May 30, 2019


Earns The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval®

NEENAH, Wis. – ThedaCare is proud to announce that the Stroke Center at ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Heart-Check mark for Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers.

“The certification validates the exceptional stroke care we provide,” said Dr. Scott Betzelos, Chief Clinical Officer and President of ThedaCare’s Clinically Integrated Network. “Every day, we strive to advance our care even further for patients and families. The entire stroke team is aware that when a stroke presents, ‘time is neurons, neurons are brain function and brain function is quality of life’. This certification affords the community we serve the ability to preserve quality of life through a structured and methodical process designed to produce quality and safe outcomes.”

The Primary Stroke Center at ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah has partnerships with first responders and rural hospitals, and a 24-hour acute care to provide the best care, close to home.

The Gold Seal of Approval® and the Heart-Check mark represent symbols of quality from their respective organizations. ThedaCare underwent a rigorous onsite review in March 2019. Joint Commission experts evaluated compliance with stroke-related standards and requirements, including program management, the delivery of clinical care and performance improvement.

“ThedaCare has thoroughly demonstrated the greatest level of commitment to the care of stroke patients through its Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers,” said Patrick Phelan, executive director, Hospital Business Development, The Joint Commission. “We commend ThedaCare for being a leader in stroke care, potentially providing a higher standard of service for stroke patients in the communities they serve.”

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States, according to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. It’s important to have local access to treatment at the first sign of a stroke.

“When we say the words "Code Stroke" at ThedaCare, it puts our team into immediate action,” said Thomas Mattio, PhD, MD, neurologist with the Neuroscience Group and medical director of the ThedaCare Stroke Center. “Minutes count when it comes to treating a stroke victim and we prepare for the response needed to help those patients.”

Established in 2003, Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers is awarded for a two-year period to Joint Commission-accredited acute care hospitals. The certification was derived from the Brain Attack Coalition’s “Recommendations for the Establishment of Primary Stroke Centers” (JAMA, 2000) and the “Revised and Updated Recommendations for the Establishment of Primary Stroke Centers” (Stroke, 2011).

About The Joint Commission:

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 accredits and certifies more than 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. An independent, nonprofit 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

About ThedaCare

For more than 110 years, ThedaCare® has been committed to finding a better way to deliver serious and complex healthcare to patients throughout Northeast and Central Wisconsin. The organization serves a community of more than 600,000 residents and employs more than 6,700 healthcare professionals throughout the regions. ThedaCare has seven hospitals located in Appleton, Neenah, Berlin, Waupaca, Shawano, New London and Wild Rose as well as 31 clinics in nine counties. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving our specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a non-profit healthcare organization with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs as well as a foundation dedicated to community service.

For more information, visit or follow ThedaCare on Facebook and Twitter.

Media should call Cassandra Wallace, Public Relations Specialist at 920.442.0328 or the ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah switchboard at 920.729.3100 and ask for the marketing person on call.