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Montefiore in the News

September 26, 2018

Bronx Campus Becomes First Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center between Northern Manhattan and Buffalo

NEW YORK (September 26, 2018) – Montefiore’s outstanding stroke care has been recognized by an Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center designation, meaning that the highest standards of lifesaving stroke care are close to home for millions of New Yorkers.

The Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center designation is the most sought after stroke certification in the country. Awarded by The Joint Commission, this designation makes Montefiore’s Moses Campus the first Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center between Northern Manhattan and Buffalo. Only 174 of the more than 6,000 hospitals nationwide accredited by The Joint Commission have earned the Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center certification.

“This designation is a landmark moment in our battle against stroke,” said Emad Eskandar, M.D., M.B.A, chair of Neurological Surgery, Montefiore and Einstein and professor and Jeffrey P. Bergstein Chair of Neurological Surgery at Einstein. “Several recent studies have demonstrated that when a multidisciplinary team delivers cutting-edge, rapid treatment, it can minimize, and sometimes completely prevent, any brain damage. We are seeing our patients return to their lives in as little as a week following treatment.”

Montefiore’s Stroke Center treated 1,400 patients in 2017. In addition to Montefiore’s vast experience caring for high volumes of stroke cases, Montefiore achieves outstanding results, including a 97 percent success rate at rapidly removing dangerous blood clots before a stroke occurs, resulting in shorter recovery times and reduced brain injury. This is well above the 70 percent national average.
“Montefiore has dedicated exceptional resources to making sure that everyone who arrives with a stroke will be treated by a collaborative team equipped to handle the most complex cases,” said Daniel Labovitz, M.D., M.S., medical director of Montefiore’s Comprehensive Stroke Center and associate professor of Neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
With a 24/7 in-house neurosurgeon, team of doctors, nurses, dietitians, speech pathologists, social workers and data analysts, and the ability to care for multiple strokes at once, Montefiore far exceeded the Joint Commission’s requirements to be an Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center.

“As the busiest stroke center in New York City and the second busiest in New York State, we’re delivering the staff, skills and research-infused care that result in superior outcomes for people suffering from stroke,” said Peter Semczuk, D.D.S., M.P.H, senior vice president of Operations, Montefiore Health System. “This certification reaffirms that all our stroke patients will be treated with the highest degree of excellence, have the best chance of survival and restored quality of life.”

This care means the world to people like Heather Grzanka, a 41-year-old Westchester resident who was getting ready to watch Sunday football with her partner last winter when she suddenly had unimaginable head pain.
After going to White Plains Hospital, a member of Montefiore Health System, Heather was transferred to Montefiore’s Stroke Center where the team wasted no time. Her doctor found a ruptured brain aneurysm and acted immediately. After a successful surgical procedure to open Heather’s skull and place a metal clip at the base of the aneurysm, Heather recovered quickly. Just three months post-surgery, she was back to her demanding job at JP Morgan’s Corporate & Investment Bank.

“Everything went right in this really bad situation…I have my life back with a new perspective and a greater appreciation,” said Heather, who recently completed a 5k fundraising run with the Brain Aneurysm Foundation this month.
Heather was also impressed and grateful that her partner was informed every step of the way, including talks with a Montefiore nurse practitioner, who shared what to expect during recovery.

For patients requiring additional rehabilitation to regain function following stroke, Burke Rehabilitation Hospital offers intensive physical, occupational and speech therapy on an inpatient and outpatient basis.

Stroke is the leading cause of disability in the United States. In New York, it is the fourth leading cause of death, making access to advanced stroke care vital.


Photo Caption: Patient, Heather Grzanka, with Dr. David J. Altschul, her Montefiore neurosurgeon, after completing a 5k run to support the Brain Aneurysm Foundation in September 2018.

HeatherGrzanka_5K_BrainAneuyrsmFoundation_091518b Photo