Primary Stroke Center

October 21, 2015

WILMINGTON, NC – New Hanover Regional Medical Center has received Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers from The Joint Commission, a recognition that means NHRMC implements the best practices for stroke care and has met and seeks to maintain the Joint Commission’s high standards in providing stroke care.

NHRMC underwent a rigorous onsite review in September, when Joint Commission experts evaluated compliance with stroke-related standards and requirements, including program management, the delivery of clinical care and performance improvement.

The review resulted in NHRMC also earning The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Heart-Check mark, which represent excellence in quality.

“We make it a priority to deliver high quality care to all patients affected by stroke,” said Mary Ellen Bonczek, senior vice president and chief nursing executive at NHRMC. “Receiving advanced certification as a Primary Stroke Center shows our commitment to providing exceptional patient care while continuing to advance our services even further.”

NHRMC treats about 900 stroke patients each year. The best way to reduce the long-term effects from stroke is to learn the signs and symptoms and act F.A.S.T. The more quickly you receive treatment, the less chance there is for long-term disability. Use the F.A.S.T. acronym to remember Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty, and Time to call 9-1-1.

Stroke is fifth leading cause of death and the leading cause of adult disability in the United States, according to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year. To learn more information, go to

About The Joint Commission

Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care 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 nearly 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 health care. 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. 5 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, visit