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New designation is the highest level of stroke center certification awarded in the U.S.

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center has been designated a Comprehensive Stroke Center by The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. This designation represents the highest level of stroke center certification awarded and recognizes the quality of care GWV provides to patients with the most severe and complicated types of stroke.

Geisinger Wyoming Valley is the first facility in Wilkes-Barre to achieve this designation. Geisinger Medical Center in Danville and Geisinger’s AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in Atlantic City, N.J., are also Comprehensive Stroke Centers. 

Comprehensive Stroke Centers provide care for patients with the most complex types of stroke 24 hours a day with a staff of specialized cerebrovascular neurosurgeons, a neuroscience intensive care unit and the latest advanced imaging capabilities. Patients also have access to extensive rehabilitation programs and support during recovery.

“We are in the middle of a revolution in advanced stroke treatment,” said Neil Martin, M.D., chair of Geisinger’s Neuroscience Institute. “With today’s technology, our neurosurgeons can in many cases reverse even the most severe strokes—if the patients arrive at a Comprehensive Stroke Center soon enough.” 

“The stroke team at Geisinger Wyoming Valley is dedicated to providing comprehensive stroke care 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for our communities in northeast Pennsylvania,” said Clemens Schirmer, M.D., Geisinger’s director of cerebrovascular and endovascular neurosurgery and director of the newly accredited Comprehensive Stroke Center. “Our designation as a Comprehensive Stroke Center is the culmination of many months of work by our physicians and staff. We are honored to be recognized for our commitment to providing high quality, lifesaving care for patients experiencing all types of stroke.”

“Now that we provide these services in northeast Pennsylvania, no patient ever has to waste precious time being sent out of the area for progressive stroke care,” said Geisinger Northeast President Anthony Aquilina, D.O. “Geisinger Wyoming Valley has the capability to treat stroke immediately and give patients their best chance to reverse damage to the brain before it results in permanent disability.”

“Comprehensive Stroke Center designation means we are able to treat all manner of strokes,” said Ron Beer, Geisinger Northeast chief administrative officer. “This designation strengthens our commitment to providing more elite and more convenient care to the communities we serve.”

A stroke happens when blood and oxygen can’t flow to the brain as normal. There are two types of stroke: ischemic stroke, the most common, in which blood flow to the brain is blocked, and hemorrhagic stroke, which indicates bleeding in the brain. Stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and the leading cause of long-term disability in the United States, according to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Nearly 800,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year. On average, someone has a stroke every 40 seconds, and someone dies of a stroke every four minutes. For every minute that a stroke is left untreated, up to 2 million brain cells die, so seeking immediate medical attention is critical to a successful recovery.

"By achieving this advanced certification, Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center has thoroughly demonstrated the greatest level of commitment to the care of its patients with a complex stroke condition,” says Mark R. Chassin, M.D., president and CEO, The Joint Commission. “Certification is a voluntary process and The Joint Commission commends Geisinger Wyoming Valley for successfully undertaking this challenge to elevate the standard of its care for the community it serves.”

“The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association congratulates Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center on achieving Comprehensive Stroke Center certification,” said Nancy Brown, chief executive officer, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. “Meeting the standards for Comprehensive Stroke Center certification represents a commitment to deliver high quality care to all patients affected by stroke.”

Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton has also been nationally recognized for providing exceptional care for stroke patients, earning the designation of Primary Stroke Centers. In total, Geisinger facilitates more than 2,000 stroke counseling and treatment visits annually.


The Joint Commission
Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission accredits and certifies more than 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. An independent, nonprofit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Learn more about The Joint Commission at

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association
The American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association are devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. The American Stroke Association is a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

The familiar Heart-Check mark now helps consumers evaluate their choices in hospital care. Each mark given to a hospital is earned by meeting specific standards for the care of patients with heart disease and/or stroke. The Heart-Check mark can only be displayed by hospitals that have achieved and defined requirements set by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. For more information on the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Hospital Accreditation Program visit

About Geisinger
Geisinger is committed to making better health easier for the more than 1 million people it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes 10 hospital campuses, a health plan with more than half a million members, a research institute and the Geisinger College of Health Sciences, which includes schools of medicine, nursing and graduate education. With more than 25,000 employees and 1,700+ employed physicians, Geisinger boosts its hometown economies in Pennsylvania by billions of dollars annually. Learn more at or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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R. Matthew Mattei
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