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SGMC Receives AHA/ASA Target Stroke Honor Roll-GOLD Elite Plus Award

Posted on: June 20th, 2016


Members of SGMC’s Stroke Program accepted the AHA/ASA Target Stroke Honor Roll-GOLD Elite Plus Award at the June meeting of the Hospital Authority of Valdosta-Lowndes County, GA. South Georgia Medical Center received its second consecutive American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Award with Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll Elite Plus.

The award recognizes SGMC’s commitment to providing the most appropriate stroke treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines aimed at speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. To receive the GWTG-Stroke Gold Plus Award, hospitals must achieve 85 percent or higher adherence to all achievement indicators and achieve 75 percent or higher compliance with five of eight quality measures for two or more consecutive years.

To qualify for the added designation of Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus, hospitals must meet quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, tPA. tPA is the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke and if given intravenously in the first three hours after the start of symptoms significantly reduces the effects of stroke and lessens the chance of permanent disability.

Recognizing stroke onset by using the acronym F.A.S.T. has proven a benefit for many: Facial droop, Arm weakness, Slurred speech and Time to call 911. “With stroke, time lost is brain lost,” said Dr. Tami Jackson, Chief Nursing Officer. “A stroke patient loses 1.9 million neurons every minute that stroke treatment is delayed. This recognition further demonstrates SGMC’s commitment to delivering advanced stroke treatments to patients quickly and safely.”

SGMC is designated as a Primary Stroke Center featuring a comprehensive system for diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the emergency department. SGMC is the only Primary Stroke Center south of Columbus, Macon, and Savannah in Georgia. “Research shows there are benefits to patients who are treated at hospitals that have adopted the Get With The Guidelines program and we recognize SGMC for its commitment to stroke care,” said Paul Heidenreich, M.D., M.S., national chairman of the GWTG Steering Committee and Professor of Medicine at Stanford University.

According to the AHA/ASA, stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds, someone dies of a stroke every four minutes, and nearly 800,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year. For more information, visit