Section: Latest News

Petaluma Valley Hospital, First in California to Earn National Certification

01/16/2017

Petaluma Valley Hospital awarded Advanced Certification for Acute Stroke Ready Hospital

(Petaluma, Calif. – January 13, 2017) Petaluma Valley Hospital has earned Advanced Disease-Specific Care Certification for Acute Stroke Ready Hospital from The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. The certification recognizes hospitals equipped to treat stroke patients with timely, evidence-based care prior to transferring them to a Primary or Comprehensive Stroke Center.
Petaluma Valley Hospital underwent a rigorous onsite review process to assess its compliance with the Joint Commission’s Advanced Disease-Specific Care certification requirements, including:

  • A dedicated stroke-focused program
  • Staffing by qualified medical professionals trained in stroke care
  • Collaboration with local emergency management agencies
  • 24/7 ability to perform rapid diagnostic and laboratory testing
  • Ability to administer intravenous clot-busting medications to eligible patients
  • Availability of telemedicine technology

“Currently, nearly half of the population in the United States live 60 miles or more away from a Primary Stroke Center or Comprehensive Stroke Center,” said Lee H. Schwamm, MD, American Stroke Association. “If patients who experience an acute ischemic stroke can get treated with clot-busting medications quickly, more lives would be saved and more patients would have improved outcomes.”

“This new certification acts as an important bridge and will be a key component in an evolving system of stroke care,” said Patrick Phelan, interim executive director, Hospital Business Development, The Joint Commission. “A Joint Commission and American Heart Association/American Stroke Association certified Acute Stroke Ready Hospital will be the foundation for acute stroke care in many communities, allowing it to be the first stop on a patient’s acute stroke journey.”

“We are delighted to receive the Acute Stroke Ready Hospital Certification from The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association,” said Jane Read, Vice President of Petaluma Valley Hospital. “This certification demonstrates our commitment to providing a higher standard of service to stroke patients, while also addressing the gap in access to acute stroke services.”

Established in 2015, Acute Stroke Ready Hospital Certification is awarded for a two-year period to Joint Commission-accredited hospitals and critical access hospitals. The certification was derived from the Brain Attack Coalition’s “Recommendations for Comprehensive Stroke Centers” (Stroke, 2005), “Metrics for Measuring Quality of Care in Comprehensive Stroke Centers” (Stroke, 2011) and recommendations from a multidisciplinary advisory panel of experts in complex stroke care.

“As an Acute Stroke Ready Hospital, we rapidly assess which kind of stroke patients are having and ensure that they receive life-saving medical care in a timely manner,” said Loren Fong, MD, FACEP, Medical Director of Emergency Services at Petaluma Valley Hospital. “Providing this high level of stroke care to our community is invaluable.”

Stroke is the number five cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States, according to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

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About Petaluma Valley Hospital
Located approximately 40 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge, Petaluma Valley Hospital is an 80-bed district owned hospital providing acute care to southern Sonoma County and surrounding communities. It is leased and operated by St. Joseph Health, and provides 24-hour emergency and critical care, along with many other inpatient and outpatient services.

About St. Joseph Health, Sonoma County
St. Joseph Health in Sonoma County is a not-for-profit provider of integrated health care, sponsored by the St. Joseph Health Ministry. Its mission is to extend the healing ministry of Jesus in the tradition of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange by improving health and quality of life in the communities it serves. Entities include the 338-bed Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital (the region’s Level II Trauma Center), the 80-bed Petaluma Valley Hospital, Memorial Hospice, Hospice of Petaluma, North County Hospice, St. Joseph Urgent Care centers, and St. Joseph Home Care Network. The organization’s more than 2,000 local employees offer residents of California’s North Coast a spectrum of healthcare services. These include Family Birthing, Neonatal Intensive Care, Pediatrics supported by on-site pediatric hospitalists 24/7, urgent care, preventive care and health promotion, outpatient behavioral health care, palliative care, rehabilitation, and community benefit programs. Visit stjoesonoma.org to learn more.

The Joint Commission
Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission accredits and certifies more than 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. An independent, nonprofit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Learn more about The Joint Commission at www.jointcommission.org.

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