BY Rod Evans

Houston Methodist San Jacinto Hospital has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines Stroke Gold Plus With Honor Roll Elite Quality Achievement Award.

The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to and success in utilizing the “Get With the Guidelines-Stroke” and “Target: Stroke” program. These advanced, evidence-based treatment guidelines ensure stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

To earn the Gold Plus  Honor Roll Elite Achievement Award, hospitals must meet 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 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, get a follow-up visit scheduled, as well as other care transition interventions.

To qualify for the Target: Stroke 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.

“In addition to how fast you get care, where you go can make a difference. As a Gold Plus Primary Stroke Center, Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital is committed to helping stroke patients achieve the best possible long-term outcomes. One in 12 stroke patients is likely to have another stroke soon after the initial attack,” said Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital neurologist Dr. Ruby Parveen. “But research shows that patients experience better outcomes when taken to hospitals that are stroke centers where specific treatment protocols are followed.”

A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is cut off by a blood clot (ischemic stroke) or a ruptured blood vessel (hemorrhagic stroke). Without an adequate blood supply, brain cells begin to die and brain damage occurs, making getting immediate medical care absolutely crucial because early intervention can make all the difference.

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the U.S. On average, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds, someone dies of a stroke every four minutes, and nearly 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year. Conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and a personal family history of stroke may all increase the risk of stroke.

Houston Methodist Baytown also was awarded the AHA’s Get With the Guidelines-Resuscitation Gold Plus Achievement Award for exemplary work in saving the lives of those who experience in-hospital cardiac arrests through consistently following the most up-to-date guidelines and techniques. 

More than 200,000 adults and children have an in-hospital cardiac arrest each year, according to the American Heart Association. The Get With The Guidelines-Resuscitation program was developed with the goal to save lives of those who experience in-hospital cardiac arrests through consistently following the most up-to-date research-based guidelines for treatment. Guidelines include following protocols for patient safety, medical emergency team response, effective and timely resuscitation (CPR) and post-resuscitation care.

Houston Methodist Baytown’s stroke care team includes physicians, rehabilitation nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists and vocational therapists. For more information on stroke prevention and to schedule an appointment for preventive screenings at Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital, call 832-556-6535, or visit

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