Stroke Care Program in Savannah, Georgia, Earns American Stroke Association Award

(August 5, 2008) – Memorial University Medical Center (MUMC) has received the American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines Stroke (GWTG–Stroke) Silver Performance Achievement Award. The award recognizes MUMC’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 this award addresses the important element of time. We have 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,” said Ramon Meguair, M.D., senior vice president and chief medical officer at MUMC.
To receive the GWTG-Stroke Silver Performance Achievement Award, MUMC consistently complied for at least one year with the requirements in the GWTG–Stroke program. These include aggressive use of medications like tPA, antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, DVT prophylaxis, cholesterol reducing drugs, and smoking cessation.

This 12-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 MUMC for its success in implementing standards of care and protocols,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., national Get With the Guidelines Steering Committee member and director of 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.”

According to the American Stroke Association, each year approximately 700,000 people suffer a stroke — 500,000 are first attacks and 200,000 are recurrent. Of stroke survivors, 21 percent of men and 24 percent of women die within a year, and for those aged 65 and older, the percentage is even higher.

Memorial University Medical Center is a two-state healthcare organization serving a 35-county area in southeast Georgia and southern South Carolina. The system includes its flagship hospital, a 530-bed tertiary medical center; Memorial primary and specialty care physician networks; a major medical education program; business and industry services; and NurseOne, a 24-hour call center. Memorial University Medical Center has been named a Distinguished Hospital by J.D. Power and Associates four years in a row for providing an outstanding patient experience.