Carondelet St. Mary’s and St. Joseph’s Hospitals have both received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA) Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award, the highest honor any hospital can earn for stroke care in the United States. Both were also placed on the Target: Stroke Honor Roll. These national distinctions acknowledge Carondelet’s dedication and success in providing exceptional care to stroke patients and ensuring they receive treatment according to nationally accepted standards and recommendations.

“We are blessed to be able to provide this community with the tremendous resources of premiere stroke teams at our hospitals on both sides of the city,” said Donald Denmark, MD, Carondelet Health Network’s Chief Medical Officer. “Both are Joint Commission-certified Primary Stroke Centers. That distinguished classification and these awards from the ASA underscore that when someone arrives at a Carondelet hospital showing the signs and symptoms of a stroke, their families can rest assured the treatment they receive will be among the best they could get anywhere in this country.”

When a person is experiencing a stroke, time is brain. The longer it takes to identify, treat and/or reverse the potentially life-threatening effects of a brain attack, the more likely it is that a person will have permanent neurological damage.

“Less than a decade ago, a huge gap existed in our community to provide high quality, timely care to patients who were experiencing strokes,” added Dr. Denmark. “Carondelet stepped up to address the problem with the creation of Carondelet Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital.  Since the Institute opened five years ago, the capability to care for residents who suffer from a stroke, as well as a wide variety of other neurological illnesses and injuries, has grown exponentially. We feel we have some of the nation’s finest neurologists available to our patients at both St. Joseph’s and St. Mary’s.  I’m incredibly proud of the level of care and compassion we provide and it is an honor to have our clinical teams’ wonderful outcomes and achievements recognized.”

Get With The Guidelines® encourages the use of “teachable moments,” the time soon after a patient has had a stroke or cardiac event 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.

To earn the Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award, Carondelet’s Tucson hospitals achieved at least two or more consecutive 12-month intervals of 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Achievement indicators, and achieved 75 percent or higher compliance with at least five of eight Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Measures—reporting initiatives to measure quality of care for stroke. The Target: Stroke Honor Roll placement was awarded for treating stroke patients with acute ischemia (inadequate blood flow to the brain or another organ) within 60 minutes or less of arrival at least 50 percent of the time. The treatment administered is called an intravenous tissue plasminogen activator, or IV t-PA, which helps dissolve a blood clot and reverse a stroke’s effect.

About Carondelet Health Network Located in Tucson, Arizona, Carondelet Health Network is a Catholic, nonprofit healthcare system dedicated to the health, prevention, education, and well-being of Southern Arizonans. Carondelet was founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet more than 133 years ago. Carondelet’s Tucson facilities include St. Mary's Hospital, St. Joseph's Hospital, Carondelet Heart & Vascular Institute, Carondelet Neurological Institute, and Carondelet Holy Cross Hospital in Nogales, Arizona. Carondelet’s family of services also include nearly primary and specialty care offices, an ambulatory surgery center, several imaging centers, Hospice and Palliative Care, and a variety of other outpatient services. Carondelet Health Network is a ministry of Ascension Health, the nation's largest Catholic, not-for-profit healthcare system. In Fiscal Year 2012, Carondelet provided nearly $66 million in Community Benefit to improve the health of our community and increase access to healthcare. More information about Carondelet Health Network is available at