08:37 AM

Northwestern Medicine Palos Hospital Achieves Advanced Primary Stroke Center Certification

Palos Hospital also receives American Heart Association national recognition

Palos Hospital Stroke Certification

PALOS HEIGHTS, Ill. -  Northwestern Medicine Palos Hospital has achieved Advanced Primary Stroke Center Certification by The Joint Commission, the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in healthcare. Offered in collaboration with the American Stroke Association, The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® signifies that Palos Hospital has met rigorous standards, clinical practice guidelines and performance measures.

“Community members in the south suburbs can have confidence if they or a loved one suffer a stroke, Northwestern Medicine Palos Hospital has a highly trained team and advanced tools in place for rapid treatment,” said Jeff Good, president, Northwestern Medicine Palos Hospital.

Stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the United States. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts.

“Every second counts when treating a stroke. When the brain is lacking oxygen, every minute can account for millions of brain cells dying,” said Fan Z. Caprio, MD, medical director, Advanced Primary Stroke Center at Northwestern Medical Palos Hospital. “Early intervention can make the difference between life and death or severe disability.”

Northwestern Medicine Palos Hospital also received the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines® - Stroke Silver Plus quality achievement award for its commitment to ensure stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines. The recognition included the AHA Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll, which aims to ensure patients with Type 2 diabetes, who might be at higher risk for complications, receive the most up-to-date care when hospitalized due to stroke.

Since joining Northwestern Medicine in 2021, Palos Hospital has made a significant investment in advancing stroke services for the local community. The stroke team includes neurologists, neurosurgeons, neurocritical care specialists, ER and ICU staff and other specialists. The acute care team is supported by telehealth technologies and available 24/7. Patients are cared for in a designated stroke unit by an exceptional, multidisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, and therapists.

“Observing collaborative relationships grow between various departments while keeping the stroke patient and their family at the center of their work has been an amazing experience,” said Deb Lawrence, APRN, ACNS-BC, CDCES, stroke program coordinator, Northwestern Medicine Palos Hospital.

Neurosurgeons Drew A. Spencer, MD;  William Metcalf-Doetsch, MD; and Roxanna Garcia, MD, joined Northwestern Medicine Palos Hospital to expand acute neurosurgical care and develop a neurointensive care unit with Edward Manno, MD, director of regional neurology.

“A major component of earning these national designations is the creation of a loyal, cohesive clinical team across the continuum of care,” said Ellie Kruk, MHA, NE-BC, vice president and chief nursing executive at Northwestern Medicine Palos Hospital. “Our staff has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to a higher standard of clinical care.”

About Get With The Guidelines

Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program that provides hospitals with the latest research-based guidelines. Developed with the goal of saving lives and hastening recovery, Get With The Guidelines has touched the lives of more than 12 million patients since 2001. For more information, visit

About The Joint Commission

The Joint Commission seeks 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. An independent, nonprofit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in healthcare.