University Hospitals Comprehensive Stroke Program Recognized at Ohio Statehouse

Thursday, February 17, 2022
COLUMBUS – The Ohio Senate today honored University Hospitals’ nationally recognized stroke program for giving access to efficient, high-quality stroke treatment in communities across Northeast Ohio. A delegation of physicians, stroke experts and emergency medicine specialists from UH and UH Parma Medical Center traveled to Columbus to accept this recognition from State Sen. Nickie Antonio (D-23), the Assistant Minority Leader.
“University Hospitals Parma Medical Center has successfully incorporated concern and compassion with technology and professionalism to distinguish itself as an exemplary medical institution,” stated the proclamation from the Ohio Senate. “Ohio’s vitality largely depends upon the optimal health and development of all its citizens, and at no time in the past has society been so well equipped to respond to this challenge. With its conscientious management and devoted staff, the University Hospitals Parma Medical Center is a case in point. It has inspired trust, confidence and admiration, and the superb quality that has become its trademark is sure to continue for years to come.”
Sen. Antonio, whose 23rd district covers Parma and other west-side communities, noted that her mother died 21 years ago from complications of a stroke, so quality, expert care is of personal concern to her. “We have done some great work, and we get to do that work on a policy level with wonderful partners like we have before us today,” she told the chamber. “I’m so proud of the work you are doing,” she added, addressing the UH delegation.
Christopher Dussel, MD, Chief Medical Officer of UH Parma Medical Center, emphasizes the vital importance of pre-hospital care in good stroke outcomes. UH Parma was one of the first hospitals in the state to use telemedicine to communicate directly with paramedics in the field, allowing the physician to evaluate the patient before arrival at the hospital and activate the Stroke Team.
“The importance of strong partnerships with EMS – and people knowing the warning signs to watch for in order to call 9-1-1 in the first place – cannot be understated,” said Dr. Dussel, who is Medical Director of EMS at UH Parma Medical Center, which provides medical control over eight communities. “Activating stroke teams in the prehospital setting can save critical minutes.”
Sen. Antonio’s recognition was prompted by the 2021 American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Quality Achievement Awards, developed to help healthcare professionals provide the most up-to-date, research-based guidelines for treating stroke patients. Fourteen UH hospitals earned awards for quality stroke care, with UH Parma Medical Center receiving the Stroke Gold Plus and Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite. UH Cleveland Medical Center was the only hospital in Ohio for the second consecutive year to receive all four of the highest awards in 2021.
The American Heart Association awards recognize commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence:
  • The Stroke Gold Plus award is given to medical centers that meet specific quality achievement measures for the prompt diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for 24 consecutive months. The goal of these measures is speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. Before discharge, patients also should receive care transition interventions such as education on managing their health and a follow-up visit scheduled.
  • The Stroke Honor Roll Elite is presented to hospitals that effectively reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke.
UH Cleveland Medical Center also has met specific scientific guidelines as a Comprehensive Stroke Center achieving the Target Stroke Advanced Therapy Honor Roll for rapid diagnosis and treatment of severe stroke patients requiring a thrombectomy procedure, in which the blood clot is removed.
“All of our stroke teams across the University Hospitals Health System have worked together to deliver the highest quality stroke care in an integrated network that provides care close to home for residents of Northeast Ohio,” said Cathy Sila, MD, Chair of the UH Department of Neurology, and Director of the UH Comprehensive Stroke Center and UH System Stroke Program.  “Stroke is an emergency, and the best outcomes occur when patients are taken to their closest stroke center to start that life-saving treatment. So, it is very important to us that all of our hospitals can deliver that highest-quality stroke care.
“We are honored that our efforts are recognized by the State Senate and the American Heart Association, and that the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke provide proven knowledge and guidelines to improve outcomes for stroke patients.”
According to the American Heart 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.

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