Heritage Valley Honored with Quality Achievement Award for Stroke Care

Heritage Valley Health System hospitals – Heritage Valley Beaver and Heritage Valley Sewickley – have each received the Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Silver-Plus Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for the treatment of stroke patients.

Get With The Guidelines Stroke helps hospital teams provide the most up-to-date, research-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. Heritage Valley Beaver and Heritage Valley Sewickley each earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the rapid 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.           

“Heritage Valley Health System is dedicated to improving the quality of stroke care and guidelines from the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association help us achieve that goal,” said Linda Homyk, MSN, RN, vice president and chief nursing officer, patient care services, Heritage Valley Health System. “This award further demonstrates Heritage Valley’s commitment to ensure that our patients receive care based on internationally-respected clinical guidelines.”                                                                              

“We are focused on improving stroke care at our hospitals,” said Amy Kasper, nurse manager, Emergency Department at Heritage Valley Sewickley. “In addition to the implementation of these important guidelines, Heritage Valley participates in a “telestroke” program that uses advanced video equipment to connect expert stroke neurologists with Heritage Valley’s emergency department and critical care physicians and nurses, along with patients and their families.”

At Heritage Valley Beaver, the telestroke program is linked to neurologists at UPMC and at Heritage Valley Sewickley, the program is linked to neurologists at Allegheny Health Network/Allegheny General Hospital.  

“Our relationship with UPMC and Allegheny Health Network enables our Emergency Department physicians and staff to collaborate with experts in the field – to share clinical data and images, order timely “clot buster” thrombolytic medication as needed, and discuss treatment options,” said Lisa Rose, nurse manager at Heritage Valley Beaver.

“We are pleased to recognize Heritage Valley Beaver and Heritage Valley Sewickley for their commitment and dedication to stroke care,” said Deepak L. Bhatt, M.D., M.P.H., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines steering committee and Executive Director of Interventional Cardiovascular Programs at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. “Studies have shown that hospitals that consistently follow Get With The Guidelines quality improvement measures can reduce patients’ length of stays and 30-day readmission rates and reduce disparity gaps in care.”

Get With The Guidelines–Stroke also helps Heritage Valley’s 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.         

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.




About Heritage Valley Health System
Heritage Valley Health System is a $450 million integrated delivery network providing comprehensive health care for residents of Allegheny, Beaver, Butler and Lawrence counties, in Pennsylvania; eastern Ohio; and the panhandle of West Virginia. In partnership with 3,800 employees and more than 450 physicians, Heritage Valley offers a broad range of medical, surgical and diagnostic services at its two hospitals, Heritage Valley Sewickley and Heritage Valley Beaver; in 72 physician offices; and 14 community satellite facilities.  For more information about Heritage Valley Health System, please visit www.heritagevalley.org.


About Get With The Guidelines
Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program 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 4 million patients since 2001. For more information, visit heart.org/quality or heart.org/myhealthcare.