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Memphis, Tennessee,
04:52 PM

Methodist University Hospital Awarded Advanced Certification for Comprehensive Stroke Center

First Hospital in Memphis to Earn Prestigious Designation

Methodist University Hospital (MUH) announced today that it has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Heart-Check mark for Advanced Certification for Comprehensive Stroke Centers. The Gold Seal of Approval® and the Heart-Check mark represent symbols of quality from their respective organizations.

“We serve an extensive population who are at risk of stroke, and earning the Advanced Certification for Comprehensive Stroke Center means we that we have the medical expertise in place to help us achieve the best outcomes possible for stroke patients,” said Jeff Liebman, CEO, Methodist University Hospital. “Achieving comprehensive stroke certification is an enormous accomplishment for the entire stroke team which consists of neurosurgeons, neurovascular surgeons, nurses and other healthcare professionals at Methodist University Hospital. That team also includes EMS and our front line medical professionals in our emergency room.”

With this certification, Methodist University Hospital joins an elite group of health care organizations focused on highly-specialized stroke care. Methodist University Hospital is the first hospital in Memphis to earn this designation. To be eligible, hospitals must demonstrate compliance with stroke-related standards as a Primary Stroke Center and meet additional requirements, including those related to advanced imaging capabilities, 24/7 availability of specialized treatments, and providing staff with the unique education and competencies to care for complex stroke patients.

“I consider it an honor to serve as the medical director for the stroke program at Methodist University hospital. It is my dream and goal to build a great stroke program in a region where the incidence of stroke is so high,” said Andrei Alexandrov, MD, medical director for the stroke program at Methodist University Hospital and chair of Neurology and Semmes Murphey Professor, University of Tennessee Health Science Center. “With Methodist University Hospital’s achievement of the Joint Commission Advanced Certification for Comprehensive Stroke Center, we will make a tremendous impact on the health and wellness of our community.”

Methodist University Hospital underwent a rigorous onsite review in which Joint Commission experts evaluated compliance with stroke-related standards and requirements.

"By achieving this advanced certification, Methodist University Hospital 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 and CEO, The Joint Commission. “Certification is a voluntary process and The Joint Commission commends the Methodist University Hospital team for successfully undertaking this challenge to elevate the standard of its care for the community it serves.”

There is a great need for treating stroke patients. Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas lie directly in the middle of the stroke belt where there is a higher incidence of stroke than in other parts of the country. The Methodist Comprehensive Stroke Center already provides treatment with the clot busting medicine tPA to the highest number of patients in the world.

“The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association congratulates Methodist University Hospital on achieving Comprehensive Stroke Center certification,” said Nancy Brown, chief executive officer, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. “Meeting the standards for Comprehensive Stroke Center certification represents a commitment to deliver high quality care to all patients affected by stroke.”

Established in 2012, Advanced Certification for Comprehensive Stroke Centers is awarded for a two-year period to Joint Commission-accredited acute care 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.

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


About Methodist Le Bonheur HealthcareMethodist Le Bonheur Healthcare (MLH) is an integrated health care delivery system based in Memphis, Tenn. Founded in 1918 by The United Methodist Church to help meet the growing needs for quality health care in the Mid-South, Methodist has grown from one hospital into a six-hospital system that includes Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, a national US News and World Report Best Children's Hospital. MLH also offers a home health agency, ambulatory surgery centers, outpatient facilities, hospice residence and physician practices serving all corners of the Memphis and Mid-South community. For six consecutive years, Methodist has been named the best hospital in Memphis by U.S. News and World Report. Great Place to Work® and Fortune ranked Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare #21 on its 2016 Best Workplaces for Diversity, and #1 on the 2016 list of Best Workplaces for African Americans. With more than 13,000 associates and 1,650 licensed beds, MLH provides care for over 60,000 inpatient admissions annually. For more information visit

University of Tennessee Health Science Center

As Tennessee’s only public, statewide, academic health system, the mission of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) is to bring the benefits of the health sciences to the achievement and maintenance of human health, with a

focus on the citizens of Tennessee and the region, by pursuing an integrated program of education, research, clinical care, and public service. Offering a broad range of postgraduate and selected baccalaureate training opportunities, the main UTHSC campus is located in Memphis and includes six colleges: Dentistry, Graduate Health Sciences, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy. UTHSC also educates and trains cohorts of medicine, pharmacy and/or health professions students – in addition to medical residents and fellows -- at its major sites in Knoxville, Chattanooga and Nashville. Founded in 1911, during its more than 100 years, UT Health Science Center has educated and trained more than 57,000 health care professionals in academic settings and health care facilities across the state. For more information, visit Follow us on Facebook:, on Twitter: and on Instagram:

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

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association

The American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association are devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 5 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 American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. The American Stroke Association is a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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