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Primary Stroke Center

TIME IS BRAIN! If you are experiencing any symptoms of stroke, immediately call 911.

Symptoms of a stroke:

  • Balance, sudden loss of balance
  • Eyesight, sudden loss of vision or blurry vision
  • Face drooping
  • Arm weakness
  • Speech slurred or confusing
  • Time lost is brain lost, call 911 immediately if experiencing any symptoms

What is a Primary Stroke Center?

A primary stroke center is a stroke program that has been certified by the Joint Commission, which is a hospital accreditation organization.

To become a primary stroke center, an organization must undergo a rigorous evaluation of processes and outcomes to ensure that best practices are utilized in the treatment of stroke patients. Ongoing performance improvement must also be demonstrated to maintain certification.

There is an annual review completed by the Joint Commission, with onsite evaluation completed every two years. UPMC Somerset achieved the designation of Primary Stroke Center in 2017.

The Primary Stroke Center at UPMC Somerset was also recognized by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association with the Get with the Guidelines Stroke Participating Quality Achievement Award.

Services offered by the Primary Stroke Center:


UPMC Somerset has a very close relationship with all of the EMS agencies in Somerset County. It is very important if you are experiencing any symptoms of a stroke, you call 911 and have an ambulance transport you to the hospital. EMS assists by:

  • Providing advanced notification to UPMC Somerset of a potential incoming stroke patient.
  • Completing necessary blood work on the way to the hospital.
  • Providing early identification of a stroke.


  • Multidisciplinary team meets patient on arrival to expedite processes for diagnosis and treatment of a stroke.
  • All staff members receive annual stroke education.
  • Affiliation with UPMC to provide 24/7 access to stroke specialists.


In affiliation with UPMC, UPMC Somerset is able to provide telestroke and teleneurology.

How does telemedicine work?

Using specialized equipment, telemedicine allows access to specialists without them physically needing to be in the hospital.
Provides a secure connection to share patient’s medical information.

  • Physician to physician consult.
  • Specialists, who are located off-site, receive expedited results of testing electronically.
  • Equipment allows portions of a physical exam to be completed through telemedicine.

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