A local hospital has received an award for patient stroke care.

Three Saint Joseph Mercy Health System hospitals have received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Get With The Guidelines Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The Gold Plus recognition is the highest award offered by the associations for stroke care. The award acknowledges a hospital's commitment to ensuring that stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

St. Joe's Ann Arbor, Livingston and Oakland earned the Gold Plus award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period. Measures include evaluation of the proper use of medications and other stroke treatments aligned with the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. Before discharge, patients also receive education on managing their health, get a follow-up visit scheduled, as well as other transition of care interventions.

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