Taking stroke care to the next level: U-M Comprehensive Stroke Program earns elite status

In June, the University of Michigan Health System received certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by the Joint Commission and was recognized by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association. Less than 100 other hospitals in the country have achieved this elite status.

The new designation means U-M’s Comprehensive Stroke Center offers a highly trained team and technologies for patients before, during and after suffering a stroke. Led by stroke neurologist Eric Adelman, M.D., neurosurgeon Aditya S. Pandey, M.D., and emergency medicine physician William Meurer, M.D., the stroke team also includes neurologists, neurosurgeons, emergency medicine physicians, neurointerventional radiologists, physiatrists, vascular surgeons, neurointensivists, internists, nurse practitioners, physical and occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists and other staff specifically trained in stroke care.

They have trained and prepared to act together; giving each patient the best options for treatment from the moment they arrive. This includes the ability to rapidly diagnose what is causing each patient’s stroke symptoms, using advanced medical imaging and minimally invasive procedures in the area’s only neurointerventional radiology suite when necessary. They are also able to deliver time-critical treatments and procedures to dissolve blood clots in the brain, to remove stubborn clots or to repair the source of bleeding in the brain.
“The spectrum of what we offer and the way we incorporate the latest knowledge into our clinical care truly set us on a level with few other centers in the country,” says Adelman, an assistant professor in the U-M Department of Neurology. “Our multidisciplinary approach ensures that our patients and their families receive the highest level of care.”

The certification also means advanced care beyond the crucial first hours after a stroke strikes – including inpatient care within University Hospital and the Frankel Cardiovascular Center, individualized rehabilitation and outpatient care once stroke survivors have left the hospital, and top care for patients at high risk of a stroke.

“It takes a strong team to give a stroke patient absolutely optimal care, and that’s what we aim to do,” says Pandey, an assistant professor in the U-M Department of Neurosurgery who specializes in minimally invasive brain procedures for patients having or at high risk of a stroke. “The outcomes our patients achieve and the number of stroke patients we treat are the true indicators of the high-quality stroke care provided at the University of Michigan.”

Because U-M researchers also study stroke and coordinate national and statewide stroke care improvement studies, patients who come to UMHS for stroke care also receive treatment based on the latest research – and often have access to clinical trials of new options that few other hospitals offer.

Stroke is the leading cause of long-term disability and the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. A stroke occurs every 45 seconds and stroke causes a death every 4 minutes.

For a consult with a member of the Comprehensive Stroke Center or to inquire about a transfer, call M-LINE at 800-962-3555.