Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix (BUMCP) has received two stroke certifications from The Joint Commission, a partnership between The American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Stroke Association (ASA). BUMCP is classified as the first designated Comprehensive Stroke Center in Arizona able to treat the most complex stroke cases.  Strokes are the third most prevalent cause of death, the leading cause of adult disability, and affect more than 795,000 Americans every year – a stroke death every four minutes. A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is disrupted by a blood clot (ischemic) or by bleeding from a burst blood vessel (hemorrhagic), either of which impairs the brain’s ability to function, but which require opposite treatments.

“Our staff has demonstrated that its stroke program follows national standards and guidelines that can significantly improve outcomes for stroke patients, especially those with the most complex cases in Arizona,” said Jeremy Payne, MD, PhD, Comprehensive Stroke Center director at BUMCP.

In partnership with the Brain Attack Coalition, the Comprehensive Stroke Certification recognizes hospitals that meet standards to treat the most complex stroke cases and they anticipate regions will develop a formal referral network to ensure the most complicated cases are treated by the centers equipped to provide this specialized care, ultimately leading to better outcomes. 

The Comprehensive Stroke Certification recognizes hospitals who meet rigorous standards of performing endovascular thrombectomy (EVT), a surgical procedure to remove a vein clot, endovascular coiling and microsurgical clipping. The Certification requires that an acute stroke team, neurosurgical services, and dedicated intensive care beds are available 24/7 for acute ischemic stroke patients and the team can be at a bedside within 15 minutes, while being able to support two patients simultaneously. 

The Neuroscience Institute at Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix (BUMCP) is currently able to support multiple clinical trials and enroll in several interventional radiology registries to support new equipment for the large majority of patients that are transferred within Arizona. The volume of stroke patients sent to the campus have more than tripled since 2013 and as the disease prevalence is expected to grow in our community, it is a comfort to know that we have such a highly skilled and quality outcome driven team guiding our care.

“In addition to our certifications, Banner University Medical Center also employs an interventional radiologist who handles comprehensive stroke cases and a neurosurgeon who handles comprehensive stroke,” said Payne. “Most hospitals have one or the other, but due to our stroke volume increases over the past five years, we felt it was important to appropriately handle the volume and level of complexity of cases we are now seeing.”

Although patients benefit from the comprehensive list of guidelines, other hospitals implementing their own stroke programs also see value by partnering with BUMCP for their complex patients. Each facility who partners with BUMCP has access to clinical tools and resources, professional education opportunities and a competitive advantage in the health care marketplace. Since the program was started in 2003, 1,656 hospitals have entered more than 2 million patient records into the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke database, providing thorough research that is also accessible to all participating institutions.

Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix is a large teaching hospital that has provided medical care to Arizona and the Southwest since 1911. It is part of Banner – University Medicine, a premier academic medical network. The hospital specializes in heart care, cancer care, high-risk obstetrics, neurosciences and stroke care, organ transplants and Emergency care, including a Level 1 trauma center and Arizona’s first certified Comprehensive Stroke Center. Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix is part of Banner Health, a nonprofit health care system with 28 hospitals in six states. The institution, which has trained thousands of doctors over decades as a teaching hospital, is the academic medical center for the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix. For more information, visit


Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program that provides hospitals with the latest research-based guidelines. Developed with the goal of saving lives and hastening recovery, Get With The Guidelines has entered 1,656 hospitals with more than 2 million patients into its database since 2003. For more information, visit or