Ellis recognized for stroke care

The American Heart/American Stroke Association presented Ellis Hospital with the Sustained Performance Achievement Award for Stroke on Thursday, Dec. 11. It is the only hospital in the Capital District to earn the recognition two years in a row.

We're honored by the national recognition and we're very proud of our Stroke Team. Achieving this award in 2007 was exceptional. Sustaining it for 2008 is outstanding. We hope this recognition means just as much to our stroke patients who get back to their lives and the people they love because of the exceptional care they receive at Ellis, said James Connolly, CEO of Ellis Hospital.

The award recognizes Ellis Hospital's commitment to providing quality care by consistently meeting or exceeding the American Heart Association's guidelines for stroke care. It was the first hospital in New York to win the gold medal in 2007.

"We're proud of getting this award for two years. However, we will not stop here," said Dr. Kejian Tang, who works for the Ellis Hospital's Stroke Center.

"We will continue to find ways to improve and find even better stoke care for our patients," said Tang.

According to the American Heart/American Stroke Association, strokes are the third leading cause of death in America and the No. 1 cause of adult disability.

Ellis Hospital's Stroke Center has neurosurgeons and neuroradiologists on staff who are able to do everything from brain-imaging scans to administering and performing advanced clot-busting medications and procedures. Nearly 5,000 patients have been treated at the center since its inception in 1996.

According to the American Stroke Association, nationally about 700 people suffer from stroke; 500,000 are first attacks and 200,000 are recurrent. Of stroke survivors, 22 percent of men and 25 percent of women die within a year, and for those age 65 and older, the percentage is even higher.

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