August 12, 2022

Five Times in a Row: Saint Anne’s Hospital Receives National Awards for Stroke Care

Fall River, MA – For the fifth year in a row, Saint Anne’s Hospital has earned awards for stroke care from the Massachusetts Paul Coverdell Stroke Program/Hospital Quality Improvement Collaborative.

This year, Saint Anne’s has earned:

  • The Coverdell Stroke Systems of Care Partnership Award. This recognition is awarded to hospitals that have established a formal partnership with Emergency Medical Services and/or post-acute facilities for the care of stroke patients.
  • The Modified Rankin Scale Award. This award reflects a scale greater than or equal to 95% of patients who have a modified Rankin score documented at the time of discharge. The Rankin Scale measures the degree of disability or dependence in the daily activities of people who have suffered a stroke or other causes of neurological disability.

“We are proud of our team at Saint Anne’s Hospital, whose commitment to stroke care has earned this recognition,” said Saint Anne’s Hospital President Michael Bushell.

“We know that rapid care by EMS providers at the onset of symptoms can be a life-saving factor,” said Bushell. “Thanks to advanced technology that links EMS with our Emergency Department, patients can begin to get the care they need while in transit. Our emergency team is in constant contact with EMS and is ready to initiate hospital care as soon as the patient arrives.”

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.

Since 2005, Saint Anne’s Hospital has been designated as a Primary Stroke Service Provider from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. The distinction means that the hospital ensures emergency diagnostic and therapeutic services by a multidisciplinary team, 24 hours day, seven days a week, to patients presenting with signs of acute stroke. 

See below for important signs and symptoms of stroke.

About the Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Program

The Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Program is funded by The Centers for Disease Control through a competitive application process.  The Massachusetts program has been funded since 2001 and is currently one of nine state health departments funded to participate. The initial prototype phase was used to determine how best to develop stroke quality improvements registries, identify which data elements could and should be collected, and identify challenges involved in data collection.  In the 2004 to 2007 project period, the primary stroke service designation was initiated in Massachusetts, which was one of four states at that time involved in the Coverdell program.

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 Dartmouth, Attleboro, Swansea, and New Bedford, 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.

Saint Anne’s key services include the Center for Orthopedic Excellence; bariatric surgery; multiple robotic-assisted surgical capabilities, including orthopedic surgery, spine surgery, bariatric surgery, and general surgery; Saint Anne’s Hospital Regional Cancer Center; two ambulatory surgery centers; the Center for Pain Management; and inpatient geriatric psychiatry services. In addition to earning the Leapfrog Group’s “Straight A’s” for patient safety since 2012 and its “Top Hospital” award for 2021, Saint Anne’s has earned national recognitions for cancer care, spine surgery, bariatric surgery, stroke care, and patient experience. 

Understanding stroke

The American Heart Association defines stroke as a cardiovascular disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood and oxygen it needs, so it starts to die. When a stroke occurs and blood flow can't reach the region that controls a particular body function, that part of the body won't work as it should.

Knowing the key signs and symptoms of stroke and calling 9-1-1 immediately can save a life. The F.A.S.T. acronym is an easy way to remember: 

Use FAST for stroke symptoms


Face: Does the face look uneven? Ask the person to smile.

Arm: Does one arm drift down? Ask the person to raise both arms.

Speech: Does the speech sound strange? Ask the person to repeat a phrase.

Time: If you observe these symptoms, call 9-1-1.

For more information about stroke, please visit