Staff Report

Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital has again earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification, a two-year designation for excellence in the care of stroke patients. The hospital earned this certification for the first time in 2019.

The Advanced Certification Gold Seal, offered in collaboration with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, reflects a health care organization’s commitment to providing safe and quality patient care. Stroke ranks fifth among causes of death in the United States, according to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

Comprehensive Stroke Center (CSC) Certification is the most demanding of the Joint Commission’s certifications and is designed for hospitals that have specific abilities to receive and treat the most complex stroke cases. The goal of CSC certification is to recognize the significant differences in resources, staff and training that are necessary for the treatment of complex strokes.

To earn the designation, Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital successfully completed a rigorous, unannounced onsite review by a team of Joint Commission reviewers who evaluated the hospital’s compliance with stroke program standards.

Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital is a regional destination on the Central Coast and surrounding areas for comprehensive stroke care. Specialty medical staff and resources are available at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital including neurologists, neurointerventionalists, neurosurgeons, neurointensivists, telemedicine clinicians and specialty trained staff, who are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In addition, specialized equipment and resources are always at the ready for the care of stroke. This includes CT scans, interventional radiology lab, intensive care units, and the stroke unit on 1 Ridley Tree.

Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital and Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital transfer patients with complex stroke cases to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for a higher level of treatment and care.

Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital, which is approximately an hour’s drive from SBCH, has recently earned re-certification as a “Stroke-Ready Facility” by Santa Barbara County Emergency Medical Services. This official designation allows paramedics to deliver North County stroke patients directly to Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital where they can begin receiving treatment immediately. Some stroke patients at the Santa Ynez facility can be stabilized with a de-clotting drug therapy called “tissue Plasminogen Activator” (tPA) within the vital 45-minute window to reduce brain damage, before they are transferred to Santa Barbara.

“The certifications for Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital and Stroke-Ready Facility at Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital are testaments to the exceptional clinical teams we have at Cottage, who are trained to provide rapid, effective treatment for stroke patients,” said Lisa Moore, executive vice president and COO for Cottage Health. “Earning these designations demonstrates our commitment to providing the highest standard of clinical service that can lead to better outcomes.”