Comprehensive Stroke Center

Jersey Shore University Medical Center has been recognized by The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association as meeting The Joint Commission’s standards for Disease-Specific Care Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification, which means it is part of an elite group of providers focused on complex stroke care. 

Complex Stroke Centers are recognized as industry leaders and are responsible for setting the national agenda in highly-specialized stroke care. Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification recognizes those hospitals that have state-of-the-art infrastructure, staff and training to receive and treat patients with the most complex strokes.  

Jersey Shore underwent a rigorous onsite review in May 2016. Joint Commission experts reviewed Jersey Shore’s compliance with the Comprehensive Stroke Center standards and requirements including advanced imaging capabilities, 24/7 availability of specialized treatments, and staff with the unique education and competencies to care for complex stroke patients.

When Every Second Counts

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and is the leading cause of long-term disability. In fact, one occurs every 45 seconds.

When stroke symptoms occur, every minute counts. That’s why effective treatment delivered within the first three hours is critical to limiting a stroke’s damaging effects.

Meridian Health is a premier provider of specialized treatment for stroke, providing comprehensive neurological care at the local and regional levels.  Our multi-disciplinary acute stroke program includes our team of board-certified neurologists, who are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, as well as comprehensive stroke rehabilitation and home care services to help you get back to the life you love.

Stroke survivor Kevin Barnett shares his story.


Key features of our Stroke Centers include:

  • Full-time coverage by our rapid response stroke team comprised of a board-certified neurologist, nurse practitioner, and R.N.
  • 24/7 access to comprehensive diagnostic equipment, including laboratory testing and CT Scan
  • Most advanced therapies and technologies such as tPA
  • Access to our comprehensive stroke rehab program, home care, and assisted living

Signs and Symptoms

Call 911 immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms of stroke:

  • Sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion
  • Sudden difficulty speaking or understanding
  • Sudden vision changes
  • Sudden dizziness, balance problems, or difficulty walking
  • Sudden severe headache

Treatment Options

Emergency treatment options are time sensitive and dependent upon the type of stroke that is occurring. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel carrying blood and oxygen to the brain is blocked ischemic stroke (drop down to ischemic stroke below) or leaks or bursts hemorrhagic stroke.

Ischemic Stroke

To treat an ischemic stroke, doctors must quickly restore blood flow to your brain. Quick treatment not only improves your chances of survival, but also may reduce complications.

The only FDA-approved treatment for ischemic strokes is tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), which is administered through an IV in the arm. tPA works by dissolving the clot causing the blockage and restoring blood flow to the brain. If tPA is administered within three hours of signs and symptoms, it may improve the chances of recovery.  

A physician may also perform a carotid endarterectomy or angioplasty to widen the carotid artery to restore proper blood flow to the brain.

Additional treatment options may include emergency endovascular procedures performed at Jersey Shore University Medical Center. Our expert surgical team includes nationally renowned endovascular surgeons and neurosurgeons adept in performing cutting-edge stroke rescue procedures, and is highly ranked by U.S. News and World Report.

Hemorrhagic Stroke

Cerebral aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations

When blood supply to the brain is reduced or blocked, a stroke may occur.  If a part of the brain is deprived of blood, it dies and no longer has functionality. A burst or ruptured aneurysm in the brain allows blood to go into the brain.

Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are tangled arteries and veins. For this, a surgeon may perform a surgical clipping where they place a clamp to stop blood flow to keep it from bursting. Or, in some cases, they may use a surgical bypass procedure to treat poor blood flow to a particular area of the brain.

At Meridian, all of our hospitals house stroke centers that are equipped to address the needs of you and your loved ones.  

Jersey Shore University Medical Center

Riverview Medical Center 

Ocean Medical Center

Bayshore Community Hospital

Southern Ocean Medical Center

Raritan Bay Medical Center

To find a Meridian neurologist near you, visit our physician directory.

Rehabilitation Services

Once the immediate crisis of a stroke has passed, and your medical condition has been stabilized, Meridian’s Stroke Rehabilitation Program will help you through the next phase of your recovery journey.

The impact of a stroke varies greatly from person to person.  Some individuals may need to re-learn basic functions or even change the way they perform daily tasks. No matter what your individual goals of rehab are, our comprehensive and personalized approach to treatment will help you attain them.

In addition to offering cutting-edge rehabilitation equipment, our program is comprised of a multi-disciplinary team of professionals, each providing unique skills and expertise, allowing you to regain independence, improve physical functioning, and attain a satisfying quality of life. 

Our team includes:

  • Physiatrists – Board-certified physicians who specialize in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapists – Specialize in promoting mobility and motor functions, such as walking, balance and coordination
  • Occupational Therapists – Enhance skills of daily living such as bathing and getting dressed.
  • Speech Therapists – Focus on speech and communication skills, as well as swallowing disorders
  • Recreational Therapists – Assist in re-learning activities or creating new modified versions of previously enjoyed activities
  • Certified Rehabilitation Nurse – In addition to serving as caregivers, our stroke rehabilitation nurses are expert teachers, advocates and motivators, who offer physical and emotional support. Our nurses also serve as liaisons between patients, families, and the rehabilitation team.

Meridian also offers rehabilitation programs at each of our sites to help you or your loved one get back to the life you love.

Stroke Support Groups

A stroke can be life-altering and overwhelming.  Meridian Health’s Stroke Program invites survivors and their families to join us in sharing stories, challenges, and inspirations. Meet and connect with Meridian stroke experts who will offer insight and guidance to help stroke survivors and their loved ones maximize their quality of life and navigate through this journey.

Meridian Rehabilitation in Neptune
2100 Route 33, Suite 2
Neptune City, NJ 07753

The group meets on the fourth Wednesday of each month at 5:00 p.m. For more information or to register, please call (732) 776-4908.

The group meets the fourth Thursday of each month at 12:00 p.m.  For more information or to register, please call (732) 836-4438.

Stroke Quality Data and Treatment Performance

Jersey Shore University Medical Center a member of Hackensack Meridian Health, is state recognized and Joint Commission certified a Comprehensive Stroke program, the leading Stroke Program in Monmouth and Ocean county. A Stroke Program achieves comprehensive status for its high volume and progressive stroke therapies that are available 24/7. The Stroke Program utilizes the state of the art Teleneurology services which provides emergent video consultation with a Neurologist to avoid delays in treatment.

The number of Stroke patient cared for annually at Jersey Shore University Medical Center

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The Joint Commission and the American Stroke Association measure eight standards of in-patient stroke care. These performance measures are used by Stroke Centers to evaluate the stroke care at their facility, and are used to obtain Primary or Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification from the Joint Commission.


  • 1 - Patients with an ischemic stroke or a hemorrhagic stroke and who are non-ambulatory should start receiving DVT prophylaxis by end of hospital day two.
  • 2 - Patients with an ischemic stroke prescribed antithrombotic therapy at discharge.
  • 3 - Patients with an ischemic stroke with atrial fibrillation/flutter discharged on anticoagulation therapy.
  • 4 - Acute ischemic stroke patients who arrive at the hospital within 120 minutes (2 hours) of time last known well and for whom IV t-PA was initiated at this hospital within 180 minutes (3 hours) of time last known well.
  • 5 - Patients with ischemic stroke who receive antithrombotic therapy by the end of hospital day two.
  • 6 - Ischemic stroke patients with LDL greater than or equal to 100 mg/dL, or LDL not measured, or who were on a lipid-lowering medication prior to hospital arrival are prescribed statin medication at hospital discharge.
  • 7 - Ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke patients or their caregivers who were given educational materials during the hospital stay addressing all of the following: activation of emergency medical system, need for follow-up after discharge, medications prescribed at discharge, risk factors for stroke, and warning signs and symptoms of stroke.
  • 8 - Ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke patients who were assessed for rehabilitation services.

The faster a clot can be removed from the brain, the more likely it is a patient will have better recovery from their stroke. National guidelines recommend eligible patients receive treatment within 60 minutes of arrival at the hospital.


Quality Performance JSUMC Performance National Average
Percentage of acute stroke patients who arrive within treatment window receive tPA 92% 85%
Percentage of tPA treatment among the stroke population at JSUMC 18% 5%
Treatment with tPA in less than 60 mins of arrival 80% of eligible patients 75%
Treatment with Endovascular Clot retrieval 14% 6%

† National Benchmark

Stroke Prevention is so Important

Often strokes occur as the result of a blockage in one of the carotid arteries (two main arteries in the neck that supply blood to the brain). In order to prevent a stroke caused by a blocked artery, patients may undergo a procedure to remove the blockage, either carotid artery stenting or carotid endarterectomy.

Stroke Prevention
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Wellness Resources

    • Stroke Quiz

      Stroke Quiz

      Test your knowledge about risk factors and stroke awareness.

      Learn More
    • Effects of Stroke

      Effects of Stroke

      The effects of stroke (brain attack) vary from person to person based on the type, severity, location, and number of strokes.

      Learn More
    • Diagnostic Tests for Neurological Disorders

      Diagnostic Tests for Neurological Disorders

      Evaluating and diagnosing damage to the nervous system is complicated and complex.

      Learn More

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