John Muir Health Awarded Comprehensive Stroke Certification Accreditation

Walnut Creek Medical Center among less than 1% of community hospitals in nation to achieve this esteemed designation

WALNUT CREEK, Calif.--()--John Muir Health’s Walnut Creek Medical Center has been awarded Comprehensive Stroke Certification Accreditation by The Joint Commission, which accredits and certifies health care organizations and programs in the United States. This certification means that the Walnut Creek Medical Center is ready 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year to deliver advanced stroke care. It’s the highest level of stroke certification, earned by demonstrating the significant resources, staff and training that are necessary for the treatment of the most complex stroke cases, including interventional procedures for acute strokes and hemorrhages.

With this certification, the Walnut Creek Medical Center joins an elite group of 130 Comprehensive Stroke Certified hospitals in the nation, and just 17 in California. To be eligible, hospitals must demonstrate compliance with stroke-related standards as a Primary Stroke Center and meet additional requirements, including advanced imaging capabilities, 24/7 availability of specialized treatments, and qualified staff with the special education and competencies to care for complex stroke patients.

“This achievement is a result of four years of dedication and teamwork from our neurosciences specialists, medical staff, nurses, ancillary services providers and administrators who worked together to achieve this impressive designation,” says Patty Haggen, Executive Director, Neurosciences at John Muir Health. “While this is a significant achievement for John Muir Health, it is our patients and the communities we serve who benefit the most from having this level of stroke care available close to home.”

Established in 2003, Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers is awarded for a two-year period to Joint Commission-accredited acute care hospitals. This designation recognizes John Muir Health’s strong commitment to performance improvement, evidence-based care, and staff and patient education where the level of stroke care is evident in patient outcomes. John Muir Health’s Concord Medical Center also serves the community as a Primary Stroke Center.

“Our comprehensive stroke program excels in the rapid recognition and treatment of stroke victims and in helping stroke patients restore as much of their functionality as possible,” said Jane Willemsen, EVP, and President of Hospital Operations at John Muir Health. “Patients can expect the highest level of care from our stroke centers, including physical rehabilitation and assistance with learning how to reduce the risk of having a second stroke.”

“The neuroscience team at John Muir Health is honored to receive Comprehensive Stroke Certification Accreditation, which has been earned by less than 1% of community hospitals nationwide,” said Dr. Ray Stephens, Stroke Medical Director and neurologist at John Muir Health. “We’re the only medical center in Contra Costa County that can provide emergent blood clot extraction procedures that have been shown to improve stroke outcomes in the most serious strokes. It has been especially gratifying for me to see patients who were previously untreatable now returning to their normal lives after stroke intervention and rehabilitation.”

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.

To learn more about John Muir Health’s award-winning programs and services, including warning signs and treatment options for stroke, please visit:

About John Muir Health

John Muir Health is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit health care organization east of San Francisco serving patients in Contra Costa, eastern Alameda and southern Solano Counties. It includes a network of more than 1,000 primary care and specialty physicians, more than 6,500 employees, medical centers in Concord and Walnut Creek, including Contra Costa County’s only trauma center, and a Behavioral Health Center. John Muir Health also has partnerships with UCSF Health, Tenet Healthcare/San Ramon Regional Medical Center and Stanford Children’s Health. The health system offers a full-range of medical services, including primary care, outpatient and imaging services, and is widely recognized as a leader in many specialties – neurosciences, orthopedic, cancer, cardiovascular, trauma, emergency, pediatrics and high-risk obstetrics care.

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John Muir Health
Ben Drew, 925-947-5387


John Muir Health
Ben Drew, 925-947-5387