Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City honored by American Heart Association and American Stroke Association with top quality achievement awards

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (June 25, 2014) – Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City has received two top honors from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for excellence in the treatment of stroke patients. The hospital was awarded the Get With The Guidelines® Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award and the Target: Stroke Honor Roll, the most prestigious honors for stroke programs awarded by the organization. 

The Gold Plus Award is reserved for stroke centers that meet quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients for a designated period. These measures include the aggressive use of medications and risk-reduction therapies aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients. Quality achievement measures include the implementation of antithrombotic therapy, tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), stroke education such as recognizing symptoms of stroke and learning to call 911 immediately, and more for every stroke patient.

Saint Luke’s Hospital also achieved the Target: Stroke Honor Roll for meeting stroke quality measures that reduce the time between hospital arrival and treatment with the clot-buster, tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke. Persons who suffer a stroke who receive the drug within three hours of the onset of symptoms may recover more quickly and are less likely to suffer severe permanent disability. Saint Luke’s Hospital received the award for achieving tPA administration times of 60 minutes or less on a consecutive basis. 

“These prestigious honors are given based on internationally respected clinical guidelines, and they are not easy for a stroke center to achieve. We are honored to receive them, and recognize that these awards come as a result of the commitment and dedication of our stroke team, which focuses on attaining this high goal and consistently settles only for providing the very best care for our patients,” said Karin Olds, M.D., medical director of the stroke program at Saint Luke’s Marion Bloch Neuroscience Institute (SLMBNI).   

“We are pleased to recognize Saint Luke’s Hospital for its commitment and dedication to stroke care,” said Deepak L. Bhatt, M.D., M.P.H., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines steering committee and executive director of the Interventional Cardiovascular Programs at? Brigham and Women’s Hospital and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. “Studies have shown that hospitals that consistently follow Get With The Guidelines quality improvement measures can reduce patients’ length of stays and 30-day readmission rates and reduce disparity gaps in care.”

Get With The Guidelines – Stroke focuses on prevention measures, such as educating stroke patients to manage risk factors and be aware of warning signs for stroke, as well as ensuring medications are taken properly. Based on patients’ individual risk profiles, hospitals must make customized patient education materials available upon discharge, which are written in an easy to understand format in both English and Spanish.

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the No.  four cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the U.S.. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds, and someone dies of a stroke every four minutes. More than 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

About Saint Luke’s Health System

Saint Luke’s Health System consists of 10 area hospitals and several primary and specialty care practices, and provides a range of inpatient, outpatient, and home care services. Founded as a faith-based, not-for-profit organization, our mission includes a commitment to the highest levels of excellence in health care and the advancement of medical research and education. The health system is an aligned organization in which the physicians and hospitals assume responsibility for enhancing the physical, mental, and spiritual health of people in the metropolitan Kansas City area and the surrounding region.

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 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 4 million patients since 2001. For more information, visit or