Serena Munns, American Heart Association’s Executive Director of Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley, is pictured presenting the 2019 Get With The Guidelines®- Stroke Gold Plus with Target: Stroke Honor Roll Achievement Award to Baptist Health- Fort Smith. L-R: Cathy Organ, Joseph Kennon, Stephanie Parson, Michelle Jamison with Baptist Health-Fort Smith's emergency and quality departments and Munns.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Four hospitals within the Baptist Health system were recently honored by the American Heart Association for their commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment based on nationally recognized, research-based guidelines.

Baptist Health’s facilities in Little Rock, Fort Smith, Conway and Arkadelphia were recognized during a luncheon Friday, June 7, at the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock.

Receiving the agency’s Get with the Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Award were Baptist Health-Fort Smith, Baptist Health-Conway and Baptist Health-Little Rock. Baptist Health-Arkadelphia was honored with the Get with the Guidelines-Stroke Silver Award.

Hospitals must achieve at least 85% adherence to all Get With the Guidelines-Stroke achievement measures to receive Silver (one calendar year) or Gold (two or more consecutive calendar years) status, according to the AHA. To add the Plus designation, hospitals must also achieve at least 75% adherence with five or more Get With the Guidelines-Stroke quality measures.

In addition to those awards, Baptist Health’s hospital in Little Rock was named to the Target: Stroke Elite Plus Honor Roll for its focus on improving acute ischemic stroke care. The designation applies to facilities that have at least 75% of eligible patients treated with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, within 60 minutes of hospital arrival, and at least 50% treated within 45 minutes.

Baptist Health-Fort Smith, Baptist Health-Conway and Baptist Health-Arkadelphia were named to the Target: Stroke Honor Roll for having at least 50% of eligible patients treated within 60 minutes of hospital arrival.

During the luncheon, Baptist Health-Fort Smith also earned a Level 3 Award from the Arkansas Department of Health for its participation in the Arkansas Stroke Registry, a quality improvement program.

Stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the U.S., according to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Research shows that someone in the U.S. suffers from a stroke every 40 seconds. Nearly 800,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke annually.


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