August 6, 2018

University of Missouri Health Care has once again earned the state of Missouri’s highest designation as a Level 1 stroke center, maintaining its status as the only health care system in the region that offers patients Level 1 trauma, stroke and STEMI care programs. STEMI stands for ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction, a life-threatening type of heart attack caused by the complete blockage of a heart artery.

The Level 1 stroke designation is the highest rating a hospital can receive for its stroke program. Only a dozen hospitals in Missouri have received the Level 1 designation, which recognizes centers within a region having expert caregivers in all areas of advanced stroke care, including diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, education and research.

“This designation means we are equipped to offer patients the safest, fastest and most comprehensive care possible for every stage and every type of stroke or brain hemorrhage,” said Brandi French, MD, associate professor of clinical and vascular neurology and medical director of the inpatient neurosciences unit and the Missouri stroke program.

MU Health Care earned the Level 1 stroke rating by voluntarily submitting to an onsite audit by reviewers from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to observe patient care, audit documentation and credentials, and interview multidisciplinary stroke team members in order to ensure the program continues to meet rigorous criteria for being a top stroke center.

 “We not only provide medical care here at MU hospitals and clinics, but also provide support to community hospitals throughout the state with treatment, transfer and discharge follow-up for patients,” French said. “We educate physicians and staff at community hospitals on how to provide the best, most current care. Each stroke patient is unique, and we do all we can to support each one in returning to their own community and home, ensuring their needs are met.”

In addition to treating every stage of stroke, MU experts work to translate discoveries in the lab to the bedside. Patients of MU’s stroke program have the opportunity to take part in clinical trials that explore and advance new treatment methods.

“Patients and families can be certain that the latest treatment available for stroke is available here,” French said.

MU Health Care initially earned the Level 1 designation in 2015. The four-year renewal runs through June 2022.

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