Mercy Stroke Center Earns Gold Plus Achievement Award

Mercy Stroke Center Earns Gold Plus Achievement Award

Posted on: December 10, 2009

Canton, Ohio: Mercy Medical Center Stroke Center recently received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® (GWTG) Stroke Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award, recognizing that the hospital continues to provide stroke treatment according to nationally accepted standards and recommendations.

To receive the Gold Achievement Award, Mercy achieved:
• An 85 percent or higher adherence to all GWTG Stroke Performance Achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month intervals.
• A 75 percent or higher compliance with six of 10 GWTG Stroke Quality Measures, which are reporting initiatives to measure quality of care.

Measures include aggressive use of medications, such as tPA, antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, DVT prophylaxis, cholesterol-reducing drugs and smoking cessation, which are aimed at reducing death and disability and improving quality of life for stroke patients.

Jim Williams, Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, believes the GWTG award highlights the hospital’s consistent delivery of quality, reliable stroke care.

He says, “With stroke, time lost is brain lost, and GWTG 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.”

As part of GWTG requirements, Mercy uses the “teachable moment,” or the time soon after a stroke when patients are most likely to listen to and follow health care professionals’ guidance. While still in the hospital, patients are taught to manage their risk factors, and 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.

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and a leading cause of serious, long-term disability. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 45 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every three minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

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


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