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St. Luke’s hospitals earn stroke recognitions

St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) has been honored by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for its exceptional work in stroke care by earning several of the organization’s Get with The Guidelines® (GWTG) awards.

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.

GWTG Stroke is an in-hospital program for improving stroke care by promoting consistent adherence to the latest scientific treatment guidelines. Numerous published studies demonstrate the program’s success in achieving measurable patient outcome improvements. The awards recognize St. Luke’s University Health Network’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

“When a patient has a stroke, St. Luke’s is committed to providing outstanding stroke care to the residents of all of the communities we serve,” said Daniel Ackerman, M.D., Vice Chair, Department of Neurology, Director of Stroke and Vascular Neurology at St. Luke’s University Health Network. “These awards validate that our hospitals provide the latest, evidence-based treatment to ensure that every patient receives the highest standard of stroke care and that each patient encounter for stroke is met with the same level of expertise.”

The following St. Luke’s hospitals were recognized with GWTG designations:

  • Bethlehem Campus: Gold Plus/Target Stroke Honor Roll Elite/Target Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll/Target Advanced Therapy Honor Roll
  • Allentown Campus/Anderson Campus/Lehighton Campus/Monroe Campus/Upper Bucks Campus/Warren Campus: Gold Plus/Target Stroke Honor Roll Elite /Target Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll
  • Miners Campus: Gold Plus and Target Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll
  • St. Luke’s Geisinger Campus: Silver Plus with Target Stroke Honor Roll Elite/Target Diabetes Honor Roll

“Stroke is a team sport, and as with any complicated processes, it really takes buy-in from everyone involved,” explains Dr. Ackerman.

“Stroke care does not start at the hospital; it really starts at home when families or friends recognize symptoms, so we take every opportunity to provide community education. At our hospitals, everyone is involved, from the emergency department providers and neuroscience team, to our radiology technologists and physicians, and our nurses and advanced practitioners… all of them are an integral part of providing the kind of rapid and coordinated effort that has earned us top honors as a stroke team.

“We also partner closely with our local EMS providers. The EMS and first responders in our region are often the first medical personnel who see a patient and can identify that they are having a stroke.”

Following is an explanation of the GWTG awards won by St. Luke’s hospitals:

  •  Gold Plus Achievement – Hospitals are recognized for two or more consecutive calendar years of 85% or higher adherence on all achievement measures applicable and 75% or higher adherence with additional select quality measures in stroke.
  • Silver Plus Achievement – Hospitals are recognized for one calendar year of 85% or higher adherence on all achievement measures applicable and 75% or higher adherence with additional select quality measures in stroke.
  • Target: Stroke Honor Roll – Elite– Hospitals, in addition to their achievement of Gold or Silver, are recognized for 75% or higher performance in Time to IV thrombolytic therapy in 60 minutes or less.
  • Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll- National honor roll program for hospitals participating in GWTG (HF, Stroke) to reinforce evidence-based guidelines with hospitals that qualify for a Silver level or higher achievement award in the related Get with The Guidelines module. These hospitals must be able to demonstrate at least 90% compliance for 12 consecutive months (calendar year) for the “Overall Diabetes Cardiovascular Initiative Composite Score” measure in the selected module.
  • Target: Stroke Honor Roll Advanced Therapy- Hospitals in addition to their achievement of Gold or Silver, are recognized for Door to Device times in at least 50% of applicable patients within 90 minutes for direct arriving and within 60 minutes for transfers.

For more information about St. Luke’s award-winning stroke care, visit

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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