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Dedicated stroke unit provides highest level of stroke care available in Mifflin County

LEWISTOWN, Pa. – Geisinger Lewistown Hospital (GLH) has been designated a Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. 

Designation as a Primary Stroke Center signifies that a hospital is providing the level of care necessary to achieve long-term successful outcomes for stroke patients. With a dedicated stroke unit, GLH provides this level of stroke care close to home for Mifflin County residents. 

“When it comes to stroke care, every second counts,” said David Ermak, D.O., Geisinger neurologist. “Geisinger is committed to providing quality care close to home for all of the communities we serve, and this certification recognizes our stroke team’s dedication to that goal.”

“Designation as a Primary Stroke Center recognizes the level of care available to those experiencing stroke right here in Lewistown and surrounding communities,” said Kirk Thomas, GLH chief administrative officer. “This means our patients and their families can stay close to home while receiving the highest level of stroke care available in Mifflin County.”

“We congratulate Geisinger Lewistown Hospital for this outstanding achievement,” said Nancy Brown, chief executive officer, the American Stroke Association. “This certification reflects Geisinger’s commitment to providing the highest quality of care for stroke patients.”

A stroke occurs 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 a leading cause of long-term disability in the United States, and nearly 800,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 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.

Geisinger’s nationally recognized Acute Stroke Program includes 24/7 stroke care at all of our hospitals, two Comprehensive Stroke Centers designated by The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association, at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville and Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre, Primary Stroke Center hospitals, and research-proven care that helps people recover from stroke with fewer disabilities. To learn more, 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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Ashley Andyshak Hayes
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