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News from 2007

GAMC Receives American Stroke Association's Initial Achievement Award
Glendale Adventist Medical Center (GAMC) recently received the American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines–Stroke (GWTG-Stroke) Initial Performance Achievement Award. The award recognizes GAMC’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of stroke care by ensuring that stroke patients receive treatment according to nationally accepted standards and recommendations.

“With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and the GWTG–Stroke initial performance achievement award addresses the important element of time,” said Cynthia Cabatan-Awang, MN, CNS/NP-C, director of GAMC's Neuroscience Institute.


GAMC has developed a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the emergency department. This includes being equipped 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide brain imaging scans, having neurologists available to conduct patient evaluations and using clot-busting medications when appropriate.

To receive the award, GAMC consistently complied for 90-days with the requirements in the GWTG–Stroke program. These include aggressive use of medications like tPA, antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, DVT prophylaxis, cholesterol reducing drugs and smoking cessation. The 90-day evaluation period is the first in an ongoing self-evaluation by the hospital to continually reach the 85 percent compliance level needed to sustain this award.

“The American Stroke Association commends GAMC for its success in implementing standards of care and protocols,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., national GWTG Steering Committee Member and director of acute stroke services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. “The full implementation of acute care and secondary prevention recommendations and guidelines is a critical step in saving the lives and improving outcomes of stroke patients.”

GWTG-Stroke uses the “teachable moment,” the time soon after a patient has had an acute event, when they are most likely to listen to and follow their healthcare professionals’ guidance. Studies demonstrate that patients who are taught how to manage their risk factors while still in the hospital reduce their risk of a second heart attack or stroke. Through GWTG–Stroke, customized patient education materials are made available at the point of discharge, based on patients’ individual risk profiles. The take-away materials are written in an easy-to-understand format and are available in English and Spanish. In addition, the Patient Management Tool provides access to up-to-date cardiovascular and stroke science at the point of care.

“The time is right for GAMC to be focused on improving the quality of stroke care by implementing GWTG– Stroke. The number of acute ischemic stroke patients eligible for treatment is expected to grow over the next decade due to increasing stroke incidence and a large aging population,” said Cabatan-Awang. Each year, about 700,000 people suffer a stroke — 500,000 are first attacks and 200,000 are recurrent. Of stroke survivors, 22 percent of men and 25 percent of women die within a year, and for those aged 65 and older, the percentage is even higher. In 1999, $3.4 billion was paid to Medicare beneficiaries discharged from short-stay hospitals for stroke. Americans are estimated to pay about $56.8 billion in 2005 for stroke-related medical costs and disability.

The American Stroke Association offers a wide array of programs, products and services, from patient education materials to scientific statements with cutting-edge information for health care professionals. The organization, a division of the American Heart Association, is a committed leader in providing credible stroke information to individuals and healthcare providers. For more information about the American Stroke Association or its initiatives, visit StrokeAssociation.org or call 1-888-4-STROKE. For more information about Get With The Guidelines – Stroke, e-mail guidelinesinfo@heart.org or visit www.strokeassociation.org/getwiththeguidelines.