitals, primary and specialty physician practices with more than 240 physicians, urgent care centers, seven ambulatory surgery centers, home health services, two long-term care and rehabilitation centers, 12 paramedic units and a wide range of outpatient services. A leader in maternal and child health services, Virtua delivers more than 8,000 babies a year. Virtua also provides employment and wellness services to 1,700 businesses and corporations. An innovator in clinical and information technology such as electronic medical records, Virtua is recognized for its ground-breaking partnerships with GE Healthcare, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the Fox Chase Cancer Center. It is the official orthopedic provider for the Philadelphia Flyers. Virtua employs more than 8,400 people and has been honored as the #1 Best Place to Work in the Delaware Valley every year since 2007. It is the recipient of the Consumer Choice Award from the National Research Corporation. For more information, visit  www.virtua.org or www.virtuabroadcastnetwork.org.