Baptist Hospital

Baptist Hospital First Hospital In South Florida Recognized as Comprehensive Stroke Center

November 17, 2014

Baptist Hospital of Miami, in partnership with Baptist Health Neuroscience Center, has received certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Center from The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

Baptist Hospital is the first hospital in South Florida, the second in the state and one of only a few nationwide to receive this esteemed distinction. Comprehensive Stroke Center status is the nation’s highest level of accreditation. It is earned only by those hospitals that have state-of-the-art infrastructure, staff and training necessary to treat patients with the most complex strokes.

“This advanced certification is an important recognition of the skills, experience and teamwork that have been developed at Baptist Hospital and Baptist Health Neuroscience Center,” said neurosurgeon Sergio Gonzalez-Arias, M.D., medical director of Baptist Health Neuroscience Center. “Our talented team of physicians, nurses, technologists, therapists, pharmacists and staff are dedicated to providing the highest quality of care to patients with the most severe and challenging types of strokes and cerebrovascular disease.”

To achieve its status as a certified Comprehensive Stroke Center, Baptist Hospital volunteered to undergo a rigorous onsite review by Joint Commission experts. The hospital was shown to have the necessary requirements, including highly skilled specialists such as neurologists, neurosurgeons and interventional neuroradiologists; advanced imaging capabilities; 24/7 availability of a neurointensive care unit with dedicated beds for stroke patients; and clinical staff with the unique education and competencies to care for patients with the most complex cases of stroke.

Stroke – a “brain attack” that cuts off vital blood flow and oxygen to the brain – is the fourth-leading cause of death in the United States and a leading cause of serious, long-term adult disability. Approximately 795,000 Americans experience a stroke each year. It can happen to anyone at any time, regardless of age, sex or ethnicity. Stroke is a condition that must be treated quickly for the best chances of recovery and survival. Two million brain cells die every minute during a stroke, increasing the risk of permanent brain damage, disability or death. However, recognizing symptoms and getting medical treatment quickly can limit disabilities and save lives.

“By achieving this advanced national certification, Baptist Hospital has demonstrated that it is equipped to provide specialized stroke care that can lead to better outcomes for patients,” said Bo Boulenger, chief executive officer of Baptist Hospital. “Our highly skilled, multidisciplinary team is committed to elevating the standard of care for the community we serve.”

Baptist Hospital is part of Baptist Health South Florida, the largest faith-based, not-for-profit healthcare organization in the region. In addition to Baptist Hospital, Baptist Health includes Baptist Hospital, Baptist Children’s Hospital, Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute, South Miami Hospital, Homestead Hospital, Doctors Hospital, West Kendall Baptist Hospital, Mariners Hospital and Baptist Outpatient Services. Baptist Health Foundation, the organization’s fundraising arm, supports services at all hospitals and facilities affiliated with Baptist Health. For more information, visit or connect with BaptistHealthSF on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Contact: Anne Smith, 786-596-6654,

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