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Wesley Awarded Primary Stroke Center Reaccreditation from The Joint Commission

December 27, 2011

WICHITA, Kansas – Wesley Medical Center has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™ for reaccreditation of its Primary Stroke Center. The reaccreditation means that Wesley meets national standards that can significantly improve outcomes for stroke patients, according to Jean Range, executive director for disease-specific care certification at The Joint Commission.

“We are proud to achieve this distinction, says Hugh Tappan, Wesley President/CEO. “Joint Commission Primary Stroke Center certification recognizes Wesley’s commitment to providing outstanding care to our patients and our community.”

A Primary Stroke Center is a ‘integrated system approach for stroke prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation’ with coordination of the services caring for the TIA/stroke patient. Wesley’s Stroke Center is staffed by team of trained nurses, physicians, radiology and laboratory technicians, physical and occupational therapists, and speech pathologists.

“It takes a tremendous amount of work to coordinate all the departments,” said neurologist Calvin Olmstead, M.D., medical director of Wesley’s Stroke Center. From the ambulance crew to the ER, the imaging department, intensive care unit, pharmacy, lab, rehabilitation staff, and more, several areas must work together to meet the patient’s individual need.

Sometimes called a “brain attack,” stroke is caused when blood flow to the brain is interrupted, either by a clogged artery or bleeding into the brain. Every second a stroke goes untreated more brain tissue is destroyed. Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death and the major cause of serious long-term disability in the United States.

“It is important to recognize the symptoms of a ‘brain attack’ and seek care within the first hour of symptom onset. The symptoms may vary from sudden confusion, vision loss, speech or swallowing difficulty, numbness/tingling of an arm or leg, to an extreme one-sided weakness or paralysis. Once at a Primary Stroke Center, evaluation and treatment begins with focus on immediate intervention to stop ‘the blood flow interruption’ of the brain; therefore, limit the disability, while finding the cause of the stroke, and creating a comprehensive treatment plan, including a goal-oriented rehabilitation program,” stated Carolyn Earnest, RN Wesley Stroke Program Coordinator.

Wesley has been an accredited a Primary Stroke Center since 2009. For more information about Wesley and its Stroke Center, go to