Valdosta, GA,—South Georgia Medical Center is listed in a US News & World Report special section as one of three Georgia hospitals to receive the highest accolades for stroke care from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. SGMC is the only hospital outside of the Atlanta area to hold this prestigious designation.The award, the Get With The Guidelines®–Target: Stroke Honor Roll-Elite Plus Quality Achievement Award, recognizes SGMC’s success ensuring that stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year. These quality measures are designed to help hospital teams provide the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients.To receive the Target: Stroke Honor Roll-Elite Plus Achievement Award, hospitals must meet 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. If given intravenously in the first three hours after the start of stroke symptoms, tPA has been shown to significantly reduce the effects of stroke and lessen the chance of permanent disability. Over 24 months, at least 75 percent of SGMC’s ischemic stroke patients received tPA within 60 minutes of arriving and at least 50 percent of the hospital’s ischemic stroke patients have received tPA within 45 minutes of arriving at the hospital (known as door-to-needle time).Under the leadership of Neurohospitalist Brian Dawson, MD, SGMC provides its eligible stroke patients with some of the fastest door-to-needle times in the US. In 2015, the door-to-needle time average is currently 26 minutes at SGMC’s Main Campus Emergency Department.To provide prompt stroke care, SGMC created a rapid-response team, similar to that which is available for cardiac arrest patients, to provide care within minutes for ED and hospital inpatients. “With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and this award demonstrates our commitment to ensuring patients receive care based on nationally-respected clinical guidelines,” said Dr. Ray Snead, Interim CEO. “SGMC is dedicated to improving the quality of stroke care and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines Stroke Program helps us achieve that goal. Congratulations, Code Stroke Team for consistently delivering this Game-changing performance.”SGMC also received designation as a Primary Stroke Center from the Joint Commission. SGMC features a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to its emergency department that begins with EMS while en-route to the hospital.According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the number five cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States.