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WMHS Recognized for Quality Care for Stroke Patients

Pictured are members of the WMHS Stroke Committee: (front from left) Becky Beach - Emergency Department; Joanne Lipinski-Long - ED Care Coordinator; Lori Wilson - Point of The 2015 Stroke Care Team: Care Supervisor; Riaz Janjua, MD; Crissy Martz Education; Lindsey Montgomery - Dietician; Kim Whetsel - Operations Manager, Therapy Services.  Back row: Jennifer Suter - Stroke Care Coordinator; Marie Buzzerd - Nurse Manager, PCU; Sarah Beutlespacher - Nurse Manager, ICU; Amy Stafford - Charge Nurse, ICU; Bill Hardy - Pre-hospital Care Coordinator; Kelly Cessna - Unit Educator; Jason Layman, CRNP - Emergency Department.  Stroke Committee members not available for photo:  Murtaza Amir, MD; Cindy Bridges; Dennis Dey, MD; Joyce Emerick; Barbara Fazenbaker; Dawn Howard; Karen Howsare; Amite Kalaria, MD; Jamie Karstetter; Krista Montgomery, Chrissy Ruhl; Joshua Savage; Cheryl Smith, and Elizabeth Wooster.

Western Maryland Health System received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Associations Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Achievement Award with Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll Elite Plus again in 2017. The award recognizes the hospitals commitment and success ensuring that stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

To receive the Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award, hospitals must achieve 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month periods and achieve 75 percent or higher compliance with five of eight Get With The Guidelines-Stroke quality measures.

To qualify for the Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus, WMHS met the quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patients arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke.  If given intravenously in the first three hours after the start of stroke symptoms, tPA has been shown to significantly reduce the effects of stroke and lessen the chance of permanent disability. 
These quality measures are designed to help hospital teams provide the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients.
For patients, Get With The Guidelines-Stroke uses the "teachable moment, the time soon after a patient has had a stroke, when they learn how to manage their risk factors while still in the hospital and recognize the F.A.S.T. warning signs of a stroke.
According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the number five cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States.  On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.  

WMHS is also a designated Stroke Center by the Maryland Institute on Emergency Medical Services System (MIEMSS).