Saint Peter’s University Hospital is nationally recognized for commitment to providing high-quality stroke care

New Brunswick-based Saint Peter’s University Hospital has received the American Heart Association’s Get with the Guidelines – Stroke Gold Plus quality achievement award for its commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines, ultimately leading to more lives saved and reduced disability.

Stroke is the fifth-leading cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the U.S. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood and oxygen it needs, so brain cells die. Early stroke detection and treatment are key to improving survival, minimizing disability and accelerating recovery times.

“Saint Peter’s University Hospital is honored to be recognized by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association for our commitment to improving patient care and offering stroke patients the best possible chance of survival after a stroke,” Maria Bartman, stroke coordinator at Saint Peter’s and chair of Saint Peter’s Stroke Committee, said. “Our teams use proven knowledge and guidelines daily, which studies show can help patients recover better. The end goal is to ensure more people in New Brunswick and the greater Middlesex County region can experience longer, healthier lives.”

Each year, program participants qualify for the award by demonstrating how their organization has committed to providing quality care for stroke patients. In addition to following treatment guidelines, Get with the Guidelines participants also educate patients to help them manage their health and recovery at home.

“We are incredibly pleased to recognize Saint Peter’s University Hospital for its commitment to caring for patients with stroke,” Dr. Steven Messe, volunteer chairperson of the American Heart Association Stroke System of Care Advisory Group and professor of neurology and director of fellowships of neurology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, said. “Participation in Get with the Guidelines is associated with improved patient outcomes, fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates — a win for health care systems, families and communities.”

Saint Peter’s University Hospital is certified as an advanced primary stroke center by the Joint Commission, demonstrating that the hospital has established a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the emergency department and has consistently met quality metrics that reflect the best evidence-based care for stroke patients. Saint Peter’s is also designated as a Primary Stroke Center by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services.

“Time is of the essence when it comes to stroke. With every minute that passes in patient suffering from a stroke, 1.9 million neurons are lost. By having protocols in place to treat stroke patients quickly and effectively, we minimize the damage of the stroke, reduce disability and save lives,” Dr. Roger Behar, neurologist and medical director of the Stroke Program at Saint Peter’s, said.