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SEATTLE, Wash. - (Jan. 7, 2008) - The Stroke Center at Virginia Mason has received the Get With The GuidelinesSM-Stroke (GWTG-Stroke) Gold Performance Achievement Award from the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association. Virginia Mason was one of 32 hospitals in the nation recognized for the stroke guidelines.

The Gold award is given to hospitals that demonstrate 85 percent adherence in the GWTG-Stroke key measures for 24 or more consecutive months. These include aggressive use of medications, such as tPA, antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, DVT prophylaxis, cholesterol-reducing drugs and smoking cessation.

"It is our vision to be the Quality Leader in health care," said Gary S. Kaplan, MD, CEO and chairman of Virginia Mason Medical Center. "We are honored to be among the elite hospitals nationwide recognized for quality work in stroke diagnosis and treatment. This recognition speaks to our ongoing commitment to excellence at Virginia Mason"

"Time lost is brain lost with stroke. That's why it is critical that we rapidly diagnose and treat stroke patients," said Michael Elliott, MD, medical director of Virginia Mason's Neuroscience Institute. "Using evidence-based guidelines like those in the GWTG-Stroke program, we can ensure the safest environment for our patients and save lives at Virginia Mason."

"The American Stroke Association commends Virginia Mason Medical Center for its success in implementing standards of care and protocols," said Lee H. Schwamm, MD, national Get With The Guidelines Steering Committee member and director of the 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."

According to the American Stroke Association, each year approximately 700,000 people suffer a stroke - 500,000 are first attacks and 200,000 are recurrent. Of stroke survivors, 21 percent of men and 24 percent of women die within a year, and for those aged 65 and older, the percentage is even higher. 

Get With The Guidelines
Get With The GuidelinesSM is an evidence-based program for in-hospital quality improvement. It puts the expertise of the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association to work for hospitals, helping to ensure that the care they provide to coronary artery disease, stroke and heart failure is aligned with the latest scientific guidelines.


Virginia Mason Medical Center
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 hospital in Seattle. 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 and AIDS. Virginia Mason also has an internationally recognized research center, Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason.

Alisha Mark
Media Relations
(206) 341-1509

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