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EL PASO, Texas - University Medical Center of El Paso (UMC) announced today it has been recognized for the second consecutive year by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, receiving the highest recognition possible from the American Heart Association. The award "Get With The Guidelines: Gold Plus, Target Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus, Target Type 2 Diabetes" is given to certain comprehensive stroke centers able to achieve the highest level of quality metrics involving patient care and timing of treatments.

"Our stroke care at UMC has risen to a level of excellence over the last few years that is unmatched in our region," said R. Jacob Cintron, President & CEO. "For more than two decades, we have been recognized as the only Level 1 trauma center in our region. This award emphasizes our capacity to provide exceptional stroke care as the region's only Joint Commission-certified Level 1 Comprehensive Stroke Center. Our team of physicians, nurses and techs in this department stand shoulder to shoulder with the best stroke care systems in the nation - and I am extremely proud to be their CEO."

UMC's recognition for excellence in stroke care comes on the heels of the recent rollout of the region's only Mobile Stoke Unit, a mobile unit, equipped with a state-of-the-art CT scanner, able to bring immediate stroke care directly to patients. This reduces the overall amount of time a stroke patient's brain goes without necessary care.

"This award is testament of the great partnership and emphasis on providing high-quality stroke care in our department," said Dr. Salvador Cruz-Flores, Professor and Founding Chair of the Department of Neurology at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso. "Receiving this recognition in consecutive years is a great indicator that we are focused on a very high standard of care that our patients can depend on. We have a great team of highly skilled physicians, using the latest techniques and equipment, along with a strong team of nurses and techs led by Carla Escobar and Roxann Contreras."

Carla Escobar is the Administrative Director for Neuroscience Programs at UMC. She has been and continues to be one of the key drivers for ensuring UMC's stroke program is second to none in the southwest. " I am truly proud of our team and what we have achieved by again being recognized on a national level for excellence,' she said. "If nothing else, this shows that UMC is the home of stroke care expertise; that UMC is a place of trust for patients and families in need of neurocritical care."