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VCU Medical Center and VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital earn stroke awards

The American Heart Association and The Joint Commission accredited both with GoldPlus status for their commitment to providing highest-quality care for stroke patients

computer generated image showing a stroke in a brain Getty Images

VCU Medical Center and VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital (VCU Health CMH) received the American Heart Association’s “GoldPlus Get With The Guidelines – Stroke” advanced quality achievement award. Hospitals with this designation 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 patient admitted with a stroke diagnoses, often within one hour of arrival, among other criteria. Thorough evaluation for rehab services before a patient is discharged and stroke education are also among the measures. Both VCU Medical Center and VCU Health CMH have received this award consecutively for the past three years.

VCU Medical Center earned The Joint Commission and American Heart Association’s Comprehensive Stroke Center certification. This certification is designed for those hospitals that have specific abilities to receive and treat the most complex stroke cases. VCU Medical Center was the first to earn this certification in Virginia in 2015.

VCU Health CMH earned The Joint Commission and American Heart Association’s Primary Stroke Center certification.  A Primary Stroke Center certification recognizes health care organizations with health professionals specifically trained in emergency stroke care. This includes clot-busting therapy, and more extensive evaluation and care than the average stroke-ready hospital does to help stabilize a patient. VCU Health CMH earned this certification for the past six years.

“We are incredibly pleased to receive these awards for our commitment to caring for patients with stroke,” said Mike Roussos, president of VCU Medical Center. “Participation in Get With The Guidelines and Comprehensive Stroke Center programs are associated with improved patient outcomes, fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates – a win for patients, families and communities VCU Medical Center serves.”

A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients 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 are committed to improving patient care by adhering to the latest treatment guidelines,” said Scott Burnette, president at VCU Health CMH. “The AHA and The Joint Commission make it easier for our teams to put proven knowledge and guidelines to work daily, which studies show can help patients recover better. The end goal is to ensure more people in Southside Virginia and northern North Carolina can experience longer, healthier lives.”

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