Florida Hospital Tampa Receives Comprehensive Stroke Center Accreditation

Florida Hospital Tampa Receives Comprehensive Stroke Center Accreditation

Florida Hospital TampaPhoebe Ochman, 813-615-7074 (direct)Director of PR & Marketing813-266-0435 (pager)orLauren Key, 813-615-7420 (direct)Vice President of Marketing

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) has designated Florida Hospital Tampa as a Comprehensive Stroke Center. Florida Hospital Tampa is now one of only 18 AHCA-designated comprehensive stroke centers in the state of Florida and one of only three in Hillsborough County to earn this distinction.

“With a stroke, time is the most critical factor in preventing permanent brain damage. Our new Comprehensive Stroke Center designation demonstrates our commitment to being one of the top hospitals in the country for providing aggressive and proven stroke care,” said John Harding, president and chief executive officer of Florida Hospital Tampa. “Our Stroke Program now encompasses not only leading-edge technologies and therapeutics for acute stroke patients, but also system-wide initiatives on stroke prevention, rehabilitation, education, community awareness and clinical and basic science research,” stated Harding.

Florida Hospital Tampa was previously a Primary Stroke Center, meaning it was qualified to treat ischemic stroke patients in acute phases and evaluate if clot-busting drugs can be administered within the first three hours of symptom onset. The new Comprehensive Stroke Center designation means the hospital is equipped to meet the needs of hemorrhagic (bleed) or ischemic (clot) stroke patients and can also treat ischemic stroke within eight hours after symptom onset. Additionally, being a Comprehensive Stroke Center reinforces that Florida Hospital Tampa is prepared to provide more aggressive stroke management and rehabilitation to patients.

“The new designation validates that we are delivering stroke care in accordance to nationally recognized guidelines known to improve stroke outcomes and reduce mortality rates,” stated James E. Lefler, MD, neurointerventional radiologist and co-director of the Stroke Program at Florida Hospital Tampa. “It also means that our window of opportunity to treat patients with a stroke diagnosis increases up to 8 hours and we can now provide all medical and therapeutic treatment modalities when someone is in the throes of an acute stroke.”

According to the American Stroke Association, stroke is one of the leading causes of death and serious, long-term disability in the United States. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds and someone dies of a stroke every four minutes. In the United States, 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year; 77% are new and 23% are recurrent. Stroke kills twice as many women as breast cancer every year, and it affects more women than men with 425,000 women suffering from strokes annually.

“The heart and brain are so intimately connected that our new designation enables us to elevate and deliver the best possible care for both our cardiovascular and neurovascular patients, which are often times one and the same,” added Brigitte Shaw, chief operating officer at Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute.

In May 2012, Florida Hospital Tampa was also recognized by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association evidenced-based “Get With The Guidelines® — Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award”for its commitment and success in implementing excellent and quality care for stroke patients.

Florida Hospital Tampa is a not-for-profit 475-bed tertiary hospital specializing in cardiovascular medicine, neuroscience, orthopaedics, women’s services, pediatrics, oncology, endocrinology, bariatrics, wound healing, sleep medicine and general surgery including minimally invasive and robotic-assisted procedures. Also located at Florida Hospital Tampa is the renowned Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute, a recognized leader in cardiovascular disease prevention, diagnosis, treatment and leading-edge research. Part of the Adventist Health System, Florida Hospital is a leading health network comprised of 22 hospitals throughout the state. For more information, visit .

The Neuroscience Institute at Florida Hospital Tampa treats patients with neurovascular disease of the head, brain, neck, and spine using the latest minimally invasive techniques. Our dedicated stroke team includes neurointerventional radiologists, neurosurgeons, neurologists, emergency physicians, and certified registered nurses who coordinate care from triage to diagnosis, treatment and recovery. In addition, the Neuroscience Institute complements the cardiovascular program at Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute by enabling delivery of more comprehensive care.