Theda Clark Stroke Center Recertified

The Joint Commission Designates Hospital as Primary Stroke Center

The Joint Commission for Primary Stroke Centers recertified Theda Clark Medical Center’s Stroke Center, giving the Neenah facility its Gold Seal of Approval™.

The Theda Clark Stroke Center has been accredited since 2004 and was the first stroke center in the Fox Cities/Oshkosh area to receive the Gold Seal of Approval. Established in 2002, the stroke center provides rapid treatment to the more than 360 area residents who suffer a stroke annually.

“Stroke is a brain attack and we should think of it in the same way we think of a heart attack. You need to seek medical treatment quickly,” said neurologist Thomas Mattio, MD, PhD., of the NeuroScience Group of Northeast Wisconsin and medical director of the Theda Clark Stroke Center. “Being a certified stroke center means we have the right people and diagnostic tools in place to make a diagnosis and then get you the right care in a timely manner.”

Theda Clark underwent a rigorous on-site review to achieve its recertification. A Joint Commission expert reviewed the medical center’s compliance with the requirements for The Joint Commission’s Disease-Specific Care Certification program as well as primary stroke center requirements, such as collecting Joint Commission core measure data and using it for performance improvement activities.

“In achieving Joint Commission advanced certification, Theda Clark demonstrated its commitment to the highest level of care for its stroke patients,” said Jean Range, M.S., R.N., C.P.H.Q. executive director, Disease-Specific Care Certification, The Joint Commission. “Certification is a voluntary process and The Joint Commission commends Theda Clark for successfully undertaking this challenge to elevate its standard of care and instill confidence in the community it serves.”

To receive the Gold Seal of Approval, the Joint Commission for Primary Stroke Centers outlined specific criteria for managing and treating stroke, including:

  • 24-hour acute stroke teams made up of neurologists, neuro-interventionalists and specially trained nurses
  • An integrated emergency response system
  • A dedicated stroke unit
  • Neuro-services including imaging and laboratory services
  • Written care protocols
  • Ongoing quality improvement and education programs

Nationally, about 700,000 people suffer a stroke. Stroke is the third leading cause of death and a leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States. Dr. Mattio said it’s essential that people realize the warning signs of stroke including: 

  • Sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the body, especially the face, arms or legs.
  • Sudden confusion; trouble speaking or understanding.
  • Sudden loss of sight in one or both eyes.
  • Sudden dizziness, difficulty walking or loss of balance.
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause – worst headache of your life.

Dr. Mattio said anyone experiencing these symptoms should call 9-1-1 to be taken to the nearest emergency room or Primary Stroke Center. For more information, people may call the Stroke Center at (920) 720-7328.

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 evaluates and accredits more than 19,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States, including more than 10,300 hospitals and home care organizations, and more than 6,500 other health care organizations that provide long term care, behavioral health care, laboratory and ambulatory care services. The Joint Commission currently certifies more than 2,000 disease-specific care programs, focused on the care of patients with chronic illnesses such as stroke, joint replacement, stroke rehabilitation, heart failure and many others. The Joint Commission also provides health care staffing services certification for more than 750 staffing offices. An independent, not-for-profit 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

Theda Clark Medical Center is a 166-bed acute care hospital founded in 1909. In addition to general medical and surgical care, specialized services include a birth center, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin - Fox Valley, the region’s only American College of Surgeons Verified Level II Trauma Center, the Aylward Outpatient Surgery Center and ThedaStar Air Medical Helicopter. Theda Clark Medical Center also offers comprehensive neuroscience care and the Theda Clark Stroke Center was the first stroke center in Northeast Wisconsin to be certified as a Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission. The Bariatric Program at Theda Clark, along with Midwest Bariatric Solutions and its surgeons, have jointly received two Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence designations by the American College of Surgeons and the American Society for Bariatric Surgery.

ThedaCare™ is a community health system consisting of five hospitals: Appleton Medical Center, Theda Clark Medical Center, New London Family Medical Center, Shawano Medical Center, and Riverside Medical Center in Waupaca. ThedaCare also includes ThedaCare Physicians, ThedaCare Behavioral Health, ThedaCare At Work, and ThedaCare at Home. ThedaCare is the largest employer in Northeast Wisconsin with more than 6,175 employees. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.