Mercy Hospital of Buffalo Named Comprehensive Stroke Center

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January 14, 2014

Comprehensive Stroke Center

Recognized as an industry leader in providing advanced stroke care, Mercy Hospital of Buffalo has been named a Comprehensive Stroke Center by The Joint Commission, the nation’s leading accrediting body for hospitals and health providers.

Offered in collaboration with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, this advanced certification recognizes an elite group of hospitals that have highly specialized staff, equipment and facilities to treat the most complex stroke cases.

The Only Comprehensive Stroke Center in Western New York

Mercy Hospital is the only hospital in Western New York, and one of only two in New York State, to earn this special designation. 

“This is the highest bar there is to achieve in stroke care,” said Dr. Lee Guterman, medical director of Neurosciences for Catholic Health, which includes three New York State Designated Stroke Centers at Mercy, Kenmore Mercy and Sisters hospitals.

“And because ‘time is brain,’ patients experiencing stroke symptoms should go to the nearest designated stroke center, which can save lives and prevent permanent disability. Now, however, when the most serious stroke care is required at any of our hospitals, patients can be stabilized and transferred to Mercy Hospital for stroke services that are the best in the region and among the best in the country.”

State-of-the-Art Facilities and Highly Trained Staff

Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification recognizes hospitals that have state-of-the-art facilities and highly trained physicians and staff to treat the most critically ill stroke patients. Mercy Hospital underwent a rigorous two-day review in November with Joint Commission experts looking at all aspects of stroke care, from advanced imaging capabilities, to 24/7 availability of specialized treatments, to staff qualifications and competencies.

“Catholic Health is thoroughly committed to providing our patients with the highest quality, most advanced  stroke care available to achieve the best outcomes…period,” said Holly Bowser,” vice president of Neurosciences for the health system.

“We don’t just say we provide the best stroke care, we seek out these impartial reviews by leading national authorities to underscore the exceptional care we provide our patients and the Western New York community.”

Highest Stroke Certification Offered by the Joint Commission

Comprehensive Stroke Center designation is the highest stroke certification offered by The Joint Commission.

Hospitals that earn this distinction are responsible for setting the national agenda in specialized stroke care.

Mercy Hospital was asked to share several of its “best practices” on a national forum to help other hospitals improve their stroke care.

“By achieving this certification, Mercy Hospital has demonstrated the greatest level of commitment to the care of its patients with a complex stroke condition and has elevated the standard of care  for its community,” said Mark R. Chassin, MD, FACP, MPP, MPH, president and CEO, The Joint Commission.

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