St. Francis Receives Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award with Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite

May 17, 2017

May 17, 2017 ― St. Francis Hospital has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Achievement Award with Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll Elite for the second year in a row.   The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment and success ensuring that stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

To receive the Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award, hospitals must achieve 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month periods and achieved 75 percent or higher compliance with five of eight Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality measures.

To qualify for the Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite, hospitals must meet quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke. If given intravenously in the first three hours after the start of stroke symptoms, tPA has been shown to significantly reduce the effects of stroke and lessen the chance of permanent disability.  St. Francis Hospital earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at the highest level for a designated period.

These quality measures are designed to help hospital teams provide the most up-to-date, evidence-based treatment with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients.

“With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and this award demonstrates our commitment to ensuring patients receive care based on nationally-respected clinical guidelines,” said Dr. Nojan Valadi, Medical Director of the stroke program at St Francis Hospital.  “St. Francis Hospital is dedicated to continuing to improve the quality of stroke care in the Columbus area and this award recognizes our success in continuing to achieve that goal.”

“We are pleased to recognize St. Francis Hospital for their commitment to stroke care,” said Deepak L. Bhatt, M.D., M.P.H., 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 length of stay and 30-day readmission rates and reduce disparities in care.”

For providers, Get With The Guidelines-Stroke offers quality improvement measures, discharge protocols, standing orders and other measurement tools. Providing hospitals with resources and information that make it easier to follow treatment guidelines can help save lives and ultimately reduce overall healthcare costs by lowering readmission rates for stroke patients.

For patients in the Chattahoochee Valley, Get With The Guidelines-Stroke helps providers administer the best possible quality care, in a fast and effective fashion, saving patients a burden of disability and improving their outcomes.  Patients and loved ones benefit from education they receive under this program and learn how to manage their risk factors while still in the hospital and recognize the warning signs of a stroke.

“I am very proud of this distinguished honor,” said David Koontz, CEO of St. Francis.  “This award demonstrates our deep commitment to ensuring that we provide the best possible stroke care to our patients and highlights the expertise of St. Francis Hospital’s caregivers.  In addition to providing the most comprehensive and compassionate care, we are committed to educating our community on the signs, symptoms, treatment, and prevention of stroke.”

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the number five 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.  St. Francis Hospital and their dedicated interdisciplinary Stroke team strives to provide the highest level of care possible, so that their patients can have the best possible outcome and recovery from their stroke.  This award recognizes their successful efforts at doing so.

St. Francis Hospital has also achieved designation as a Primary Stroke Center from The Joint Commission, with a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients.

About St. Francis Hospital

A part of LifePoint Health, St. Francis Hospital is a 376-bed facility that offers a full range of inpatient, outpatient and emergency room services and is the only area hospital offering open heart surgery. With more than 2,800 employees, 300 physicians and the latest technology, we strive to help you regain and maintain your health. Our overriding goal is to provide you with the best possible care. For more information, visit

About Get With The Guidelines®

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 5 million patients since 2001. For more information, visit or