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About the Program

The goal of the Cerebrovascular Disease and Stroke Program is to provide the highest quality, evidenced-based care for patients and families dealing with stroke, transient ischemic attack, and other cerebrovascular conditions, including brain aneurysms and vascular malformations.

Inpatient care is based in the Neuroscience Unit at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, which includes a ten-bed Neuro Special Care Unit with specialty trained nursing staff. Our cutting edge diagnostic capabilities include MRI and MRA, MR perfusion, conventional (digital subtraction) angiography, among other diagnostic tests. We are actively engaged in clinical research and are participating in the NIH-sponsored stroke prevention trials including POINT (Platelet-Oriented Inhibition in New TIA and Minor Ischemic Stroke Trial, and CREST-2 (Carotid Revascularization Endarterectomy versus Stenting Trial). Recent program highlights include opening of the Clinical Decision Unit to evaluate patients with transient ischemic attack (December 2014), developing simulation lab training for resident physicians, and launching the first tele-stroke service in the region.

Specific goals for our program include: becoming recognized as a comprehensive center for cerebrovascular care and the regional "hub" of a stroke network that shares resources and improves access to high-quality and cost-effective care for patients in our region, participating in the best clinical trials in our field, bringing relevant basic science and translational research to DHMC, and being a resource for the education of residents, medical students, nurses, primary care providers, and other specialists.

The Cerebrovascular Disease and Stroke Program members strive to meet the needs of stroke patients and their caregivers across the entire continuum of care. We aim to decrease the occurrence of stroke and its complications in the population we serve and advance the field of Cerebrovascular disease care.

Program certifications and awards

Joint Commission Certified Primary Stroke Center

The Joint Commission National Quality Approval The Stroke Program at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center has attained advanced certification by The Joint Commission. This means that this program:

  • Provides the next generation of stroke care
  • Has met and seeks to maintain The Joint Commission’s high standards in providing stroke care

The Joint Commission is an independent, not-for-profit organization that accredits and certifies nearly 21,000 health care organization and programs nationwide.

American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Achievement Award

Hospitals receiving the Get With The Guidelines® Gold Plus Achievement Award have reached an aggressive goal of treating patients with 85 percent or higher compliance to core standard levels of care as outlined by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association® for 2 consecutive calendar years. In addition, these hospitals have demonstrated 75 percent compliance to seven out of ten stroke quality measures during a 12-month period.

American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Target: Stroke Elite Plus Honor Roll

This recognition is given to hospitals achieving Time to Intravenous Thrombolytic Therapy ≤ 60 minutes in 75 percent or more of applicable acute ischemic stroke patients treated with IV tPA AND door-to-needle time. These hospitals maintain a Time to Intravenous Thrombolytic Therapy within 45 minutes in 50 percent of applicable acute ischemic stroke patients treated with IV tPA to improve quality of patient care and outcomes.

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