The following is a press release from Covenant Health:

LUBBOCK, Texas (PRESS RELEASE) — Covenant Medical Center has been recognized by Joint Commission as the first and only Comprehensive Stroke Center in West Texas. Comprehensive Stroke Centers offer the highest level of stroke care and can treat the most complex stroke cases.

“It would be hard to overstate the importance of this new designation for our patients, the region and the Covenant Health system,” Covenant Medical Center Neurointerventional Surgeon Dr. Thomas Windisch said.

When it comes to stroke care, time is brain. Stroke patients who receive faster treatment are more likely to go home with fewer deficits. Having a Comprehensive Stroke Center in West Texas allows stroke patients to receive the emergent care they need as quickly as possible.

Covenant Medical Center is now one of only 40 comprehensive stroke centers in the state, and one of only 13 certified by Joint Commission. It is the only comprehensive stroke center within 300 miles, in any direction.

“Few people realize the tremendous efforts, coordination, and administrative support necessary to achieve certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Center through Joint Commission,” Dr. Windisch added.

The Joint Commission surveyors are experts in stroke care and are an impartial review of the program to ensure the hospital is meeting quality standards to care for stroke patients.

Covenant Medical Center underwent a rigorous, unannounced onsite review. During the visit, a team of Joint Commission surveyors evaluated compliance with related certification standards including 24/7 physician coverage to care for the sickest stroke patients.

“As part of achieving this designation, CMC needed to demonstrate the ability to provide a constellation of uninterrupted services, perhaps most notably the ability to diagnose and treat a host of neurological emergencies including stroke, aneurysm, hemorrhage, seizure and

trauma,” Dr. Windisch explained. “This relies on the continuous availability of physicians, nurses and other providers skilled in emergency removal of blood clots blocking blood vessels in the brain, treatment of ruptured aneurysms, evacuation of hematomas in or around the brain and stabilization of otherwise neurologically unstable patients.”

Joint Commission standards are developed in consultation with health care experts and providers, measurement experts and patients. The reviewers also conducted onsite observations and interviews.

“This process was initially entertained more than a decade ago and has taken monumental efforts by passionate stakeholders to get to this point,” Dr. Windisch said. “It has required Herculean efforts from other areas such as neurology, the emergency department, neurosurgery, radiology, ICU, anesthesiology, and pharmacy to name a few.”

This designation could not have been achieved without our partnership with Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and Texas Tech Physicians.

TTUHSC neurology faculty and residents participate in research, respond to stroke alerts in the emergency department, and routinely cover stroke call at Covenant Medical Center.

Covenant Medical Center’s stroke program medical director is Texas Tech Physicians Dr. Saif Bushnaq.

Covenant Medical Center has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® and the American Stroke Association’s Heart-Check mark for Stroke Care Certification.

Earlier this year, Covenant Medical Center also received an award from the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association for the 2022 Get With the Guidelines program, which recognizes stroke programs for achieving quality standards that have been proven to improve patient outcomes.

For more information, please visit The Joint Commission website.

About Covenant Health:  
As a faith-based health care system, it is Covenant Health’s vision to create Health for a Better World. As the Best Hospital in the Panhandle Plains region as voted by U.S. News and World Report, Covenant Health has consistently provided exceptional health care to West Texas, and eastern New Mexico for more than 100 years. Our clinically integrated health network of eight hospitals, and more than 6,000 caregivers allows us to provide our patients with better access to care using more innovative technology and procedures, while focusing on new age approaches to health care like education and preventative medicine. To learn more about Covenant Health, please visit covenanthealth.org or our Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, pages.

(Press release from Covenant Health)