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Millard Fillmore Hospital has been certified as a primary stroke center by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.

Only 53 of the nation's 5,700 hospitals have received certification by the organization for treatment of stroke, which is akin to a seal of approval.

"We are extremely proud to achieve this designation," said Mike Nagowski, president of the hospital, which is part of Kaleida Health. "The accreditation process is a comprehensive, independent evaluation of the type of stroke care that we provide in Western New York."

The Joint Commission evaluates and accredits more than 15,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States based on their compliance with national standards and performance measures.

Reviewers from the Joint Commission evaluated the Kaleida Health facility and its stroke program in September.

Stroke affects the arteries leading to and within the brain and is often referred to as a brain attack. It is the third leading cause of death in the nation, and Western New York has one of the highest episode rates in the country, according to the National Stroke Association.

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