KATY, TEXAS (January 21, 2010)

Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital has earned the Gold Seal of Approval™ from The Joint Commission for Primary Stroke Centers. The hospital earned this distinction after the Joint Commission conducted an unannounced on-site review in November. Memorial Hermann Katy is the first hospital in Katy to receive this certification.

"Memorial Hermann Katy demonstrated that its stroke care program follows national standards and guidelines that can significantly improve outcomes for stroke patients," said Jean E. Range, MS, RN, CPHQ, executive director, Disease-Specific Care Certification, Joint Commission.

Each year about 700,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke, which is the nation's third leading cause of death. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 45 seconds and someone dies of a stroke every 3.1 minutes. Stroke is a leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States, with about 4.7 million stroke survivors alive today.

"We're proud to achieve the distinction," said Scott Barbe, Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital CEO. "Joint Commission Primary Stroke Center Certification recognizes our commitment to providing outstanding care to our patients and our community."

The Joint Commission's Primary Stroke Center Certification is based on the recommendations for primary stroke centers published by the Brain Attack Coalition and the American Stroke Association's statements/guidelines for stroke care. The Joint Commission launched the program - the nation's first - in 2003. A list of programs certified by the Joint Commission is available at www.jointcommission.org.