Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital Named as Nationally Accredited Primary Stroke Center

Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital is pleased to announce that it has been named as a Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association. This recognition means that the communities of the Twin Tiers now have access to nationally accredited stroke care. 

This distinction comes as the hospital 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. 

Dr. Matthew Quigley, Medical Director of Guthrie’s Stroke Program, said: “We are incredibly honored to receive this accreditation. When a person is having a stroke, minutes matter when it comes to outcomes. A stroke can be fatal or have devastating, life-altering effects, and the sooner that treatment is started, the better the likelihood of a positive outcome. Being named as a Primary Stroke Center ensures that if a patient in the Twin Tiers is having a stroke, they will be quickly transferred to a local regional center, rather than having to travel hundreds of miles. Guthrie is proud to be able to now offer our communities this life-saving option.”

The Gold Seal of Approval® and the Heart-Check mark represent symbols of quality from their respective organizations. Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital underwent a rigorous onsite review in July 2016. Joint Commission experts evaluated compliance with stroke-related standards and requirements, including program management, the delivery of clinical care and performance improvement.

Dr. Marc Harris, Chairman of Guthrie Robert Packer’s Hospital’s Emergency Department said: “Achieving this distinction is truly a team effort. Hospitals named as Primary Stroke Centers must have a high skilled, coordinated stroke team which involves clinicians in emergency services, radiology, surgery, and the hospitalist program. For a patient experiencing a stroke, the quicker and more targeted the response, the greater the chance of a full recovery. Our team of specialists and first responders helps to ensure that those suffering a stroke are diagnosed quickly and given the best care.”

As well as being recognized as Primary Stroke Center, Guthrie has recently increased its capability to treat even the most devastating of strokes. Earlier this year, it introduced a Bi-plane to its Interventional Radiology Suite at Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital. The new Bi-plane creates comprehensive three dimensional views that allow Guthrie neurosurgeons and interventional radiologists to administer medications, coil aneurysms or retrieve clots.

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).

Stroke is the number four cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States, according to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.


Guthrie is a non-profit integrated health system located in north central Pennsylvania and upstate New York, serving patients from an 11-county service area. Guthrie is a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, and is the first health system based in Pennsylvania and New York to join this network. Guthrie is comprised of a research institute, home care/hospice, hospitals in Sayre, Pa., Corning, N.Y., Towanda, Pa., and Troy, Pa., as well as a multi-specialty group practice of more than 290 physicians and 175 mid-level providers in a regional office network encompassing sub-specialty and primary care sites in 23 communities throughout Pennsylvania and New York.  Guthrie offers a wide range of services and programs designed to enhance the health and well-being of those it serves.

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 nearly 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 the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association:

The American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association are devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke- America’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. The American Stroke Association is a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

The familiar Heart-Check mark now helps consumers evaluate their choices in hospital care. Each mark given to a hospital is earned by meeting specific standards for the care of patients with heart disease and/or stroke. The Heart-Check mark can only be displayed by hospitals that have achieved and defined requirements set by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. For more information on the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Hospital Accreditation Program visit

Guthrie Stroke Team physicians from left to right: Dr. Venkata Jasti, Lead Hospitalist; Dr. Joseph Ronsivalle, Chairman, Medical Imaging/ Interventional Radiology; Dr. Marc Harris, Chairman, Emergency Medicine; Dr. Mathew Quigley, Stroke Program Medical Director; and Dr. Peter Parken, Guthrie Corning Hospital Stroke Medical Director. 

Missing from photo: Dr. Russell Burkett, referring Lead Emergency Department Provider at Guthrie Troy Hospital and Guthrie Towanda Memorial Hospital, Dr. Kim Rickert, Endovascular Neurosurgeon and Dr. Michael Meyer,Co-Director of Neuorscience