Quality Achievement Awards for Stroke Care

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 Valley Baptist Medical Center-Brownsville and Valley Baptist-Harlingen were recently recognized by the American Heart Association for their commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines, ultimately leading to more lives saved and reduced disability. Image for illustration purposes
Valley Baptist Medical Center-Brownsville and Valley Baptist-Harlingen were recently recognized by the American Heart Association for their commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines, ultimately leading to more lives saved and reduced disability. Image for illustration purposes

Mega Doctor News

BROWNSVILLE & HARLINGEN, Texas — Valley Baptist Medical Center-Brownsville and Valley Baptist-Harlingen were recently recognized by the American Heart Association for their commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines, ultimately leading to more lives saved and reduced disability.

Valley Baptist-Brownsville earned the AHA’s “Gold Plus Get With The Guidelines – Stroke” quality achievement award, while Valley Baptist-Harlingen was recognized by the AHA with the “Gold Plus With Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus Get With The Guidelines – Stroke” quality achievement award. The advanced therapy designation is awarded to hospitals that meet specific AHA criteria that reduce the time between an eligible patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment.

Stroke is the fifth-leading cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the U.S. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood and oxygen it needs, so brain cells die. Early stroke detection and treatment are key to improving survival, minimizing disability and accelerating recovery times.

Get With The Guidelines puts the expertise of the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association to work for hospitals nationwide, helping ensure patient care is aligned with the latest research- and evidence-based guidelines. Get With The Guidelines – Stroke is an in-hospital program for improving stroke care by promoting consistent adherence to these guidelines, which can minimize the long-term effects of a stroke and even prevent death.

“Valley Baptist Medical Center-Harlingen has been at the forefront of stroke research and has participated in the trials that shaped the latest guidelines,” said Dr. Ameer Hassan, DO, FAHA, FSVIN, head of the neuroscience department, director of endovascular surgical neuroradiology and director of clinical neuroscience research at Valley Baptist Medical Center-Harlingen. “Get With The Guidelines makes it easier for our teams to put proven knowledge and guidelines to work on a daily basis, which studies show can help patients recover better. The end goal is to ensure more people throughout the Rio Grande Valley can experience longer, healthier lives.” 

Each year, program participants qualify for the award by demonstrating how their organization has committed to providing quality care for stroke patients. In addition to following treatment guidelines, Get With The Guidelines participants also educate patients to help them manage their health and recovery at home. 

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Dr. Luis Gaitan, Medical Director of the Stroke Program at Valley Baptist Medical Center-Brownsville, said the recognition demonstrates the level of expertise offered by the stroke team at Valley Baptist.

“Valley Baptist-Brownsvillecontinues to strive for excellence in the acute treatment of stroke patients,” he said. “The recognition from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke further reinforces our team’s hard work.”

Both Valley Baptist-Brownsville and Valley Baptist-Harlingen also received the AHA’s “Target: Type 2 Diabetes” honor roll designation, which signifies that both hospitals aim to ensure patients with Type 2 diabetes, who might be at higher risk for complications, receive the most up-to-date, evidence-based care when hospitalized due to stroke.

“We are incredibly pleased to recognize Valley Baptist Medical Center-Brownsville and Valley Baptist-Harlingen for their commitment to caring for patients with stroke,” said Steven Messe, M.D., chairperson of the Stroke System of Care Advisory Group. “Participation in Get With The Guidelines is associated with improved patient outcomes, fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates – a win for health care systems, families and communities.”

In addition to the recognition from the AHA, Valley Baptist Medical Center-Brownsville is certified as a Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission, while Valley Baptist-Harlingen is certified as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by DNV Healthcare, and was the first hospital in the Rio Grande Valley to receive the designation. 

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