Rocket Fuel

Nationally Designated Primary Stroke Center Delivers Award-Winning Stroke Care


Shahid Rafiq, MD
Medical Director
Neurology and Stroke
View his video

Stroke Patient Education

Your guide to understanding
stroke and stroke care.
Download now:
English | Spanish

Holy Cross Hospital is designated a Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission, the national credentialing organization for hospitals, and by the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems. The center is part of the hospital's comprehensive Neuroscience program.

As a Primary Stroke Center, the hospital has met a number of important guidelines for the speedy diagnosis of strokes. And it has been recognized for the top-quality care it provides patients suffering from neurological stroke, including "mini-stroke," called a transient ischemic attack (TIA). We have received the American Stroke Association's Get With The GuidelinesSM-Stroke Gold Performance Achievement Award every year since 2010. This honor is given to hospitals that achieve the goal of 85 percent or higher adherence to a number of core standard levels of care for 24 consecutive months.

Rapid Response Team

Care begins in the hospital's Emergency Room with our Stroke Rapid Response Team, a group of experts who respond to every stroke emergency - 24-hours a day, seven-days-a week. The team works to quickly diagnose patients who suffer strokeso that they can benefit from early treatment, which may include medication to restore blood flow to the brain. Given within three hours of the first stroke symptom, certain medications can break up the blood clot that causes a stroke.

Critical Care

The Primary Stroke Center also includes inpatient care, and the special services of our Neuro Critical Care Unit, which provides intensive treatment for complex or life-threatening strokes.


Holy Cross Hospital is unique among community hospitals, offering a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician who assesses all stroke patients and develops a "functional recovery" plan. Using this plan, a team of physical and occupational therapists helps patients reach their highest level of functioning and their best possible recovery. Patients also benefit from our education program and family support groups, helping patients and caregivers learn to prevent second strokes and to cope with life after illness.

For more information about Holy Cross Hospital's Neurosciences services, please fill out our brief contact form, email or call 301-754-8266.

To find a physician or make an appointment, search the physician directory or call 301-754-8800.