Mercy’s Stroke Center

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Mercy Hospital's NeuroScience Institute is one of 15 in the nation that is certified as Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center.


Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City’s NeuroScience Institute is the first center in Oklahoma and one of only 15 hospitals in the nation to be certified as an Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center by the Joint Commission and American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

What does this Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification mean to patients? It means Mercy has been recognized by the U.S. health care industry’s most thorough standard-setting organization for having staff, equipment and processes that meet the highest levels of stroke prevention, detection, treatment and rehabilitation.

“With stroke, everyone knows minutes matter. What people might not know – or think about when stroke happens – is where they should go for their best chances of recovery,” said Dr. Richard Vertrees Smith, neurosurgeon and Mercy NeuroScience Institute medical director. “We’re hoping this certification gives us the opportunity to help people in Oklahoma understand that the nation’s highest quality stroke care is right here at home, at Mercy.”

The process for earning this status started back in 2008, when Mercy earned its first stroke center accreditation from The Joint Commission – the nation’s oldest and largest accrediting body in health care – and didn’t stop there. After a demanding application process, Mercy underwent a rigorous onsite review in October 2012, when Joint Commission experts surveyed compliance with standards including advanced imaging capabilities, 24/7 availability of specialized treatments and staff with the unique education and competencies to care for complex stroke patients.

“Our stroke team has been devoted to this process for years,” said Jim Gebhart, Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City president. “They’ve coordinated the efforts of hundreds of doctors, nurses, technicians and educators to develop one of the leading stroke programs in the United States.”

Mercy joins Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, in Los Angeles, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, also in Los Angeles, and Stanford Hospitals and Clinics, in Stanford, Calif., on the elite list of 15 hospitals receiving this accreditation in the U.S.

“By achieving this advanced certification, Mercy has thoroughly demonstrated the greatest level of commitment to the care of its patients with a complex stroke condition,” said Mark R. Chassin, M.D., FACP, M.P.P., M.P.H., president, The Joint Commission. “Certification is a voluntary process and The Joint Commission commends Mercy for successfully undertaking this challenge to elevate the standard of its care for the community it serves.”

For more information on The Joint Commission and American Heart Association’s Advanced Certification for Comprehensive Stroke Center visit or


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