Mercy Earns American Stroke Association's Silver Award

Mar 19, 2009

Mercy Earns American Stroke Association's Silver Award

Topic: Hospital recognized for successfully implementing higher standard of stroke care | Contact: Cindy Hickey

Canton, Ohio: Mercy Medical Center recently received the American Stroke Association's Get With The GuidelinesSM – Stroke (GWTG – Stroke) Silver Performance Achievement Award, recognizing that the hospital continually provides stroke treatment according to nationally accepted standards and recommendations.



With stroke, time lost is brain lost, and GWTG – Stroke Silver addresses the important element of time. Mercy Stroke Center has developed a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the emergency department, including the 24/7 availability of neurologists, brain-imaging scans and clot-busting medication.



Claribel Brown, Mercy's stroke coordinator, says this award demonstrates the quality and reliability of stroke care at the hospital.



"During the recent 12-month evaluation period – our second in this ongoing process – we have consistently complied with GWTG – Stroke protocols and standards, which save lives and improve outcomes," she says. "Stroke patients and their families can trust that they are receiving the most advanced care available."



As part of GWTG – Stroke requirements, Mercy uses the "teachable moment," or the time soon after a stroke when patients are most likely to listen to and follow healthcare professionals' guidance. While still in the hospital, patients are taught how to manage their risk factors; studies show this approach can reduce the risk of a second heart attack or stroke. Easy-to-understand education materials are also available at the time of discharge.



Each year, according to the American Stroke Association, about 700,000 people suffer a stroke; 500,000 are first attacks and 200,000 are recurrent. Of stroke survivors, 21 percent of men and 24 percent of women die within a year. For those age 65 and older, the percentage is even higher.



Tom Cecconi, president and CEO of Mercy, notes the time is right for the hospital to focus on raising the bar for stroke care. "With our nation's aging population, the number of acute stroke cases is expected to grow over the coming decade," he says. "Providing the best stroke care is integral to Mercy's mission of providing quality, compassionate care for all."



Mercy Medical Center, a nonprofit corporation of the Sisters of Charity Health System and University Hospitals Health System, operates a 476-bed hospital serving Stark, Carroll, Wayne, Holmes and Tuscarawas Counties and parts of Southeastern Ohio. It has 550 physicians on its Medical Staff and employs 2,500 people. Mercy operates outpatient health centers in Carrollton, Jackson Township, Lake Township, Louisville, North Canton, Plain Township and Tuscarawas County. A Catholic hospital, Mercy Medical Center upholds the mission and philosophy of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine and continues to be responsive to the needs of the community, including the provision of care to all, regardless of their ability to pay. For more information, see www.cantonmercy.com.

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