RMC Honored with Quality Achievement Award for Stroke Care


  Stacia Bell, Quality Improvement Director of the Mid-Atlantic Affiliate, American Heart Association; recently presented RMC with the Get With The Guidelines® - Stroke Silver-Plus Quality Achievement Award. From left are Indun Whetsell, Director of Quality Management and Medical Staff Services; Sherry Davis, Stroke Program Coordinator; Penny Ryant, Third West/Medical Surgical Step Down/Progressive Care Nurse Director; Tom Dandridge, President & CEO; Stacia Bell, Quality Improvement Director of the Mid-Atlantic Affiliate, American Heart Association; Brad Holmes, Emergency Department Nurse Director; Mohammed Alhatou, MD, Stroke Program Medical Director; Ericka Middleton, Progressive Care Nurse Manager; Julia Yawn, Vice President of Patient Care and Family Services/CNO; Kartina Harrison, Progressive Care Unit Based Educator; and Melissa Thomas, Medical Surgical Step Down Unit Nurse Manager.
The Regional Medical Center has received the Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Silver-Plus Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for the treatment of stroke patients.

Get With The Guidelines Stroke helps hospital teams provide the most up-to-date, research-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. Regional Medical Center earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period. These measures include aggressive use of medications and risk-reduction therapies aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.

“Regional Medical Center is dedicated to improving the quality of stroke care and The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines–Stroke helps us achieve that goal,” said Mohammed Alhatou, MD, Medical Director of RMC Primary Stroke Center. “With this award, our hospital demonstrates our commitment to ensure that our patients receive care based on internationally-respected clinical guidelines.”

“We are pleased to recognize the Regional Medical Center for their 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 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 also helps the Regional Medical Center’s staff implement prevention measures, which include educating stroke patients to manage their risk factors and to be aware of warning signs for stroke, and ensuring they take their medications properly. Hospitals can make customized patient education materials available upon discharge, based on the patients’ individual risk profiles. The take-away materials are written in an easy-to-understand format in either English or Spanish.

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the number four cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States.  On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

RMC was certified by The Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center in December 2012. “Through much hard work and commitment from the staff, RMC is providing quality and compassionate care to our stroke patients,” said Sherry Davis, RN, BSN, Stroke Program Coordinator.

About Get With The Guidelines®

Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program 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


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