Lehigh Valley, Pa.,
15:16 PM

American Heart Association Recognizes Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest, Lehigh Valley Hospital-Muhlenberg With Highest Designation for Commitment to Quality Stroke Care

LVHN hospitals in Hazleton and Pocono also recognized

Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)-Cedar Crest and Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)-Muhlenberg both have received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® - Stroke Gold Award and the Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus Quality Achievement Award, its highest designation The award recognizes the hospitals’ commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

Lehigh Valley Hospital−Hazleton received the Get With The Guidelines® - Stroke Gold Plus award and was recognized on the Target: Stroke Honor Roll. Lehigh Valley Hospital−Pocono was recognized with the Get With The Guidelines® - Stroke Gold award and on the Target: Stroke Honor Roll.

The Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) hospitals 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.

“We are pleased to recognize these Lehigh Valley Health Network hospitals 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.”

In October 2012, Lehigh Valley Hospital−Cedar Crest became the first stroke center in Pennsylvania, and one of the first in the United States, to earn advanced certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by the Joint Commission. This designation means LVH-Cedar Crest offers the highest standard of care for stroke; it recognizes the significant resources in staff and advanced training needed to treat patients with complex strokes in the hospital’s Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit (NSICU).

In 2006, LVH−Muhlenberg was designated a Primary Stroke Center. A Primary Stroke Center is a hospital that has developed special procedures to rapidly diagnose and treat a stroke.

Lehigh Valley Health Network treats over 2000 stroke patients annually using a Stroke Alert program. The care starts with rapid EMS triage and pre-notification en route to the hospital allowing early testing and prompt evaluation of stroke symptoms and treatment by a team of emergency and neurology specialists.

In January of 2019, LVHN and Cetronia Ambulance Corps, headquartered in Allentown, announced the joint operation of a new mobile stroke unit, at the time the first in Pennsylvania. The mobile stroke unit allows for evaluation and treatment sooner, potentially preventing damage to the brain while the patient is transported to a stroke-certified facility like LVH–Cedar Crest’s Comprehensive Stroke Center.

“We as pioneers of advanced stroke care in the region are happy to continue to provide the highest quality of evidenced based care to our community,” says Yevgeny Isayev, MD, Vascular Neurologist and Director of the Comprehensive Stroke Center at LVHN.

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 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 heart.org.