ELKIN — Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital has been named one of America’s Best Stroke Centers by the Women’s Choice Award. The award signifies that Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital is in the top 4% of 4,542 U.S. hospitals offering stroke care services, according to a statement released jointly by the hospital and the awarding agency.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in five women in the United States will have a stroke in her lifetime. Nearly 60% of stroke deaths are in women, and stroke kills twice as many women as breast cancer. Studies show that women are more likely to be misdiagnosed for stroke even with the same symptoms present as men.

“Timely diagnosis and effective care are critical to preventing disability and improving chances of recovery. The time to identify your community’s leading hospital for stroke care is right now, not in the middle of a medical emergency when every minute is precious,” said Delia Passi, founder and CEO of the Women’s Choice Award. “We congratulate these hospitals and their dedication to education, prevention, and early intervention to reduce the devastating effects of stroke.”

A stroke center must be certified by the Joint Commission Stroke Certification Program and/or Det Norske Veritas (DNV) as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center and/or Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center to be considered for the award. Those with the Advanced Comprehensive designation receive additional credit.

It is the only award recognizing excellence in stroke care based on criteria that consider patient satisfaction and clinical excellence, according to the statement. The methodology used to select Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital as one of America’s Best Stroke Centers is unique in that it evaluates Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems patient survey results along with primary research about women’s healthcare preferences.

Hospitals must also score in the top 80% of all hospitals in the percent of patients receiving head CT scan results within 45 minutes, and cannot have received a rating of worse than the national rate for the deaths from serious treatable complications measure.

“Hugh Chatham became the first Joint Commission-certified stroke center in the region back in 2011. Since then, our physicians, clinical experts and support team members have relentlessly focused on raising the bar, by implementing emerging best clinical practices and the latest in diagnostic and treatment options, so that our patients can count on us when seconds count for them” stated Paul Hammes, CEO of Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital.