Northeast Georgia Medical Center Receives High Honors for Stroke Care

Published: Friday, January 10, 2014

Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC)’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of stroke care has led to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association awarding NGMC the Get With The Guidelines® – Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement award for the third consecutive year.

The award recognizes stroke care programs that meet high benchmarks regarding quality of care, use of specific medications and the availability of smoking cessation resources.  Gold Plus, the highest level of recognition possible, means NGMC excelled at these measures during two or more consecutive 12-month periods.

“With stroke treatment, time lost is brain lost, and receiving this award demonstrates our commitment to providing aggressive, proven stroke care,” said LaRoy Penix, MD, a neurologist with Northeast Georgia Physicians Group Neurology and NGMC’s medical director of stroke care.  “Northeast Georgia Medical Center has a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the Emergency Department.  This includes always being equipped to provide brain imaging scans, having neurologists available to conduct patient evaluations and using clot-busting medications when appropriate.”      

In addition to the Get With The Guidelines – Stroke award, NGMC has also been recognized as a recipient of the associations’ Target: Stroke Honor Roll for improving stroke care.  To receive this recognition, at least 50 percent of NGMC’s eligible ischemic stroke patients must have received tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, within 60 minutes of arriving at the hospital.  If given intravenously in the first three hours after the start of stroke symptoms, tPA has been shown to significantly reverse the effects of stroke and reduce permanent disability.

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is one of the leading causes of death and serious, long-term disability in the United States.  On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

Recent studies found patients treated in hospitals participating in the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines – Stroke program receive a higher quality of care and may experience better outcomes.

“We are honored to receive this recognition for the third consecutive year.  It demonstrates the hard work and continuous dedication of our physicians and clinical staff to provide the highest level of care possible for our stroke patients,” says Brad Nurkin, President of NGMC.

NGMC is also certified by DNV Healthcare as a Primary Stroke Center.  For more information about NGMC’s stroke program, click here.