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Virginia Mason Implements American Stroke Association’s Get With the Guidelines™ Program to Improve Stroke Patient Care and Save Lives

SEATTLE, Wash. – (June 20, 2006) – The Stroke Center at Virginia Mason Medical Center has been recognized by the American Stroke Association for sustained delivery of a high standard of stroke care. The Get With The Guidelines—Stroke (GWTG-Stroke) Initial Performance Achievement Award recognizes Virginia Mason’s success in implementing a higher standard of stroke care by ensuring that stroke patients receive treatment according to nationally accepted standards and recommendations.

> “Reducing time to treatment is critical to reducing the extent of injury – and preventing death – from stroke,” said Michael Elliott, MD, medical director, Stroke Center at Virginia Mason. “This award validates the comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients that we have in place at Virginia Mason.”

Designated a Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), the Stroke Center at Virginia Mason is equipped 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide brain imaging scans, specialized neurological services and clot-busting medications for rapid stroke treatment.

To receive the award, Virginia Mason consistently complied for 90 days with the rigorous requirements of the GWTG-Stroke program. The 90-day period is the first in an ongoing self-evaluation by the hospital to continually reach the 85 percent compliance level needed to sustain the award.

> “The American Stroke Association commends Virginia Mason for its success in implementing standards of care and protocols,” said Lee H. Schwamm, MD, 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.”

For more information about the Stroke Center at Virginia Mason, visit

Virginia Mason Medical Center, founded in 1920, is a non-profit comprehensive regional health care system that combines a primary and specialty care group practice of more than 400 physicians with a 336-bed acute care Seattle hospital. In addition, Virginia Mason has a network of clinics located throughout the Puget Sound area and manages Bailey-Boushay House, a nursing residence and adult day health program for people living with HIV/AIDS. Virginia Mason also has an internationally recognized research center, Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason. For more information, visit

Alisha Mark, Media Relations Manager
(206) 341-1509
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