UNC Hospitals Comprehensive Stroke Center

The Comprehensive Stroke Center at the UNC Medical Center is a multi-specialty clinical and research program that incorporates state-of-the-art approaches in caring for patients with stroke or other vascular disorders of the brain. Its mission is to serve the citizens of North Carolina by providing high-quality comprehensive stroke care, educating patients and health care providers, and conducting cutting-edge research in stroke care and prevention.

The UNC Comprehensive Stroke Center's multi-specialty care approach utilizes the expertise of a large group of physicians and staff with specialty training in the treatment of stroke.  Stroke patient care is coordinated by a team of vascular neurologists and neuro-intensivists who work closely with emergency medicine physicians, neurosurgeons, neurointerventionalists, neuroradiologists, vascular surgeons, cardiologists, physiatrists, neuro-trained nurses, and stroke ancillary care specialists (physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, respiratory therapists, care managers, and social workers). 

Acute stroke care is available 24/7/365 and is provided to medically-eligible patients by an on-call acute stroke team.  The team evaluates patients for acute treatments, such as intravenous thrombolysis, catheter-based interventional procedures, and surgical treatments. The team also screens patients for inclusion in clinical studies and trials of the latest experimental stroke therapies.

Facilities and Nursing Care

Stroke-specific care units at the UNC Comprehensive Stroke Center include a 35-bed acute care floor (6NSH), an 18-bed intermediate care floor (ISCU) and the 16-bed Neuroscience ICU. Patient care is directed by specialty-specific stroke neurologists and coordinated by an experienced stroke nurse coordinator, Nicole Burnett, RN, BSN, CNRN, CCRN.  All nurses caring for patients in the stroke center are required to participate in extensive stroke education on an annual basis.

Award-Winning Care

Gold Plus Award 2016The UNC Medical Center has a strong track record of quality and excellence in stroke care and has maintained the Joint Commission Disease-Specific Certification as a Primary Stroke Center since its founding in 2004. In 2013, the UNC Medical Center became the first hospital in the Southeast to receive the Joint Commission Advanced Certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, confirming UNC Medical Center’s position as a national leader in stroke care.

The UNC Comprehensive Stroke Center has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Get With The Guidelines Gold Plus Achievement Award and is recognized in the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Target Stroke Elite Honor Roll.  Hospitals receiving the Gold Plus award have maintained an aggressive goal of treating stroke patients with 85% or higher compliance in core standards of care as outlined by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for 12 consecutive months and have demonstrated 75% compliance in seven out of ten additional stroke quality measures during the 12-month period.

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