July 11, 2019

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

Fall River, MA – For the second consecutive year, Saint Anne’s Hospital has earned the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Target: Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The Gold Plus 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.GWTG Gold Plus award for stroke care seal

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 Plus award in 2018, as well as the Gold Award for stroke care in 2016 and 2017, Saint Anne’s Hospital President Michael Bushell said of this year’s Gold Plus award, “Saint Anne’s is dedicated to 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 evidenced-based clinical guidelines developed to improve patient outcomes.”

During statewide ceremonies, Saint Anne’s also received the following awards for stroke care:

From the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association:

  • The “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. It is the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke.

From the Massachusetts Paul Coverdell Stroke Program/Hospital Quality Improvement Collaborative:

  • Dysphagia Screening Award in the large volume category. To earn this award, the hospital must complete dysphagia screening on at least 95% of stroke patients before they receive food, liquid, or medication. Dysphagia, also known as difficulty in swallowing, can be one of the effects of stroke.
  • Stroke Systems of Care
  • Modified Rankin Scale on at least 85% of stroke patients. This scale measures a patient’s degree of disability/dependence after a stroke.

“We are pleased to recognize Saint Anne’s Hospital for their commitment to stroke care,” said Lee H. Schwamm, MD, 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.”

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. In addition to consecutive Patient Safety Excellence Award and Outstanding Patient Experience awards from Healthgrades, recent recognitions include the Leapfrog Group's “Straight A’s” for patient safety since 2012 and the 2018 Top Hospital award, plus Women’s Choice Awards as one of America’s Best Hospitals for orthopedic care and cancer care.