St. Joseph receives American Stroke Association's Get With The Guidelines Silver Performance Achievement Award

St. Joseph receives American Stroke Association's Get With The Guidelines Silver Performance Achievement Award


Kansas City, Mo.– St. Joseph Medical Center has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®–Stroke Silver Performance Achievement Award. The award recognizes St. Joseph’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of stroke care by ensuring that stroke patients receive treatment according to nationally accepted standards and recommendations.

“With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and the Get With The Guidelines–Stroke Silver Performance Achievement Award addresses the important element of time,” said Kathleen Henderson, RN, Stroke Program Coordinator. St. Joseph has developed a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the emergency department. This includes always being equipped to provide brain imaging scans, having neurologists available to conduct patient evaluations and using clot-busting medications when appropriate.

To receive the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Silver Performance Achievement Award, St. Joseph consistently complied for at least one year with the requirements in the Get With The Guidelines–Stroke program. These include aggressive use of medications like tPA, antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, DVT prophylaxis, cholesterol reducing drugs, and smoking cessation. This twelve-month evaluation period is the second in an ongoing self-evaluation by the hospital to continually reach the 85 percent compliance level needed to sustain this award.

“The American Stroke Association commends St. Joseph Medical Center for its success in implementing standards of care and protocols,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., chair of the Get With The Guidelines National Steering Committee and director of the TeleStroke and Acute Stroke Services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. “The full implementation of acute care and secondary prevention recommendations and guidelines is a critical step in saving the lives and improving outcomes of stroke patients.”

Get With The Guidelines–Stroke uses the “teachable moment,” the time soon after a patient has had a stroke, when they are most likely to listen to and follow their healthcare professionals’ guidance. Studies demonstrate that patients who are taught how to manage their risk factors while still in the hospital reduce their risk of a second heart attack or stroke. Through Get With The Guidelines–Stroke, customized patient education materials are made available at the point of discharge, based on patients’ individual risk profiles. The take-away materials are written in an easy-to-understand format and are available in English and Spanish. In addition, the GWTG Patient Management Tool provides access to up-to-date cardiovascular and stroke science at the point of care.

“The time is right for St. Joseph to be focused on improving the quality of stroke care by implementing Get With The Guidelines–Stroke. The number of acute ischemic stroke patients eligible for treatment is expected to grow over the next decade due to increasing stroke incidence and a large aging population,” said Henderson.

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and a leading cause of serious, long-term disability. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 45 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every three minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

St. Joseph Medical Center is an acute care facility of Carondelet Health ( which also includes St. Mary’s Medical Center, three long-term care facilities and home care services. Carondelet Health is dedicated to the healing ministry of Jesus Christ. Our commitment to human dignity compels us to provide compassionate, quality healthcare for body, mind and spirit, with a special concern for the poor. We are responsible stewards serving the needs of all people from conception to death. Carondelet Health is a member of Ascension Health, the nation’s largest Catholic and nonprofit health system.

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