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Geisinger St. Luke’s awarded prestigious stroke accreditation
January 15, 2021

ORWIGSBURG, Pa. – Geisinger St. Luke’s Hospital has achieved primary stroke center accreditation from the Joint Commission, a key designation that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting high performance standards.

“Receiving accreditation as a primary stroke center represents an important milestone, and a seal of quality for the program as a whole,” said Gabriel Kamarousky, MBA, FACHE, president of Geisinger St. Luke’s Hospital. “At Geisinger St. Luke’s Hospital, we have developed an excellent program for the evaluation and treatment of stroke and stroke-related illnesses. With neurologic expertise available around the clock, Geisinger St. Luke’s is well equipped to handle neurologic emergencies and to rapidly evaluate and treat patients who are having a stroke event.”

There are 85 primary stroke centers in Pennsylvania accredited by the Joint Commission. Ten of these accredited hospitals are St. Luke’s University Health Network hospitals and one is a Geisinger hospital.

To obtain this accreditation, Geisinger St. Luke’s Hospital had to demonstrate to the Joint Commission the specific high-quality education of the entire stroke team and expertise in monitoring and treating stroke patients in certain areas of the hospital.

“We had to equip the hospital with the appropriate capabilities in radiology, 24 hours per day, seven days per week, to ensure that patients will receive any necessary imaging immediately,” said Gary Bonfante, DO, medical director of emergency medicine at Geisinger St. Luke’s. “We also had to demonstrate compliance with clinical practice guidelines from the American Stroke Association and analyze and measure data from our performance across eight Joint Commission-specified areas and set our own goals for improvement. This was a dedicated and coordinated effort by many members of the pre-hospital providers, medical and nursing staff and administration to meet and exceed the practice guidelines.”

Additionally, for the accreditation, Geisinger St. Luke’s had to provide public education opportunities and engage its partners in pre-hospital care, such as emergency medical technicians and paramedics.

For members of the community, Bonfante said, this achievement means they can arrive at Geisinger St. Luke’s Hospital any time, day or night, and receive the same high-quality care and evaluation.

“At Geisinger St. Luke’s Hospital, we have the tools and the personnel to quickly and effectively diagnose a stroke and take measures to help ensure the best recovery possible,” said Daniel J. Ackerman, MD, director of stroke and vascular neurology at St. Luke’s University Health Network. “This stroke accreditation by the Joint Commission is an example of the commitment by Geisinger and St. Luke’s to deliver high-quality, timely stroke care to its fellow community members. It signifies that we have been successful in bringing to the local community a center that is able to offer the consistent, fast and high-quality care that our patients have come to expect. It also means that, as an organization, we are on a pathway of continuous examination and improvement to maintain that certification through the years.”

For more information about the Geisinger St. Luke’s Hospital, and a full list of services and resources available, please visit https://geisingerstlukes.org/.


About St. Luke’s

Founded in 1872, St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) is a fully integrated, regional, non-profit network of 14,000 employees providing services at 10 hospitals and over 300 outpatient sites. With annual net revenue of $1.9 billion, the Network’s service area includes 10 counties: Lehigh, Northampton, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Montgomery, Monroe and Schuylkill counties in Pennsylvania and Warren and Hunterdon counties in New Jersey. Dedicated to advancing medical education, St. Luke’s is the preeminent teaching hospital in central-eastern Pennsylvania. In partnership with Temple University, St. Luke’s created the region’s first and only regional medical school campus. It also operates the nation’s longest continuously operating School of Nursing, established in 1884, and 28 fully accredited graduate medical educational programs with 226 residents and fellows. St. Luke’s is the only health care system in central-eastern Pennsylvania to earn Medicare’s five-star rating (the highest) for quality, efficiency and patient satisfaction. St. Luke’s has earned the 100 Top Major Teaching Hospital designation from IBM Watson Health (formerly Truven Health Analytics) repeatedly – six times total and four years in a row including 2018. It has also been cited by IBM Watson Health as a 50 Top Cardiovascular Program. Utilizing the EPIC electronic medical record (EMR) system for both inpatient and outpatient services, the Network is a multi-year recipient of the Most Wired award recognizing the breadth of the SLUHN’s information technology applications such as telehealth, online scheduling and online pricing information. St. Luke’s is also recognized as one of the state’s lowest cost providers.

About Geisinger

Geisinger is committed to making better health easier for the more than 1 million people it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes nine hospital campuses, a 550,000-member health plan, two research centers and the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. With nearly 24,000 employees and more than 1,600 employed physicians, Geisinger boosts its hometown economies in Pennsylvania by billions of dollars annually. Learn more at geisinger.org or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.