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Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes St. Mary’s commitment and success in implementing excellent care for stroke patients by ensuring that stroke patients receive treatment according to nationally accepted standards and recommendations.

To receive the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award, St. Mary’s achieved at least 12 consecutive months of 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Achievement indicators and achieved at least 75 percent or higher compliance with six of 10 Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Measures during that same period of time, which are reporting initiatives to measure quality of care. These measures include aggressive use of medications, such as tPA, antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, DVT prophylaxis, cholesterol reducing drugs and smoking cessation, all aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.

“With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award demonstrates that our staff is committed to providing care that has been shown in the scientific literature to quickly and efficiently treat stroke patients with evidence-based protocols,” said Winnie Fritz, MSN, EdD, Executive Vice President of Carondelet Health Network and CEO of Carondelet St. Mary’s and Carondelet Holy Cross Hospitals.
“The hospitals honored with Get With The Guidelines awards are to be commended for their commitment to implementing standards of care and protocols for treating stroke patients,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., chair of the Get With The Guidelines National Steering Committee and director of the TeleStroke and 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.”

Get With The Guidelines-Stroke uses the “teachable moment,” the time soon after a patient has had a stroke, when they are most likely to listen to and follow their healthcare professionals’ guidance. Studies demonstrate that patients who are taught how to manage their risk factors while still in the hospital reduce their risk of a second heart attack or stroke. Through Get With The Guidelines-Stroke, customized patient education materials are made available at the point of discharge, based on patients’ individual risk profiles. The take-away materials are written in an easy-to-understand format and are available in English and Spanish. In addition, the Get With The Guidelines Patient Management Tool provides access to up-to-date cardiovascular and stroke science at the point of care.
According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is one of the leading causes of death and serious, long-term disability in the United States. 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.

Carondelet Health Network, located in Tucson, Arizona, is a Catholic, nonprofit health care system dedicated to responding to the health care needs of Southern Arizonans. With a Mission to Heal, Carondelet was founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet 130 years ago. Carondelet Health Network facilities include Carondelet St. Mary's Hospital, Carondelet St. Joseph's Hospital, Carondelet Heart & Vascular Institute and Carondelet Neurological Institute on the campus of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tucson and Carondelet Holy Cross Hospital in Nogales, Arizona. Other Carondelet services include nearly fourteen Carondelet Medical Group primary care locations, three Carondelet Specialist Group offices, an ambulatory surgery center and various outpatient services. Carondelet Health Network is a ministry of Ascension Health, the nation's largest Catholic, non-profit health care system. In Fiscal Year 2010, Carondelet provided nearly $50 million (8.3 percent of its net revenue) in Community Benefit to improve the health of our community and increase access to health care. More information about Carondelet Health Network is available at www.carondelet.org.

About Get with The Guidelines Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program that empowers healthcare teams to save lives and reduce healthcare costs by helping hospitals follow evidence-based guidelines and recommendations. For more information, visit heart.org/quality.