Hospital Earns Primary Stroke Center Designation

Lanham, MD – The Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS) has designated Doctors Community Hospital as a Primary Stroke Center. This recognition highlights the hospital’s ability to provide quality and specialized medical care to patients who may have suffered a stroke.

To earn this designation, the hospital underwent an extensive evaluation, which included demonstrating how its team complied with national quality and clinical excellence standards for stroke care.  The effective and consistent use of such guidelines can save lives while reducing the rate of long-term complications such as paralysis. 

“This highly noteworthy achievement is one of many examples of how we continue to be dedicated to offering quality care to the community,” shared Dr. Patricia Christensen, vice president of nursing and patient care services at Doctors Community Hospital. “We are proud to be recognized for offering consistently excellent care to patients who suffer from such a pervasive condition.”

Every year, more than three quarters of a million people across the United States suffer a stroke, which can impede blood flow to one or more areas of the brain.  A stroke often results in damage to bodily functions (e.g. memory, muscle movement, etc.) controlled by the affected areas of the brain. On average, one American dies from a stroke every four minutes. ] Fast action and appropriate care are critical to improving long-term outcomes. 

“Time lost is brain lost.  That’s why it is so important to quickly recognize the signs and symptoms of a stroke to minimize damage to the brain,” shared Helen Bradley, RN, CEN, stroke center coordinator at Doctors Community Hospital. 

The F.A.S.T. acronym helps in recognizing stroke:

  • Face – Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
  • Arms – Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm droop downward?
  • Speech – Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or unusual?
  • Time – If you observe any of these signs, call 911 immediately.

Bradley also mentioned that eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, avoiding smoking and limiting alcohol consumption can reduce the risk of stroke.

To provide patients with timely and streamlined care, Doctors Community Hospital’s stroke care program consists of:

  • Experienced emergency physicians, hospitalists and nurses who receive annual stroke education
  • A multidisciplinary team that includes neurology and radiology specialists
  • Evidence-based assessments, diagnostics and treatments
  • Access to a comprehensive transitional care facility located on its main campus

Also, the hospital earned the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s 2016 Get with the Guidelines Stroke Gold Plus Award and offers a free stroke support group. “Prince George’s County residents can rely on us to provide comprehensive stroke care available right in their community,” shared Christensen. “Timing matters in stroke treatment, so having high-quality care close to home is critical.”


Doctors Community Hospital is a premier medical and surgical hospital located in Lanham, Maryland.   With a mission of being dedicated to passionately caring for the health of patients and the community, the hospital has provided high-quality as well as comprehensive health care to residents of Prince George's County and the region for 40 years.

A non-profit and 163-licensed bed facility, Doctors Community Hospital has a wide range of specialty programs and services. 

For more information, please visit or call 301-DCH-4YOU (301-324-4968).