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Jupiter Medical Center Opens Comprehensive Stroke Center

  • Category: Press Releases
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  • Written By: Jupiter Medical Center

JUPITER, FLA. (January 4, 2019) — Stroke patients in northern Palm Beach County and Martin County can now receive lifesaving interventions much closer to home. Thanks to a $5 million gift from an anonymous donor, Jupiter Medical Center has the most advanced facilities, technology and specially trained physicians to improve patient outcomes in the most complex stroke cases.

Jupiter Medical Center is the only hospital in northern Palm Beach County and in Martin County to achieve designation as a comprehensive stroke center. Awarded by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), the Comprehensive Stroke Center designation ensures that Jupiter Medical Center has developed system-wide initiatives on stroke prevention, rehabilitation, education, community awareness and research.

“We have reached the culmination of a year of intense effort to recruit the expertise and develop the technological infrastructure necessary to diagnose and treat the most complex stroke patients within minutes of their admission,” said Don McKenna, president and chief executive officer. “We are ready to bring the highest level of lifesaving care for stroke and other neurological problems closer to residents of northern Palm Beach County and Martin County.”

While Jupiter Medical Center has been a Primary Stroke Center since 2008, there is a great need for a Comprehensive Stroke Center in the region. A change in Palm Beach County Fire Rescue protocols requires that stroke patients be taken to comprehensive stroke centers. As a result, stroke patients in northern Palm Beach and Martin counties have had to travel by ambulance to West Palm Beach and Fort Pierce at a time when seconds truly count.

New technology, facility upgrades and the recruitment of neurosurgeons, as well as the appointment of a physician who is board-certified in neuroendovascular surgery, were essential to gaining the designation. Jeffrey Miller, MD, who is one of the first 25 neuroendovascular surgeons in the nation certified by the Society of Neurological Surgeons Committee on Advanced Subspecialty Training, joined Jupiter Medical Center’s stroke team in 2018, serving as medical director of Neuroendovascular Surgery, and co-medical director of Jupiter Medical Center’s Stroke Program. Dr. Jennifer Buczyner, a board-certified neurologist with subspecialty training and a special interest in neurophysiology and neuromuscular disorders, is Stroke Program medical director.

The American Stroke Association estimates that approximately 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke every year. It is the leading cause of disability in the United States and the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S., killing nearly 130,000 people annually. More than 85 percent of strokes are classified as ischemic, which occurs when a blood vessel within the brain is blocked by a clot, depriving it of the blood and oxygen it needs to survive. When brain cells die during a stroke, abilities that are controlled by that area of the brain, such as memory and muscle control, are lost. Hemorrhagic stroke is caused by a rupture in a blood vessel within the brain.

“Every minute counts when someone is having a stroke,” Dr. Buczyner said. “The typical patient could lose up to 2 million brain cells every minute that a stroke is left untreated—time is brain.”

Clot-dissolving medications, if given within three hours of initial symptoms and in some populations up to 4½ hours can reduce long-term disability. Physical removal of a large blood clot, called an endovascular procedure or a mechanical thrombectomy, involves threading a catheter through an artery in the groin and up to the blocked artery in the brain. A stent is deployed to grab the clot, allowing doctors to remove the stent and the trapped clot.

Acquiring neurointerventional biplane angiography technology, which allows for a 3D look at the deepest areas of the brain, was also necessary for comprehensive stroke designation. The biplane includes functional imaging technology which exceeds the capability of scans such as MRIs and CTs at diagnosing disease. In addition to precise diagnosis, the technology enables minimally invasive endovascular procedures, such as angioplasty, coiling, clipping and stenting, which can quickly remove blood clots or repair ruptured blood vessels in the brain.

“Because the biplane is a functional imaging machine, going beyond diagnosis to allow for intervention, it represents a new horizon in neuroscience,” said Dr. Miller. “With this technology, we can remove clots from the brain within minutes.”

The medical center has built a new procedure room to accommodate the biplane technology and expanded its intensive care unit to accommodate neurosurgical patients and those with related conditions. With the new technology and medical expertise, Jupiter Medical Center is now staffed and equipped to provide an array of therapies and minimally invasive interventions to treat strokes, brain tumors, aneurysms and other complex neurological conditions.

In addition to its designation as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, Jupiter Medical Center is also the recipient of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines rooted in the latest scientific evidence. To learn more about Jupiter Medical Center, visit

About Jupiter Medical Center

A not-for-profit 327-bed regional medical center consisting of 207 private acute-care hospital beds and 120 long-term care, sub-acute rehabilitation and Hospice beds, Jupiter Medical Center is reimagining how to restore the community’s health and wellness. Award-winning physicians, world-class partnerships and innovative techniques and technology enable Jupiter Medical Center to provide a broad range of services with specialty concentrations in cardiology, oncology, imaging, orthopedics & spine, digestive health, emergency and pediatric services, lung & thoracic, women’s health, weight management and men’s health. Founded in 1979, Jupiter Medical Center has approximately 1,650 team members, 637 physicians and 640 volunteers. Jupiter Medical Center continues to perform in the top 10 percent of hospitals for patient quality and satisfaction. For more information on Jupiter Medical Center, please call 561-263-2234 or visit