Hospitals named Primary Stroke Centers


CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. – Chambersburg Hospital and Waynesboro Hospital have received American Heart Association/American Stroke Association/ The Joint Commission Primary Stroke Center Certification.

The Primary Stroke Center Certification is awarded to hospitals that follow the best practices for stroke care, according to Dr. Sanjay Dhar, Medical Director of the hospitals’ stroke program.

“Caring for stroke patients is a team effort,” Dhar said.  “It is important for everyone to be aware of stroke signs and symptoms and act fast.  This certification lets our neighbors know that we are ready to help, and that we are using the latest treatments and techniques to help more people survive strokes than ever before.”

"In achieving Primary Stroke Center Certification, Chambersburg Hospital and Waynesboro Hospital have demonstrated their commitment to the highest level of care for stroke patients,” says Jean Range, M.S., R.N., C.P.H.Q. executive director, Disease-Specific Care Certification, The Joint Commission. “Certification is a voluntary process and The Joint Commission commends Chambersburg Hospital and Waynesboro Hospital for successfully undertaking this challenge to elevate its standard of care and instill confidence in the community it serves.”

When stroke strikes
Dhar said a stroke can strike quickly and quietly, so it’s important to act fast when you notice signs and symptoms.

“When you see that someone is having a stroke, call 911 right away,” Dhar urged. “Seconds matter when we are talking about brain function and the damage can be permanent. Fortunately early intervention can sometimes reverse symptoms of stroke and therefore time is of the essence.”

What is a stroke?
A stroke occurs when there is an interruption to the blood supply to a part of the brain. If a blood vessel is blocked by a blood clot, or ruptures because it is weak, this will stop blood flow to the brain.

The brain, like all of our organs, needs the blood to survive. Brain cells will start to die when they don’t have blood providing them with the oxygen and nutrients they need to live.

According to Dhar, as brain cells die, important functions like walking, talking and even breathing can become more difficult or may even stop.

Know the signs
Dhar said that signs and symptoms can be different for everyone, but the most common signs of a stroke include sudden:

  • Numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg – especially on one side of the body.
  • Confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Severe headache with no known cause

For more information and to take the Am I At Risk? quiz, visit


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