MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The WVU Heart and Vascular Institute and the WVU Stroke Center have once again been recognized by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® quality-improvement program for their excellence in care and commitment to improvement.

Get With The Guidelines Badges“To have two of our premiere programs consistently recognized in their specialties is a tremendous honor,” Albert L. Wright, Jr., president and CEO of the West Virginia University Health System, said. “We appreciate the hard work of the many talented and dedicated individuals whose efforts make our Stroke and Heart and Vascular programs national leaders in the delivery of high quality care.”

The WVU Heart and Vascular Institute received the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Heart Failure Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award, which recognizes its commitment to ensuring heart failure patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines founded in the latest scientific evidence. The goal is speeding recovery and reducing hospital readmissions for heart failure patients.

The Institute earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of heart failure patients at a set level for a designated period. These measures include evaluation of the proper use of medications and aggressive risk-reduction therapies. Before discharge, patients should also receive education on managing their heart failure and overall health, get a follow-up visit scheduled, as well as other care transition interventions.

The Heart and Vascular Institute is also recognized on the association’s Target: Heart FailureSM Honor Roll for meeting specific criteria that improves medication adherence, provides early follow-up care and coordination, and enhances patient education. The goal is to reduce hospital readmissions and help patients improve their quality of life in managing this chronic condition.

According to the American Heart Association, more than 6.5 million adults in the United States are living with heart failure. Many heart failure patients can lead a full, enjoyable life when their condition is managed with proper medications or devices and with healthy lifestyle changes.

The WVU Stroke Center – a Joint Commission certified Comprehensive Stroke Center – received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award, which recognizes its commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

The Center 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. Before discharge, patients should also receive education on managing their health and get a follow-up visit scheduled, as well as other care transition interventions.

The Stroke Center additionally received the association’s Target: StrokeSM Elite Plus award for meeting 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.

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.

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 heart.org.

For more information on the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute, visit WVUMedicine.org/Heart. For more information on the WVU Stroke Center, visit WVUMedicine.org/Stroke

For more information: Angela Jones-Knopf, Manager of Media Relations, 304-285-7259