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Two VCU Health hospitals recognized nationally for stroke care

For the fourth consecutive year, the American Heart Association awarded VCU Medical Center and Community Memorial Hospital with the highest designation for the care of stroke patients.

An elderly patient looks at test results with a physician. VCU Medical Center and VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital received the American Heart Association’s “GoldPlus Get With The Guidelines – Stroke” advanced quality achievement award (Getty Images).

VCU Medical Center and VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital (CMH) received the American Heart Association’s “GoldPlus Get With The Guidelines – Stroke” advanced quality achievement award. Additionally, they earned the AHA’s Target Stroke Elite Plus Honor Roll (Medical Center), Target Stroke Elite Honor Roll (CMH) and Target Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll. 

Hospitals with these designations show unparalleled commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the highest-quality treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines, leading to more lives saved and reduced disability.

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the United States. Early stroke detection and treatment are key to improving survival, minimizing disability and accelerating recovery time.

To earn GoldPlus status, a hospital must consistently adhere to the “Get With The Guidelines – Stroke” program for 24 consecutive months or longer and provide the latest scientific care that can minimize the long-term effects of a stroke and even prevent death.

To be considered, hospitals must provide timely care for patients admitted with stroke diagnoses, often within one hour of arrival. Thorough evaluation of rehabilitation services before a patient is discharged and stroke education are also among the criteria measured. VCU Medical Center, a Comprehensive Stroke Center, has received the highest designation awards from the AHA since 2011. CMH, a Primary Stroke Center, has received this award consecutively for the past four years.

“These awards are very important because they show our commitment to caring for patients with stroke,” said Daniel Falcao, D.O., interim medical director of the VCU Comprehensive Stroke Center at the VCU Medical Center. “Participation in the [American Heart Association’s] “Get With The Guidelines” initiative is associated with improved patient outcomes, fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates.”

A stroke occurs when a blood vessel to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood and oxygen it needs, so cells die. Timely care is directly related to better outcomes.

“We improve patient care by adhering to the latest treatment guidelines,” said Sheldon Barr, president of CMH. “It is an honor to receive the GoldPlus award from the American Heart Association. This is a demonstration of our caregivers’ and VCU Health System’s commitment, in collaboration with the American Heart Association’s Get With the Guidelines Program to promote and follow evidence-based, best practices for optimal stroke care within our Southside Virginia community and beyond.”

For more information on VCU Health’s stroke care expertise, please visit our Richmond and South Hill webpages.

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