UConn Health Stroke Team Receives Top Honor

Dr. Gracia Mui with patient
Dr. Gracia Mui examines a model patient in the UConn Health Stroke Center on April 20, 2017. (Janine Gelineau/UConn Health photo)

The American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association have recognized UConn Health and the UConn John Dempsey Hospital with the highest level award any hospital can receive for the success achieved in using the Get with the Guidelines – Stroke and Target Stroke programs  – the 2019 GWTG Stroke Gold Plus and Target Stroke Elite Plus Award.

Get With the Guidelines logo
(American Heart Association)

“We are so proud of this accomplishment,” said Dr. Sanjay Mittal, medical director of the UConn Health Stroke Center. “Time is of the essence when it comes to strokes, and improving patient outcomes by providing clot-busting treatment in a timely manner is our goal in every instance. To be recognized for the hard work our team provides day after day, we are truly humbled and thankful for the acknowledgement.”

To attain the gold certification, all seven achievement measures had to reach a level of 85% or higher for 24 consecutive months, while five of eight quality measures had to be at 75% or higher during the January to December time frame. The recognition also takes into account the administering of clot-busting treatment for ischemic stroke patients within 60 minutes of arrival at the hospital more than 75% of the time, dramatically improving patient outcomes.

“This awesome news represents collaboration and high quality across many teams,” said Dr. Scott Allen, UConn Health’s chief quality officer.

Stroke is a medical emergency and every minute counts when you or a loved one suffer a stroke. UConn Health’s Stroke Center works closely with individuals at an increased risk of stroke to prevent a stroke from occurring. The team also works with those who experience a warning stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) to reduce the likelihood that a major stroke will follow. The team of experts provide comprehensive care upon arrival to the emergency department all the way through to their stroke recovery, and the physicians are trained in the latest procedures and technology to ensure a rapid response.

“You and your team did a PHENOMENAL JOB,” added Pam Borg-Jensen, quality improvement consultant from the American Heart Association. “Not many hospitals reach this top level of achievement. Great job!”

According to the American Stroke Association, stroke is the second leading cause of death worldwide and is a major cause of serious disability for adults. In the U.S., where stroke is the fifth leading cause of death, approximately 795,000 people suffer from a stroke annually, and over 146,000 die as a result.

It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of someone who is suffering a stroke so that you can help by calling 911 immediately. Time is of the essence. Here are the signs you should look for:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or difficulty understanding speech
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance, or lack of coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

To save a life, remember: Balance, Eyes, Face, Arm, Speech, Time. BE FAST, and call 911.