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Susquehanna Life

Evangelical Community Hospital Earns Quality Achievement Awards For Stroke Care

Jun 17, 2019 11:03AM ● By Erica Shames

John Rice, MD, Neurologist and Medical Director of the Primary Stroke Center, Evangelical Community Hospital, Lewisburg.

Evangelical Community Hospital’s Primary Stroke Center has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Gold Plus award in addition to receiving Honor Roll Elite Plus status for the national Target: Stroke Program. The award recognizes the Hospital’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

Evangelical earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period. These measures include evaluation of the proper use of medications and other stroke treatments aligned with the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. Prior to discharge, patients receive education on managing their health and have multidisciplinary follow-up visits arranged.

“We are pleased to recognize Evangelical Community Hospital for their commitment to stroke care,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., national chairperson of the Quality Oversight Committee and Executive Vice Chair of Neurology, Director of Acute Stroke Services, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts. “Research has shown that hospitals adhering to clinical measures through the Get With The Guidelines quality improvement initiative can often see fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates.”

Evangelical additionally received the association’s Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus Award. To qualify for this recognition, hospitals must meet quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke.

“A stroke patient loses 1.9 million neurons each minute stroke treatment is delayed. This recognition further demonstrates our commitment to delivering advanced stroke treatments to patients quickly and safely,” said John Rice, MD, Neurologist and Medical Director of the Primary Stroke Center at Evangelical.

“Evangelical as a whole has made a great investment in furthering stroke education, in creating community awareness, and in setting high standards for efficient care. With a stroke, time lost is brain lost and this award demonstrates the Hospital’s commitment to ensuring patients receive care based on nationally-respected clinical guidelines.”

The Primary Stroke Center at Evangelical was established in 2013. As a primary stroke center, Evangelical offers 24/7 patient-centered care from inpatient through rehabilitation services including emergency medicine, laboratory, radiology, hospitalist and neurologist care, and physical, occupational, and speech therapy.

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.

About Evangelical Community Hospital:

Evangelical is a non-profit organization that employs 1,900 individuals and has more than 170 employed and non-employed physicians on staff. The Hospital is licensed to accommodate 132 overnight patients, 12 acute rehab patients, and 18 bassinets. The Hospital serves residents throughout the Central Susquehanna Valley, including those living in Snyder, Union, Northumberland, and Lycoming counties.

About Get With The Guidelines

Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program that provides hospitals with tools and resources to increase adherence to the latest research-based guidelines. Developed with the goal of saving lives and hastening recovery, Get With The Guidelines has touched the lives of more than 6 million patients since 2001. For more information, visit

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