Baptist Medical Center Clay earns Primary Stroke Center designation

Bringing lifesaving stroke treatment closer to home for Clay County residents.  

Jacksonville, FL.

Baptist Health’s newest hospital, Baptist Medical Center Clay, has earned Primary Stroke Center designation from The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. This specialist certification signifies excellence in the care of stroke patients and demonstrates Baptist Health’s commitment to provide timely access to high-quality stroke care.

Every 40 seconds, someone in the U.S. has a stroke. It is the leading causes of disability in the country and the fifth leading cause of death. A stroke occurs when blood vessels carrying oxygen and nutrients to the brain become blocked or rupture. Deprived of blood and oxygen, brain cells quickly die. Early stroke detection and prompt treatment are key to saving lives and minimizing or avoiding disabilities.

Improving access to high-quality stroke care To receive the certification, Baptist Clay participated in a rigorous application process that involved providing data on stroke admissions, treatment plans and patient outcomes as well as having an on-site evaluation to demonstrate an elevated level of care, including:

  • An acute stroke team available 24/7
  • A neurologist accessible 24/7
  • Designated beds for stroke patients
  • The ability to provide IV medications to help reduce the stroke’s impact

“This certification underscores Baptist Health’s steadfast commitment to increasing access to top-quality stroke care in Clay County,” said the president of Baptist Clay, Ed Hubel, FACHE. “In 2016, Baptist Clay became the first freestanding emergency center in Florida to receive acute stroke-ready hospital certification from The Joint Commission. We are now proud to be able to offer our patients the next level of stroke care.”

Acute stroke-ready hospitals provide immediate stroke care and then transfer patients to a hospital for an elevated level of care. As a Primary Stroke Center, patients can now stay at Baptist Clay.

Part of a comprehensive stroke network This new Primary Stroke Center designation for Baptist Clay comes as Baptist Health celebrates the tenth anniversary of the opening of its state-of-the-art Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center at Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville. The facility is a certified Comprehensive Stroke Center—a designation shared by just 4% of all hospitals in the U.S.—and a vital component of Baptist Health’s renowned stroke network.

Clay County patients can receive lifesaving treatment closer to home while still benefitting from access to this comprehensive stroke network, which serves Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia through multiple sites and specialized services. In addition to the Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center, the growing network includes:

  • Two other Primary Stroke Centers at Baptist Medical Center Beaches and Baptist Medical Center South.
  • Acute stroke-ready facilities at Baptist Medical Center Nassau, Baptist & Wolfson Oakleaf Emergency Room, Baptist & Wolfson Town Center Emergency Room and Baptist & Wolfson North Emergency Room.
  • Access to world-class care for brain aneurysms and other cerebrovascular diseases.
  • Baptist Health’s Tele-Stroke Program, providing expert stroke consultation virtually to 14 health care facilities within a 160-mile radius of downtown Jacksonville.

“At Baptist Health, we’re passionate about elevating the standard of stroke care not only in our community but also for health systems across the country through education, research and innovation,” said Ricardo Hanel, MD, PhD, neurosurgeon and co-medical director of the Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center. “As we say, ‘time is brain,’ and our specially trained teams are ready 24/7 so that stroke patients can receive prompt treatment for the best possible outcomes. But the first step is for patients to know the signs and symptoms of stroke and seek care in the first place!”

In addition to Baptist Health’s participation in stroke education initiatives at various community outreach events, information and resources on strokes can be found on our website at