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VA Puget Sound receives American Heart Association Quality Achievement Awards


August 22, 2019

Seattle , WA — VA Puget Sound Health Care System earned American Heart Association and American Stroke Association 2019 Get With The Guidelines® - Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award.

The 2019 Get With The Guidelines® - Stroke Bronze Quality Achievement Award, and also qualified for recognition on the Target: Stroke Honor Roll. These awards recognize its commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to the latest nationally recognized, evidence-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

VA Puget Sound 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 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 should also receive education on managing their health, get a follow-up visit scheduled, as well as other care transition interventions.

“VA Puget Sound Health Care System is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our stroke patients by implementing the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke initiative,” said Maria Kimmerle, VA Puget Sound neurology and stroke coordinator. “The tools and resources provided help us track and measure our success in meeting evidenced-based clinical guidelines developed to improve health outcomes for our Veterans.”

To qualify for Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll recognition, hospitals must meet quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke.

 “We are pleased to recognize VA Puget Sound Health Care System for their commitment to stroke care,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., national chairperson of the Quality Oversight Committee and executive vice chair of Neurology, director of Acute Stroke Services, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts. “Research has shown that hospitals adhering to clinical measures through the Get With The Guidelines quality improvement initiative can often see fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates.”

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds and nearly 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

About VA Puget Sound Health Care System:

VA Puget Sound provides comprehensive care to more than 110,000 Veterans across its nine facilities in the Pacific Northwest. It has the 5th largest research program within the national VA system and seven Centers of Excellence (in areas from limb-loss prevention and prosthetic engineering to primary care education and substance abuse treatment). More than 2,000 trainees participate in its undergraduate and graduate programs each year. For more information visit

About Get With The Guidelines®

Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program that provides hospitals with tools and resources to increase adherence to 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 6 million patients since 2001. For more information, visit

VA Puget Sound Health Care System Media Contact: Tami Begasse, 277-1711

Media contacts

Tami Begasse, Public Affairs Officer


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