Published on October 21, 2014

Mercy Fitzgerald Receives Get With The Guidelines Quality Award

Darby, PA (October 21, 2014): On Wednesday, October 15, an American Heart Association/American Stroke Association representative presented Mercy Fitzgerald with the Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. This is the fourth consecutive year that Mercy Fitzgerald has earned this prestigious distinction.

award presentation“We are proud to once again receive the Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award,” said MFH Executive Director Susan Cusack. “This award signifies Mercy Fitzgerald’s continued commitment to implementing protocols and standards of care that save the lives of stroke patients and improve their outcomes.”

Get With The Guidelines®–Stroke helps teams provide the most up-to-date, research-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. MFH earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the 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.

Get With The Guidelines®–Stroke also helps 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 easy-to-understand formats.

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.

The comprehensive stroke care program includes emergency care, diagnosis, designated stroke units, treatment, surgery, rehabilitation, community education and patient support groups.

Mercy Fitzgerald is also a designated Primary Stroke Center, having earned the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™. The Joint Commission’s Primary Stroke Center Certification is based on the recommendations for primary stroke centers published by the Brain Attack Coalition and the American Stroke Association’s statements and guidelines for stroke care. The Joint Commission launched the program – the nation’s first – in 2003. A list of programs certified by The Joint Commission is available at


Photo Caption: Mercy Fitzgerald’s Stroke and Heart and Vascular teams are presented with the Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award.