Heyman Stroke Center Awarded Advanced Certification

Stroke Team Ranked Among Top 10 Percent Nationally by The Joint Commission

The St. John Heyman Stroke Center has been recognized by The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association as meeting The Joint Commission's standards for disease-specific care comprehensive stroke center certification, joining an elite national group of providers focused on complex stroke care. Certified comprehensive stroke centers comprise less than ten percent of U.S. stroke facilities and are recognized as industry leaders, responsible for setting the national agenda in highly-specialized stroke care.  St. John Heyman Stroke Center is the only certified comprehensive stroke center in eastern Oklahoma and one of only three in the state.

Comprehensive stroke center certification recognizes those hospitals that have state-of-the-art infrastructure, staff and training to receive and treat patients with the most complex strokes. The St. John Heyman Stroke Center underwent a rigorous onsite review in June 2013. Joint Commission experts reviewed St. John Heyman Stroke Center’s compliance with the comprehensive stroke center standards and requirements including advanced imaging capabilities, 24/7 availability of specialized treatments, and staff with the unique education and competencies to care for complex stroke patients.

"By achieving this advanced certification, the St. John Heyman Stroke Center has thoroughly demonstrated the greatest level of commitment to the care of its patients with a complex stroke condition,” says Mark R. Chassin, M.D., FACP, M.P.P., M.P.H., president, The Joint Commission. “Certification is a voluntary process, and The Joint Commission commends the St. John Heyman Stroke Center for successfully undertaking this challenge to elevate the standard of its care for the community it serves.”

Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification was developed in collaboration with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association and derived from the Brain Attack Coalition’s “Recommendations for Comprehensive Stroke Centers,” (Stroke, 2005), and “Metrics for Measuring Quality of Care in Comprehensive Stroke Centers,” (Stroke, 2011), and on recommendations from a multidisciplinary advisory panel of experts in complex stroke care.

“Comprehensive stroke center certification confirms that we meet the highest level of standards in stroke diagnosis and treatment based on current scientific research,” said David Pynn, president and chief executive officer, St. John Health System. “St. John is committed to the highest quality stroke care and we are proud to be the first and only facility in eastern Oklahoma to receive comprehensive stroke center certification.”

“This advanced certification was made possible because of our multidisciplinary team of stroke experts working together to care for our patients,” said Dr. Anna Wanahita, co-medical director for the St. John Heyman Stroke Center.  “Our specialists are available around the clock and under one roof to offer rapid diagnosis and treatment for acute and complex stroke patients.”

“The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association congratulates the St. John Heyman Stroke Center on its comprehensive stroke center certification,” commented Mark J. Alberts, M.D., FAHA, American Heart Association/American Stroke Association spokesperson and Vice-Chair of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics at UT Southwestern Medical Center. “Comprehensive stroke centers offer a high level of care for patients with the most severe and challenging types of strokes and cerebrovascular disease.”

For more information on The Joint Commission and American Heart Association’s Advanced Certification for Comprehensive Stroke Center visit or

About St. John Medical Center:

Located in Tulsa, St. John Medical Center is a not-for-profit Catholic healthcare facility established  more than 85 years ago. St. John serves as an important safety net and community resource by providing tertiary and trauma services for northeastern Oklahoma and the surrounding region. St. John Medical Center offers a complete spectrum of medical and surgical services, including cardiovascular, stroke, cancer, surgical, maternity, diagnostic, gastroenterology, neurosurgical, orthopedic, rehabilitative and emergency care. St. John is sponsored by Ascension Health, the nation's largest Catholic and nonprofit health system.

About 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 evaluates and accredits more than 20,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States, including more than 10,600 hospitals and home care organizations, and more than 6,600 other health care organizations that provide long term care, behavioral health care, laboratory and ambulatory care services. The Joint Commission also certifies more than 2,400 disease-specific care programs such as stroke, heart failure, joint replacement and stroke rehabilitation, and 400 health care staffing services. An independent, not-for-profit 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

About the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association:

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 3 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit or call any of our offices around the country.

The familiar Heart-Check mark now helps consumers evaluate their choices in hospital care. Each mark given to a hospital is earned by meeting specific standards for the care of patients with heart disease and/or stroke. The Heart-Check mark can only be displayed by hospitals that have achieved and defined requirements set by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. For more information on the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Hospital Accreditation Program visit

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