Sanford Fargo earns highest level of stroke certification

By: Nadine Aljets .

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FARGO, N.D. – Sanford Health in Fargo, North Dakota, has been recognized as an Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center by The Joint Commission, which is the highest level of stroke certification. The accreditation signifies Sanford Fargo meets the standards to treat the most complex stroke cases.

This achievement makes Sanford Fargo the only Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center in North Dakota and northwest Minnesota, and the only center between Seattle, Denver and Minneapolis.

“We know the sooner stroke patients receive treatment, the better their outcomes,” said Michael Manchak, M.D., Sanford Health stroke neurologist. “Patients and their families can now be close to home and stay in North Dakota for the emergency care they need.”

Some of the criteria to be an Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center include:

  • Dedicated neuro-intensive care unit and neuro-critical care providers provide neuro-critical care 24/7.
  • Cerebrovascular neurosurgery team capable of managing brain vessel pathology of any complexity with microsurgical and endovascular approaches.
  • Commitment to continual performance improvement to meet stringent outcome criteria.
  • Meet or exceed minimum number of patients served with various stroke treatments including surgical and pharmaceutical interventions.
  • Outstanding stroke research and education programs.

This accreditation comes after a rigorous review and evaluation by The Joint Commission, an independent, not-for-profit organization that accredits and certifies health care organizations and programs in the United States. The Joint Commission accreditation and certification is recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting certain performance standards.

Sanford Health encourages the public to know and understand the signs and symptoms of stroke to receive care in a timely manner. The first thing to do is to act B.E. F.A.S.T.: Sudden loss of Balance, Lost vision in one or both Eyes, Check for Facial drooping, Arm weakness and Speech difficulty. If those signs are present, then it’s Time to call 911.
Learn more about stroke signs and symptoms at

About Sanford Health
Sanford Health is one of the largest health care systems in the nation, with 44 hospitals and nearly 300 clinics in nine states and four countries. Headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and serving the Upper Midwest, with nearly 1,400 physicians, Sanford Health is dedicated to several initiatives, including global children’s clinics, genomic medicine and specialized centers researching cures for type 1 diabetes, breast cancer and other diseases. Sanford Health has 28,000 employees, making it the largest employer in the Dakotas. Nearly $1 billion in gifts from philanthropist Denny Sanford over the past decade have transformed how Sanford Health can improve the human condition. For information, visit

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