UMDNJ’S UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL RECEIVES STATE
COMPREHENSIVE STROKE CENTER DESIGNATION
NEWARK — The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey’s University Hospital has been designated a Comprehensive Stroke Center by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services.
To receive the Comprehensive Stroke Center designation, a hospital must provide complete and specialized care to patients who experience the most complex strokes, which require specialized testing, highly technical procedures and other interventions.
In addition, the centers provide education and guidance to affiliated primary stroke centers. Thus far, University Hospital has partnered with the following primary stroke centers: Newark Beth Israel Medical Center; St. Michael's Medical Center, Newark; and Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, Englewood.
University Hospital treats close to 1,000 stroke patients annually.
Recently among them was Dr. William F. Owen, Jr., UMDNJ’s president, who suffered a stroke in August. Within two weeks of the incident, Dr. Owen recovered and is back to work full-time.
University Hospital - New Jersey Medical School’s Stroke & Cerebrovascular Program is unique nationwide because of the organization of its stroke specialists, who constitute the Brain Attack Team (BATeam).
“University Hospital is one of only six major university hospitals in the nation to have neurology-based intervention,” said Dr. Jawad F. Kirmani, Director and Assistant Professor of the Stroke & Cerebrovascular Program in the Department of Neurology and Neurosciences, UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School.
“Only Harvard University, Duke University, the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Wisconsin, the University of Minnesota, and the University of California Los Angeles have similar programs,” he said.
The BATeam is on duty 24 hours, seven days a week, accessible on call to provide the complete range of diagnostic, emergency and intensive care services essential in a stroke emergency. BATeam members include emergency department staff, neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuroradiologists, endovascular specialists, neuro-intensive care specialists, and neuro-cardiologists.
“Instead of sending a patient from the emergency room to the department of medicine, to radiology, to neurosurgery, to neuroradiology in different phases, there is a physician who is trained to supervise treatment,” Dr. Kirmani said.
“The BATeam’s organization and variety of futuristic interventions available at University Hospital to remove or destroy potentially deadly clots save time and brain function,” he said.
That comprehensive approach to stroke is important in the Newark-metro area, where there is a far greater incidence of stroke compared to the state average.
Admissions for stroke at University Hospital have risen each of the last three years. There were 395 incidents of stroke in 2004-05; 495 in 2005-06; and 712 in 2006-07.
“University Hospital is committed to providing cutting-edge services that meet the needs of our community,” said Darlene L. Cox, University Hospital President & CEO. “As an academic medical center with New Jersey Medical School, we are always striving to bring the best and most innovative practices to our community.”
The “Stroke Center Act” (N.J.S.A. 26:2H-12.27 through 12.32), adopted in September, 2004, requires the state Department of Health to establish two levels of stroke centers - primary and comprehensive - to address the public health need. The department gives those designations to licensed general hospitals based upon criteria outlined in the “Stroke Center Act.”
Contact Zenaida Mendez at (973) 972-7273 to arrange an interview with Dr. Kirmani.
The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) is the nation's largest free-standing public health sciences university with more than 5,500 students attending the state's three medical schools, its only dental school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences, a school of health related professions, a school of nursing and its only school of public health, on five campuses. Last year, there were more than two million patient visits to UMDNJ facilities and faculty at campuses in Newark, New Brunswick/Piscataway, Scotch Plains, Camden and Stratford. UMDNJ operates University Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center in Newark, and University Behavioral HealthCare, a mental health and addiction services network.