UMMC’s Comprehensive Stroke Center Receives Top Honors from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association

For immediate release: April 10, 2015

The Comprehensive Stroke Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) was recently recognized with two American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke honors: the Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award with Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll Elite.

“We are proud to be recognized for our excellent stroke care,” says Barney J. Stern, MD, the Stewart J. Greenebaum Endowed Professor in Stroke Neurology and Interim Chair of the Department of Neurology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Director of the Comprehensive Stroke Center at UMMC. “These awards are a testament to our dedicated staff of neurologists, emergency medicine physicians, neurosurgeons, interventional neuroradiologists, rehabilitation specialists, vascular surgeons, nurses and others who provide the interdisciplinary expertise needed to care for the complex stroke patient.” 

Get With The Guidelines® is a quality improvement program designed to ensure that the care stroke patients receive is in line with the latest research-based guidelines. To receive the Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award — the highest level of recognition possible — hospitals must achieve 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke achievement indicators for 24 consecutive months or more. This is the third year in a row that UMMC has been awarded the Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award.

To receive the Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite level, hospitals must meet quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-busting drug tPA. If given intravenously in the first three hours after the start of stroke symptoms, tPA has been shown to significantly reduce the effects of stroke and lessen the chance of permanent disability. The Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite level recognizes hospitals that have treated at least 75 percent of patients within 60 minutes of arriving at the hospital.

“We are pleased to recognize the University of Maryland Medical Center for their commitment to stroke care,” said Deepak L. Bhatt, MD, MPH, 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 length of stay and 30-day readmission rates and reduce disparities in care.”

UMMC is among an elite group of medical institutions to be designated as a Comprehensive Stroke Center — the highest level of stroke care certification — by the Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Fewer than 70 stroke centers in the United States have been awarded the designation.

To learn more about the Comprehensive Stoke Center, please visit To learn more about Get With The Guidelines, please visit