Providence Stroke Program Honored with Gold Achievement Awards

October 28, 2021 Providence News Team

For 12 consecutive years, Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center and Children’s Hospital was honored with American Heart Association / American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. For 2021, Providence Holy Family Hospital also received Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. This designation is the highest level of achievement for a program that serves more than three times the amount of people than any other health provider in the region.  

“This recognizes our teams’ continued commitment to providing a higher standard of comprehensive, coordinated stroke care for our patients,” said Ken Isaacs, M.D., regional medical director of Providence Spokane Neuroscience Institute. “Being honored for our care and innovation --- from prevention and diagnosis through treatment and rehabilitation, is validation of our quality stroke care on national standards.” 

Recognizing the hospital’s consistently reduced times between a stroke patient’s arrival and treatment, Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center also received the association’s Target: StrokeSM Elite Plus Honor Roll award. The hospital has the lowest arrival-to-treatment times in the region and one of the lowest in the state of Washington, according to AHA data.   

“Our communities’ first responders and rural hospitals are the first link to treating our patients and identifying symptoms of stroke,” added Cynthia Murphy, M.D. and stroke program director. “We are fortunate to work with our health partners and reduce the effects of stroke.” 

Code Stroke 

“Code stroke” is an emergency protocol implemented at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center and Holy Family Hospital to provide all stroke patients with the care they need as quickly as possible. Sacred Heart’s stroke protocol is so successful, it’s used as an example for other hospitals.  

Patients experience integrated, connected stroke care beginning with first responders and more than a dozen rural hospitals connected via telestroke to Providence neurologist. Every time a stroke is suspected, a paramedic or rural hospital provider initiates a “code stroke,” setting into motion a life-saving chain of events.   

  • Providence neurologists provide 24/7 coverage in the emergency departments so that patients receive immediate consultation.   
  • There is 24/7 coverage for expedited CT and MRI scans ordered for acute stroke imaging.  
  • Blood is drawn on scene or on arrival with key lab results expedited. 
  • A clinical pharmacist, involved from the beginning of the process, prepares clot-busting medication, so the second a neurologist says to administer it, it is ready to deliver. 
  • 24/7 neurologists, interventional radiologists, technicians, and nurses evaluate and retrieve clots lodged in arteries in the brain. 

Treatment and Care Continues 

  • Neurosurgeons, critical care physicians, and critical care nurses provide 24/7 intensive care for patients with brain hemorrhages. 
  • Therapists and neuro-specialized nursing teams support in-hospital patient care and early rehabilitation.  
  • Post-hospital rehabilitative care is provided based on the needs of the patient and may include inpatient rehabilitation at Providence St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Medical center, regional rehabilitation facilities or care at skilled nursing facilities.  

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and the leading cause of disability in the United States. When treating a stroke, “time is brain,” which means the more immediate the treatment, the less damage to the brain from the stroke.  

Spot signs of stroke 

Use the letters in "F.A.S.T." to spot signs of stroke and know when to call 9-1-1. 

About Providence Spokane Neuroscience Institute 

Providence Spokane Neuroscience Institute offers care across the neuroscience continuum of care including care in spine, stroke, epilepsy, deep brain stimulation for movement disorders, care for brain tumors, headaches, Multiple Sclerosis, pediatric neurology and neurosurgery, full-spectrum neuroendovascular procedures and more. The Institute has achieved advanced certifications in multiple clinical service areas, including Joint Commission Certification for Spinal Surgery and Thrombectomy Capable Stroke Center, Washington State Level I Stroke Center, and National Association of Epilepsy Centers Level 3 Epilepsy Center.  These advanced certifications demonstrate the Institute’s strong commitment to advancing clinical excellence. Board-certified neurologists, neurosurgeons, vascular surgeons, neurointerventionalists, neuroradiologists, neurohospitalists and specially trained nurses and therapists provide expert stroke care. This concentration of resources and expertise illustrates why Sacred Heart is the region’s leader in stroke intervention and care. 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. For more information, visit 

About the Author

The Providence News Team brings you the updates to keep you informed about what's happening across the organizational ecosystem. From partnerships to new doctor announcements, we are committed to keeping you informed.

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