Christus St. Michael Health receives major award for stroke care

CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System has received a major award for its exceptional care of stroke victims.

The honor received was the prestigious American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award.

The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

The local health system earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period.

These measures include evaluation of the proper use of medications and other stroke treatments aligned with the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. Before discharge, patients should also receive education on managing their health, get a follow-up visit scheduled, as well as other care transition interventions.

“CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our stroke patients by implementing the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke initiative,” said Louise Thornell, PhD, MsBA, RN, NE-BC, VP/Chief Nursing Officer. “The tools and resources provided help us track and measure our success in meeting evidenced-based clinical guidelines developed to improve patient outcomes.”

To qualify for this recognition, CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System met 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.

“We are pleased to recognize CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System for their commitment to stroke care,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., national chairperson of the Quality Oversight Committee and Executive Vice Chair of Neurology, Director of Acute Stroke Services, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts. “Research has shown that hospitals adhering to clinical measures through the Get With The Guidelines quality improvement initiative can often see fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates.”

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds and nearly 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

“Each year, nearly 1 million Americans suffer from a stroke,” said Jennifer Skinner, BSN, RN, SCRN, Stroke Coordinator. “For reason and to be proactive in stroke prevention, CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System offers patients a chance to learn more about their risks and what options for prevention they have in just a few short minutes through taking a free health risk assessment online at

Photo above: Texarkana Serena Munns, right, 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 Elite Plus Achievement Award to Jennifer Skinner, BSN, RN, SCRN, Stroke Coordinator, left, CHRISTUS St Michael Health System.