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Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport – Academic Medical Center Becomes First North Louisiana Hospital to Earn Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification

Downloadable sound bites with Dr. Hugo Cuellar, Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport Stroke Program Co-Director

Dr. Cuellar explains what a Comprehensive Stroke Center is and what it means to the community, hospital and patients.

Dr. Cuellar shares what happens with a patient at a Comprehensive Stroke Center.

Dr. Cuellar describes signs of a stroke and what to do when you see it

Shreveport, La. – Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport – Academic Medical Center has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® and the American Stroke Association’s Heart-Check mark for Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification -- the most demanding stroke certification available. The certification is designed for hospitals that can treat the most complex stroke cases, recognizing advanced treatment techniques and highly standardized, reliable care.

Comprehensive Stroke Centers must meet rigorous criteria and commitment of resources, including:

  • An acute stroke team available 24/7
  • Mechanical thrombectomy available 24/7
  • Advanced neuroimaging available on site 24/7
  • 24/7 availability for neurosurgical services
  • Neurologist and Neurosurgeon accessibility to meet emergent needs of multiple complex stroke patients at the same time
  • Highly advanced treatment capabilities and investigational opportunities

“The sooner we get the patient to the appropriate treatment, the better chances of a good outcome. What this means is when you go to a Comprehensive Stroke Center, you’re not going to need to be transferred to a different hospital to get the appropriate treatment and you’re going to have everything that you need in the emergency department you go to that is a Comprehensive Stroke Center,” said Dr. Hugo Cuellar, Stroke Program Co-Director, Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport.

When seeing signs of a stroke, Dr. Cuellar explains “. . . the patient should go to the nearest emergency department they have. Having this particular Comprehensive Stroke Center means when you come here you are going to be immediately evaluated by a stroke team that is comprised of emergency medicine physicians, vascular neurologists, neurovascular interventionalists, and we’re going to make the decision of what is going to be the best treatment option to give that patient the better chance of a good outcome.”

“This outstanding achievement reflects the excellence and dedication of our stroke program and our team’s focus on providing the most advanced care possible. It is also a win for our community. Last year we treated more than 1,000 patients with stroke symptoms. Living here, and knowing this highly advanced care is available to us and our neighbors, is a great benefit that really makes a difference in people’s lives,” says Chris Mangin, Interim CEO, Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport – Academic Medical Center.

As a system, Ochsner LSU Health is advancing Stroke Care for the entire region. Just last month, Ochsner LSU Health – Monroe Medical Center received certification as the first Primary Stroke Center in Northeast Louisiana, and now Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport is also the closest Comprehensive Stroke Center for both Monroe residents as well as those in central Louisiana that need more advanced stroke care.

“Comprehensive Stroke Certification recognizes health care organizations committed to fostering continuous quality improvement in patient safety and quality of care,” says Mark Pelletier, RN, MS, chief operating officer, Accreditation and Certification Operations, and chief nursing executive, The Joint Commission. “We commend Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport for using certification to reduce variation in its clinical processes and to strengthen its program structure and management framework for stroke patients.”

“We congratulate Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport for this outstanding achievement,” says Nancy Brown, chief executive officer, the American Stroke Association. “This certification reflects its commitment to providing the highest quality of care for stroke patients.”

Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport – Academic Medical Center underwent a rigorous, onsite review and met rigorous certification standards demonstrating a highly reliable system of care to meet the certification requirements. Joint Commission standards are developed in consultation with health care experts and providers, measurement experts and patients. The reviewers also conducted onsite observations and interviews.


About Ochsner LSU Health

The Ochsner LSU Health System of North Louisiana (Ochsner LSU Health) is a partnership between Ochsner Health, the largest health system in the state of Louisiana, and LSU Health Shreveport, which include the School of Medicine and Health Sciences Center. Ochsner LSU Health provides healthcare to more than 140,000 patients across North Louisiana. With more than 18 locations, Ochsner LSU Health includes multiple outpatient facilities, clinics, three acute care hospitals—including North Louisiana’s only Level 1 Trauma Center and Level II Pediatric Trauma Center at its 407-bed hospital and a 122-bed hospital with women's and children's services in Shreveport, La. and a 244-bed hospital in Monroe, La with a designated as a Level III Trauma Program—as well as Louisiana Behavioral Health, providing inpatient and intensive outpatient mental health services in partnership with Oceans Healthcare. The system has more than 4,600 employees that work along the Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport Physician Group of nearly 500 physicians in more than 70 specialties and subspecialties.