Premier healthcare accrediting body awards PMC stroke care Gold Seal for care quality

TITUSVILLE, FL (December 6, 2017)—Parrish Medical Center’s recertification as a Primary Stroke Center extends its first-in-Brevard County achievement for area patients endangered by stroke’s potentially debilitating effects.

PMC’s latest Gold Seal of Approval® and Primary Stroke Center designation was awarded by The Joint Commission, which accredits nearly 21,000 healthcare organizations globally.

“The Joint Commission established the Primary Stroke Center program to set a care standard to protect and saves lives,” said George Mikitarian, Parrish Medical Center president and CEO. “Meeting that standard takes tremendous commitment, resources, and work, but we have long dedicated ourselves to providing the highest levels of patient safety, clinical quality, and healing patient experiences on behalf of the people and communities we serve.

“This Joint Commission’s Gold Seal affirmation of PMC’s quality stroke care means that patients and families can have confidence in the objective measurement, accomplishment, and results, of PMC’s treatment program,” Mikitarian added.

According to The Joint Commission, “The stroke program requirements were developed in collaboration with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Applicants for advanced certification must meet the requirements for Disease-Specific Care Certification plus additional, clinically specific requirements and expectations.”

PMC in 2004 became the third Florida medical center – and Brevard’s first – to reach Gold Seal certification for stroke care.

Every two years since 2004, The Joint Commission has evaluated PMC’s stroke care treatment program on national standards and stringent performance measures. The most recent evaluation, in 2017, resulted in the latest certification.

“Reaching Joint Commission Gold Seal designation is one thing; keeping it by meeting The Joint Commission’s requirements year-after-year is another challenge,” said Edwin Loftin, PMC vice president of Acute Care Services and chief nursing officer. “Constant focus and improvement is essential because the faster and more effective the treatment, the greater the chance to minimize a stroke’s effects or damage.”

“Stroke is a major cause of death and disability,” said David Miller, MD, director, National Comprehensive Stroke Center, Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus. “Stroke care has been greatly improved with new drug therapies, including the clot busting agent tPA, administered in appropriate patient populations. About 85 percent of strokes are due to a blood clot blocking a blood vessel to the brain.”

PMC is a Mayo Clinic Care Network member, and Mayo Clinic is part of the Parrish Healthcare integrated care team. In 2010, PMC became the first hospital in Florida to participate in the Mayo Clinic telestroke program. Via a self-propelled remote presence robot that stands five feet tall, neurologists at Mayo Clinic’s Comprehensive Stroke Center in Jacksonville can remotely evaluate acute stroke patients and assist with diagnosis and treatment, despite them being more than 130 miles away.

Quick administration of a drug called tPA to dissolve a stroke-causing blood clot and restore blood flow is part of The Joint Commission’s standards followed by PMC, said Gregory P. Cuculino, MD, FACEP, Emergency Department medical director.

“In many cases the drug results in the patient having minimal or no neurological damage from the stroke,” said Dr. Cuculino, “It’s one aspect of our approach to stroke care, which includes prevention, treatment and rehabilitation while always working as a team.”

PMC’s team approach also includes Brevard’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS).

“Partnering with PMC’s Emergency Department as part of its stroke team ensures that life-saving measures are provided to patients at the scene in the first few minutes of a stroke,” said Orlando Dominguez, Jr., RMP, assistant chief of Emergency Medical Services Operations, Brevard County Fire Rescue.

PMC’s Stroke Program includes:

  • A team of neurologists, cardiologists, radiologists, emergency medicine physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, first-responders (EMS/paramedics), case management, therapists (occupational, speech, respiratory and physical), and community educators.
  • A stroke unit. Stroke unit nurses (along with ICU and ER nurses) undergo extensive training to become certified in stroke assessment, treatment and rehabilitation. They have annual continuing education requirements.
  • PMC’s 14-bed Emergency Department, 12-bed critical care unit (ICU), and full-service rehabilitation center.
  • Advanced diagnostic technology, including telemedicine technology, ultra-speed CT and MRI, which provides doctors with accurate results in minutes.
  • Community education programs and screenings for stroke risk factors.

Signs of stroke are sudden:

  1. Numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.
  2. Confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.
  3. Trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
  4. Dizziness, loss of balance or coordination or trouble walking.
  5. Severe headache with no known cause.

An individual experiencing any of these signs, or someone observing an individual dealing with one or more of these indicators, should call 911 immediately.

About Parrish Medical Center |Parrish Healthcare

Parrish Medical Center (PMC), a Parrish Healthcare integrated care partner, is located at 951 N. Washington Ave., Titusville, Florida. The 210-bed, not-for-profit acute care public medical center has been serving Brevard County for nearly 60 years. PMC is the first in the nation to be Integrated Care certified by The Joint Commission and is nationally recognized as One of America’s Finest Healing Environments®. PMC has earned top patient safety rankings from The SafeCare Group and The Leapfrog Group. The Joint Commission consistently named PMC as a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures, recognizing PMC for “exemplary performance in using evidence-based clinical processes that are shown to improve care.” In 2014, Consumer Reports recognized PMC as Florida’s safest hospital. PMC, as compared to other U.S. hospitals, maintains top-tier national rankings for clinical outcomes, safety and patients’ experiences. For more information, visit

About The Joint Commission:

Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve healthcare 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 healthcare. Learn more about The Joint Commission at

About 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. 4 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.