Brownsville, Texas – July 12, 2016, ― Valley Regional Medical Center has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Silver Quality Achievement Award with Target: Stroke Honor RollSM Elite Plus. 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.
Valley Regional Medical Center 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. To receive the Silver Quality Achievement award, hospitals must achieve 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke achievement indicators for at least 12 consecutive months.
To qualify for the Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus, 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.
These quality measures are designed to help hospital teams follow the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients.
“A stroke patient loses 1.9 million neurons each minute stroke treatment is delayed. This recognition further demonstrates our commitment to delivering advanced stroke treatments to patients quickly and safely,” said Art Garza, Valley Regional Medical Center’s Chief Executive Officer. “Valley Regional Medical Center continues to strive for excellence in the acute treatment of stroke patients. The recognition from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke further reinforces our team’s hard work.”
Valley Regional Medical Center has also met specific scientific guidelines as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission, featuring an all-inclusive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the emergency department.
“The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association recognize Valley Regional Medical Center for its commitment to stroke care,” said Paul Heidenreich, M.D., M.S., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines Steering Committee and Professor of Medicine at Stanford University. “Research has shown there are benefits to patients who are treated at hospitals that have adopted the Get With The Guidelines program.”
Get With The Guidelines®-S puts the expertise of the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association to work for hospitals nationwide, helping hospital care teams ensure the care provided to patients is aligned with the latest research-based guidelines. Developed with the goal to save lives and improve recovery time, Get With The Guidelines®-S has impacted more than 3 million patients since 2003.
As the owner of the Savor the Sip coffee shop at Valley Regional Medical Center, Yvonne Hatley spends most of her day chatting with VRMC staff, patients, and their families, and has heard many stories of stroke victims and survivors. One early morning, while she prepared for the morning rush of her regular caffeine seekers, she began to experience symptoms of a stroke. Fortunately, Claudia Ahumada and Susan Cherry who work for the Imaging Department, noticed her speech was slurred and she was having a hard time using a stapler because of the weakness in her arm. They immediately recognized these signs as possible symptoms of a stroke due to the hospital-wide education of F.A.S.T. by the Stroke Program Coordinator, Pedro Aguirre. Both Claudia and Susan leapt into action by getting Dr. Veronica Guerrero’s attention, who was on her way for her morning cup of coffee, and by rushing to get a wheelchair in order to get Yvonne to the Emergency Department.
“As soon as I arrived to the E.R., nurses Oscar Garcia and Bianca Arias noticed my slurred speech and my drooping face. They immediately called a Code Stroke and within 21 minutes of my arrival to the E.R. Dr. Gaitan administered tPA. I am so grateful to all of them. They were compassionate and completely trustworthy,” said Hatley.
“Hospitals that follow AHA/ASA recommended guidelines not only know the importance to treat quickly with tPA, but they also follow evidence-based research that helps to determine why you had a stroke in the first place and report these findings,” said Pedro Aguirre, Stroke Program Coordinator.
According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the number 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, someone dies of a stroke every four minutes, and nearly 800,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.
About Valley Regional Medical Center
Valley Regional Medical Center is conveniently located at the corner of Expressway 77 and Alton Gloor Boulevard in Brownsville. With physicians representing over 25 specialties, Valley Regional Medical Center is a leader in a vast array of high quality programs, including advanced diagnostic imaging, interventional cardiac catheterization, open heart surgery, laparoscopic and endoscopic surgeries, neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery, women’s services, pediatric services and neonatal intensive care. Valley Regional Medical is nationally recognized by The Joint Commission as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center and our Emergency Department is designated as an Advanced Level III Trauma Center treating a wide range of emergent needs 24 hours a day. For more information on Valley Regional Medical Center’s programs and services, visit our website at www.ValleyRegionalMedicalCenter.com.
About HCA Gulf Coast Division
HCA Gulf Coast Division is a comprehensive network of hospitals, outpatient surgery centers, emergency centers and diagnostic imaging facilities. It offers a complete continuum of specialized health programs and services that meet the needs of Greater Houston and South Texas’ residents and businesses. HCA affiliated facilities in the Gulf Coast Division include: 13 hospitals, 8 ambulatory centers, 7 off-campus emergency centers, and a regional transfer center that provides one-phone-call access and support for patient transfers into and out of the HCA Gulf Coast Division Affiliated Hospitals, as well as access to ground and air transportation within a 150-mile radius. For more information, visit our website at www.HCAGulfCoast.com.
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 tools and resources to increase adherence to 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 6 million patients since 2001. For more information, visit www.heart.org.