Neurology and Neurosurgery

Sharon Hospital earns Primary Stroke Center Certification from The Joint Commission

SH Primary Stroke Center Certification 2021 > Dr. Mark K. Hirko, Sharon Hospital president; Jennifer Maranzano, quality coordinator; Dawn Woodruff, director of patient care services; Dr. Mark Marshall, vice president of medical affairs; Melissa Braislin, stroke coordinator and director, cardiac rehab and rehabilitation services; Dr. Jean-Carlos Jimenez, hospitalist


Sharon Hospital has earned its initial Primary Stroke Center Certification from The Joint Commission in collaboration with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. The Gold Seal of Approval® demonstrates Sharon Hospital’s commitment to meeting rigorous standards of care for stroke patients.

During a thorough, virtual review, a Joint Commission certification team evaluated Sharon Hospital’s stroke program including diagnosis and treatment protocols, support services for patients and caregivers, and continuous clinical performance improvement measures. The independent reviewers determined that Sharon Hospital consistently achieves standards of care such as safety, time to treat and patient education upon discharge from hospital resulting in improved outcomes for stroke patients.

“As a designated Primary Stroke Center, our community can rest-assured knowing Sharon Hospital is at the forefront of rapid and effective stroke care,” said Dr. Mark Hirko, president, Putnam Hospital and Sharon Hospital, part of Nuvance Health. “Our dedicated doctors, nurses, therapists and many more specialists and staff continually incorporate the latest treatments and care guidelines into our stroke program to optimize outcomes for patients.”

“Stroke is a leading cause of death in the United States and a major cause of serious disability for adults. Effectively and quickly treating stroke lowers the risk of someone experiencing long-term disability or death,” said Dr. Paul Wright, senior vice president and system chair of the Neurosciences Institute at Nuvance Health. “Primary Stroke Certification from The Joint Commission demonstrates how Sharon Hospital is well-equipped to provide specialized stroke care when time to treat is critical.”

B.E.F.A.S.T when it comes to stroke

The risk of brain damage or death increases the longer a stroke goes untreated. Stroke is more common in individuals age 65 and older, although anyone at any age can have a stroke. Sudden onset of any of these symptoms could mean stroke, so B.E.F.A.S.T and call 9-1-1 for help:

  • Balance: Loss of balance or coordination, dizziness
  • Eyes: Trouble seeing out of one or both eyes
  • Face: Facial weakness, uneven smile
  • Arm: Unable to lift both arms evenly, numbness, weakness
  • Speech: Difficulty speaking, slurred speech
  • Time: Call 9-1-1

Nuvance Health’s Danbury Hospital and Norwalk Hospital in Connecticut and Vassar Brothers Medical Center in New York have all earned Primary Stroke Center Certification from the Joint Commission. Learn more about stroke services at Nuvance Health.

The Joint Commission aims to continuously improve healthcare for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating healthcare organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value.