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For Immediate Release

For more information, contact:
Gloria O'Connell, 612-863-4801


Abbott Northwestern Hospital's Neuroscience Institute receives national stroke care recognition

MINNEAPOLIS 04/22/2008--Abbott Northwestern Hospital's Neuroscience Institute has been designated a Stroke Center of Excellence according to a new survey sponsored by Chicago-based think tank NeuStrategy.

The survey assesses the characteristics and organization of hospital services, staff and facilities for stroke patient care. Hospitals complying with the American Stroke Association's recommendations for stroke care rank high in the survey and qualify for NeuStrategy's Stroke Center of Excellence designation.

"This study reinforces how the right hospital choice can significantly reduce a stroke patient's risk of death or a crippling long-term disability," says Mandy Richards, director of the Neuroscience Institute. "We're proud this study recognizes Abbott Northwestern for its efforts to deliver excellent stroke care."

Certified stroke centers of excellence

The study found stroke centers of excellence do things differently. They are 50 percent more likely to have a dedicated stroke care unit where doctors, nurses and medical technicians get on-going education in their specialty. As a result, patients may have fewer complications and are able to leave the hospital sooner.

Certified stroke centers are also 50 percent more likely to follow-up on patients, to help determine which treatments work best and at what cost.

Every year, 700,000 people in the U.S. suffer a stroke. In light of this study, doctors who care for stroke victims are urging all hospitals to review the way they treat this medical emergency.

"We know we can help many stroke patients with thrombolytic drugs and other more aggressive forms of intervention," says Ronald Tarrel, MD. "It's critical that patients get to a hospital that's prepared to treat their stroke as an emergency."

Experts note the U.S. population over the age of 62 will increase 80 percent by 2030, and as people age, their risk for stroke increases dramatically.

"U.S. hospitals must prepare for a flood of new stroke cases," warns Kevin Dunne, NeuStrategy partner and co-author of the study. "Stroke centers of excellence are ahead of their peers in creating the optimal environment for stroke care."

About Abbott Northwestern Hospital

Abbott Northwestern Hospital is part of Allina Hospitals & Clinics, a not-for-profit health care system of hospitals, clinics and other patient care services that provides exceptional care to communities throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin and employs more than 22,000 people. Allina Hospitals & Clinics facilities, services and jobs can be found online at

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