Reston, VA, June 28, 2011 - After undergoing an on-site evaluation and demonstrating compliance with nationally developed standards for stroke care, Reston Hospital Center has earned The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of ApprovalTM for certification as a Primary Stroke Center.

Each year about 795,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke, which is the nation's third leading cause of death. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds and someone dies of a stroke every 3.1 minutes. Stroke is a leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States, with about 4.7 million stroke survivors alive today.

"We're proud to achieve this distinction from The Joint Commission," says Tim McManus, Reston's C.E.O. "Joint Commission Primary Stroke Center Certification recognizes our commitment to providing outstanding stroke care to our patients and our community. The certification is exciting for the hospital and is good news for the residents of Northern Virginia because it means that they can now receive high-level interventional stroke care close to home."

To receive the Primary Stroke Center designation, a stroke program must educate and train physicians and nursing staff in stroke care, and put in place processes for delivering clinical care developed by physician and nursing experts in the field; this includes being prepared to give the clot-busting medication, t-PA.

When it comes to stroke, "Time is Brain." With Reston's certification, residents of Eastern Fairfax and Western Loudoun and Prince William Counties have much closer-and faster-access to treatment. Faster care leads to less disability and a greater likelihood of full recovery.

The Joint Commission's Primary Stroke Center Certification is based on the recommendations for primary stroke centers published by the Brain Attack Coalition and the American Stroke Association's statements and guidelines for stroke care. The Joint Commission launched the program-the nation's first-in 2003. A list of programs certified by The Joint Commission is available at

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