Saint Anne’s Hospital receives three national awards for stroke care

Fall River, MA – Saint Anne’s Hospital has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. 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.

Saint Anne’s, which was designated as a Primary Stroke Service provider by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health in 2005, earned the Gold Plus award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients. 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. 

Noting that the hospital received the association’s Gold Award for stroke care in 2016 and 2017, Saint Anne’s Hospital President Michael Bushell said of this year’s Gold Plus award, “We are pleased to be honored for consistently improving the quality of care for our stroke patients by implementing the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke initiative. The tools and resources provided help us track and measure our success in meeting evidence-based clinical guidelines developed to improve patient outcomes.” 

During statewide ceremonies in Westboro, MA, on June 7, Saint Anne’s also received:

  • The association’s “Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll” 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. tPA is the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke. The drug must be given with a few hours of the onset of a stroke to be effective in reducing stroke complications. 
  • The Massachusetts Paul Coverdell Stroke Program/Hospital Quality Improvement Collaborative’s Dysphagia Screening Award in the large volume category. Dysphagia, also known as difficulty in swallowing, can be one of the effects of stroke. To earn this award, the hospital must complete dysphagia screening on at least 90% of stroke patients before they receive food, liquid, or medication. The Dysphagia Screening Award is a quality-of-care benchmark that captures the percent of stroke patients who undergo screening for this condition.



Above: Among those celebrating Saint Anne's Hospital's Stroke System of Care awards at a hospital-wide reception were  (left-right) Stroke Committee Chair Dr. Farrel Douglas; Ron Audette, Saint Anne's EMS manager; Erin McGough, of the Stroke Committee; Lisa DeMello, Saint Anne's stroke coordinator; Carole Billington, chief operating officer/chief nursing officer; and Lisa Chagnon, director of the Emergency Department and member of the Stroke Committee.


“We are pleased to recognize Saint Anne’s Hospital for their commitment to stroke care,” said Eric E. Smith, M.D., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines Steering Committee and an associate professor of neurology at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. “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.”

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 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

About Saint Anne’s Hospital
Founded by the Dominican Sisters of the Presentation in 1906, Saint Anne’s Hospital in Fall River, Massachusetts, is a full-service, acute care Catholic hospital with 211 beds and satellite locations in Attleboro, Swansea, Dartmouth, New Bedford, and Stoughton, Massachusetts.

A member of Steward Health Care, Saint Anne’s provides nationally recognized patient- and family-centered inpatient care and outpatient clinical services to patients from surrounding Massachusetts and Rhode Island communities. Recent recognitions include “Straight A’s” for patient safety and the 2017 Top Hospital award from the Leapfrog Group; Women’s Choice Awards as one of America’s best hospitals for cancer care and orthopedic care; the Patient Safety Excellence Award and Outstanding Patient Experience Award from Healthgrades; and the Hurst Gold Standard of Nursing Award.

In addition to comprehensive emergency, medical, surgical, and diagnostic services, Saint Anne’s key services include multiple robotic-assisted surgical capabilities; Saint Anne’s Hospital Regional Cancer Center; the Center for Orthopedic Excellence; ambulatory surgery centers in Attleboro and Dartmouth; the Center for Pain Management; and inpatient geriatric psychiatry services.

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