The stroke centers at four Providence Health & Services medical centers in the Los Angeles Area were awarded for excellence in stroke care by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines program.
The Primary Stroke Centers at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center San Pedro and Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank earned the 2010 Gold Plus Performance Award, the top honor for specialized stroke diagnosis and treatment. Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills and Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance received the 2010 Silver Plus Performance Achievement Award.
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“As One Ministry Committed to Excellence, this recognition validates our ongoing efforts to provide patients with the finest care in the Providence tradition,” said Michael Hunn, regional vice president and chief executive of the Providence Southern California Region.
Daylyn Presley was just 33 a year ago when he suffered severe headache, some visions loss and other symptoms of stroke. But he was young and healthy – not a typical stroke patient – and allowed two weeks to pass before getting the emergency help he needed. Once he underwent tests at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center , he received urgent treatment from a stroke team of physicians, nurses and therapists led by George Teitelbaum, M.D., a neuro-interventional surgeon on staff.
“Dr. Teitelbaum and everyone on the stroke team were waiting,” he said. “Within minutes they had me in special procedures. If I had waited much longer, I would have been gone.”
Presley’s case is an unusual one because of his age and because his stroke likely was caused by an injury. But he is one of hundreds of patients who arrive each year at Providence stroke centers in Southern California . Those centers have been operating just a few years but already are recording impressive results, including the AHA/ASA awards.
To receive the Gold Plus award, the Providence medical centers in San Pedro and Burbank achieved a minimum 85 percent in adherence to the associations’ stroke performance achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month intervals, and achieved 75 percent or higher compliance with six of the stroke quality measures, reporting initiatives to measure quality of care. The Silver Plus Performance award was given to hospitals that achieved at least 12 consecutive months of 85 percent or higher adherence to the indicators, and also achieved at least 75 percent or higher compliance with six of 10 quality measures during that same period of time.
These guidelines include aggressive use of medications, such as tPA, a blood-clot busting drug; anticoagulation therapy; precautionary therapy for deep vein thrombosis; cholesterol reducing drugs and smoking cessation – all aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.
“We are proud of the dedication and achievement that these awards represent for our Providence medical centers in improving the health of our communities,” Hunn said.
Each of the Providence Southern Cailfornia medical centers is home to a designated Primary Stroke Center , recognized by Los Angeles County as designations for ambulances carrying patients believed to be suffering strokes. That program ensures patients are met in emergency rooms by highly trained teams who act quickly in diagnostics and treatment with the goal of limiting damage called by stroke.
Presley urges others to learn from his case and seek help as soon as possible.
“I learned a lesson that I want to share,” he said. “No matter what anyone tells you, if you think you’re having a stroke, go to the hospital.”