Stroke Care Team Earns Quality Achievement Award

Southampton Hospital has received the Get With The Guidelines® – Stroke Gold-Plus Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for the treatment of stroke patients.      

Get With The Guidelines – Stroke helps hospital teams provide the most up-to-date, research-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. Southampton Hospital 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 aggressive use of medications and risk-reduction therapies aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.          

Southampton Hospital also received the association’s Target: Stroke Honor Roll for meeting stroke quality measures that reduce the time between hospital arrival and treatment with the clot-buster  tPA, the only drug approved by the US Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke. People who suffer a stroke who receive the drug within three hours of the onset of symptoms may recover quicker and are less likely to suffer severe disability.      

“Southampton Hospital has an interdisciplinary team that includes neurologists, emergency physicians and nurses, and the Hospital’s departments of radiology, rehabilitation, speech and swallowing therapy.  This experienced team is dedicated to improving the quality of stroke care, and working with The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines – Stroke helps us achieve that goal,” said Robert Chaloner, Hospital President and CEO. “With this award, we are demonstrating our commitment to ensure that our patients receive care based on internationally-respected clinical guidelines.”      

“We are pleased to recognize Southampton Hospital for its commitment and dedication to stroke care,” said Deepak L. Bhatt, MD, MPH, national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines steering committee and Executive Director of Interventional Cardiovascular Programs at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. “Studies have shown that hospitals that consistently follow Get With The Guidelines quality improvement measures can reduce patients’ length of stays and 30-day readmission rates and reduce disparity gaps in care.”      

Get With The Guidelines – Stroke also helps Southampton Hospital’s staff implement prevention measures, which include educating stroke patients to manage their risk factors and to be aware of warning signs for stroke, and ensuring they take their medications properly. Hospitals can make customized patient education materials available upon discharge, based on the patients’ individual risk profiles.     

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the number four cause of death and a leading cause of adult 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.     

Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program that provides hospitals with the latest research-based guidelines.  Developed with the goal of saving lives and hastening recovery, Get With The Guidelines has touched the lives of more than 4 million patients since 2001. For more information, visit or

Southampton Hospital’s Gold-Plus Award recognition by the American Heart and Stroke Associations was an interdisciplinary team effort.  Among the medical staff and Hospital employees who will continue to work to save lives and improve results for stroke patients are (l. to r.) Janet Woo RN, Stroke Coordinator; Katrin Diana RN, Emergency Department Nurse Manager; Neurologist Susan Elrich MD; Sharon Disunno RN, VP Quality Assurance; Darin Wiggins MD, Chair Emergency Medicine; Rahul Mahapatra, DO Resident; Mary Jane Galka RN, Nurse Manager; Neurologist Olga MacAbee MD; Kevin Unruh, Director of Radiology; Neurologist Behzad Maghsoudlou MD; Fred Weinbaum MD, Exec. VP, COO, CMO; Charles Arcoleo MD, Hospitalist; and Andrei Zaslavsky MD, Hospitalist