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VA Puget Sound nationally recognized for its commitment to providing high-quality stroke care for fourth consecutive year

American Heart Association 2023 get with the guidelines, gold plus, target: type 2 diabetes honor roll, stoke graphic

For the fourth year in a row, VA Puget Sound Health Care System received the American Heart Association Association’s Get With The Guidelines® - Stroke Gold Plus and Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll quality achievement awards.

These awards recognize its commitment and success in implementing a high standard of stroke care by ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to the latest nationally recognized, evidence-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

“We are incredibly pleased to recognize VA Puget Sound Health Care System for its commitment to caring for patients with stroke,” said Steven Messe, M.D., 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. “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.”

Receiving the quality achievement award underscores VA Puget Sound’s 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 No. 5 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.

Get With The Guidelines puts the expertise of the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association to work for hospitals nationwide, helping ensure patient care is aligned with the latest research- and evidence-based guidelines. Get With The Guidelines - Stroke is an in-hospital program for improving stroke care by promoting consistent adherence to these guidelines, which can minimize the long-term effects of a stroke and even prevent death.

“At VA Puget Sound we are committed to helping our Veterans experience longer, healthier lives,” said VA Puget Sound Neurology and Stroke Coordinator Maria Kimmerle. “Our continued recognition by the American Heart Association is further proof of our commitment to improving patient care by adhering to the latest treatment guidelines. And Get With The Guidelines makes it easier for our care teams to put proven knowledge and guidelines to work daily to help our Veterans recover.”

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.

About VA Puget Sound

VA Puget Sound provides comprehensive care to more than 155,000 enrolled Veterans across Western Washington with a primary care team at one of its care sites: two main campuses (American Lake and Seattle), seven outpatient clinics (Edmonds, Everett, Mount Vernon, Olympia, Port Angeles, Puyallup and Silverdale) and Community Resource & Referral Center (Georgetown neighborhood in Seattle) and a Homeless Primary Care Team in Renton. As the VA’s 4th largest research program, VA Puget Sound has research in virtually every major clinical department, including: TBI and multiple blast exposures; memory improvement and Alzheimer's Disease; PTSD and deployment health; Parkinson’s Disease; diabetes; cancer; substance abuse; lower limb prosthetics; genomics; and Health Services. Additionally, it has seven nationally recognized Centers of Excellence (in areas from limb-loss prevention and prosthetic engineering to primary care education and substance abuse treatment). For more information visit or call 800-329-8387.  For Veterans in Crisis, please use the Veterans Crisis line at 988 (press 1).

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 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 12 million patients since 2001. For more information, visit

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