North Colorado Medical Center now a Primary Stroke Center
Certification assures community of timely, effective stroke care
We already have been providing excellent care and tracking those outcomes. This reassures the community that we will continue to perform at a high level.

Contact: Sara Quale

GREELEY, Colo. (Dec. 4, 2018) – North Colorado Medical Center has successfully completed a survey to earn the Primary Stroke Center certification from a national accrediting organization.

The Joint Commission’s certification means NCMC’s stroke response team follows the best methods to care for patients suspected of having a stroke. This allows brain-saving treatments to begin more quickly.

Meredith Frederick, MD, Banner Health neuro-hospitalist at NCMC, said the certification should provide comfort to community members who can be confident that the hospital is providing exceptional care for stroke patients.

“We already have been providing excellent care and tracking those outcomes,” Dr. Frederick said. “This reassures the community that we will continue to perform at a high level.”

Stroke is a disease that affects blood flow to the brain. It is the leading cause of disability in the United States and the fifth leading cause of death. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel is blocked by a clot or ruptures. When that happens, blood flow to the brain is impacted, and brain cells start to die. Every 40 seconds someone in the United States suffers a stroke.

Treatment for stroke varies depending on whether the blood vessel has been blocked or has ruptured. Patients who have a blocked vessel often might receive a drug to break up the clot and restore flow. If the clot is larger or if a blood vessel has burst, the patient will be flown to another hospital for an endovascular intervention. The decision on treatment must be made quickly and accurately to minimize damage to the brain and improve the patient’s chance for the best recovery possible.

Dr. Frederick and Jessica Williams, MD, fill the neuro-hospitalist role at NCMC, covering the hospital from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week. After hours, the hospital contracts with Blue Sky Neurology to provide care via televideo when needed. This allows rapid access to neurology specialists 24 hours a day.

Laurie Hamit, RN and NCMC stroke coordinator, said the certification is for two years. Staff members will report results to The Joint Commission quarterly to demonstrate that the hospital continues to meet requirements.

The Joint Commission is an independent nonprofit organization that accredits and certifies health care organization and programs nationwide.


The letters in the word “fast” will help you spot stroke signs and know when to call 9-1-1.

  • F – Face drooping
  • A – Arm weakness
  • S – Speech difficulty
  • T – Time to call 9-1-1.

If you are unsure, call 9-1-1.

About North Colorado Medical Center

North Colorado Medical Center is a fully accredited, private, nonprofit facility licensed in Greeley, Colorado, operated by Banner Health, a nonprofit healthcare system with 28 hospitals in six states. It serves as a regional medical center offering a comprehensive scope of community-based and specialty healthcare services for an area including southern Wyoming, western Nebraska, western Kansas and northeastern Colorado. It offers Emergency care, cancer care, heart care, orthopedics, inpatient and outpatient surgery, obstetrics, pediatrics, rehabilitation, intensive care, lab and medical imaging, medical air transport and the Western States Burn Center. For more information, visit