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SGMC receives Stroke Gold-Plus Quality Achievement Award

Posted on: June 4th, 2018

South Georgia Medical Center received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold-Plus Quality Achievement Award for the fourth consecutive year. The award recognizes SGMC’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

SGMC earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period. These measures include evaluation of the proper use of medications and other stroke treatments aligned with the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. Before discharge, patients should also receive education on managing their health, get a follow-up visit scheduled, as well as other care transition interventions.

“SGMC is located in what is referred to as the ‘Stroke Belt.’ We see a high volume of stroke patients,” explains CEO Ross Berry. “Approximately six years ago, SGMC hired Dr. Brian Dawson as our Neurohospitalist. Dr. Dawson was challenged to create a team to take stroke care at SGMC to the next level. Without question, he did. SGMC is considered a model for best practices in stroke care. The stroke team is highly regarded for adopting the AHA/ASA evidenced-based clinical guidelines for improved patient outcomes.”

SGMC additionally received the association’s Target: Stroke Elite Plus award for meeting quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s 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.“

We are pleased to recognize SGMC for their commitment to stroke care,” said Eric E. Smith, M.D., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines Steering Committee and an associate professor of neurology at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. “Research has shown that hospitals adhering to clinical measures through the Get With The Guidelines quality improvement initiative can often see fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates.”

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 and nearly 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

For more information on SGMC’s stroke program, visit