UC Davis Medical Center has been certified as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, the highest recognition possible from The Joint Commission.
The certification means that UC Davis has the complete range of expertise and resources necessary for improving survival and outcomes for stroke patients.
“We have always set the bar high when it comes to stroke treatment,” said Brad Simmons, interim CEO of the medical center. “This certification acknowledges that commitment along with our incredible teams who are dedicated to providing patient-centered, collaborative care — from the emergency department to neurocritical care to rehabilitation.”
Stroke happens when either a burst or blocked blood vessel reduces oxygen to the brain and kills brain cells. It is a leading cause of death and the leading cause of long-term disability in the U.S. The Joint Commission certification program ensures stroke patients have access to care based on evidence-based standards for diagnosis and management, along with a commitment to ongoing quality improvement.
Kwan L. Ng is director of vascular neurology and the stroke center at UC Davis Health. He arrived in 2016 with the goal of taking the medical center’s stroke certification to the top level. It consistently has been certified as a primary stroke center; this is the first time it has achieved comprehensive status.
— Brad Simmons, interim CEO of UC Davis Medical Center
In addition to expanding 24/7 services, Ng brought several clinical trials to UC Davis, including studies that could improve pre-hospital stroke assessments, decrease brain edema (fluid buildup) without surgery, and reduce subsequent strokes.
Ng also is a strong advocate for increasing awareness of stroke symptoms, including among those who do not have traditional risk factors for the condition. Everyone is at risk for stroke, according to Ng, and the severity of deficits and survival rates get worse the longer someone waits to seek medical intervention.
“We want to do absolutely everything we can to prevent stroke, improve access to timely treatment and reduce long-term impact on the lives of patients and their families,” Ng said.
More information about UC Davis Health and its stroke center is at health.ucdavis.edu.