UTMC receives recognition for stroke care

November 2, 2011 | News, UToday
By Meghan Cunningham

The University of Toledo Medical Center has been recognized for the seventh consecutive year for its excellent care of victims who have suffered a stroke.

The University has received the 2011 Stroke Gold Plus Performance Award from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

“The UT Medical Center was one of the first institutions to be recognized for meeting the standards in 2004, and we have continued to not only meet but exceed them for now seven consecutive years,” said Dr. Gretchen Tietjen, professor and chair of neurology, and director of the Stroke Program and of the Headache Treatment and Research Program.

“This is a measure of quality of care, and people can be assured by our track record and consistency in achieving this accomplishment.”

The award recognizes a hospital’s commitment to and success in implementing excellent care for stroke patients.

Qualifying hospitals have achieved at least 85 percent or higher adherence to a set of guidelines in stroke patient care. The standards include treatments such as providing aspirin, blood thinners and cholesterol-lowering medicines to qualifying patients to lessen the impact of a stroke or prevent a recurrence, as well as education efforts, such as smoking cessation counseling, for the patient’s continued health.

The UTMC Stroke Program, established in 1994, was the area’s first such center and it now treats an average of 300 stroke patients each year.

Tietjen is widely recognized for her research into stroke and migraine, with her most recent work investigating links between early life stress and abnormal blood vessel function in adults with migraine.

She also is a board member of the Northwest Ohio Division of the American Heart Association.

“This is truly an amazing accomplishment,” said Jacqueline Isherwood, executive director of the Northwest Ohio Division of the American Heart Association. “We are extremely fortunate to have Dr. Tietjen as a strong supporter and a leader within our community.”

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