More American Heart Association Gold for UConn Stroke Care

For a sixth consecutive year, the UConn Health Stroke Center earns the American Heart Association’s highest distinction: “Get With The Guidelines® – Stroke Gold Plus.”

clinicians with patient on stretcher in emergency room

Dr. Gracia Mui performs a test on a model patient in the UConn John Dempsey Hospital Emergency Department with nurse Jennifer Sposito and Dr. Sanjay Mittal. (Tina Encarnacion/UConn Health photo)

We are the highest level of care. — Jennifer Sposito

Stroke care at the UConn John Dempsey Hospital continues to earn accolades from independent third parties, including now a sixth consecutive year with a “Get With The Guidelines® – Stroke Gold Plus” designation from the American Heart Association.

The award recognizes the UConn Health Stroke Center for its 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.

Jennifer Sposito environmental portrait
Nurse Jennifer Sposito is the UConn Health Stroke Center’s clinical program coordinator. (Photo by Tina Encarnacion)

“Words cannot express how proud we are of our advanced thrombectomy-capable stroke center winning another Gold status, highlighting our excellence in high-quality stroke care,” says Jennifer Sposito, the UConn Health Stroke Center’s clinical program coordinator. “Patients with large vessel occlusions requiring thrombectomy, an advanced procedure, or any neurosurgical procedure are able to come here directly to UConn to be cared for immediately without need to transfer to a higher level of care. We are the highest level of care.”

(American Heart Association)

This year the Gold status comes with two additional distinctions: “Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite,” for meeting specific criteria that reduce the time between an eligible patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster alteplase, and “Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll,” which aims to ensure patients with Type 2 diabetes, who might be at higher risk for complications, receive the most up-to-date, evidence-based care when hospitalized due to stroke.

Dr. Sanjay Mittal environmental portrait
Dr. Sanjay Mittal is the UConn Health Stroke Center’s medical director. (Photo by Tina Encarnacion)

“At UConn Health we are proud to have highly educated and motivated health care professionals who make it possible to deliver hyperacute stroke care in a timely manner,” says Dr. Sanjay Mittal, the UConn Health Stroke Center’s medical director. “I’m so proud of my team that we have consistently been able to achieve Gold Plus status as well as adding diabetes recognition to our status, which means we have adopted best practices to achieve excellent door-to-needle times, provide excellent care for our stroke and diabetes patients based on the latest AHA recommendations, and have adopted evidence-based guidelines at our institution.”

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.

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.

“We are incredibly pleased to recognize UConn Health for its commitment to caring for patients with stroke,” says Dr. Steven Messe, chairperson of the Stroke System of Care Advisory Group. “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.”

Learn more about the UConn Health Stroke Center.

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