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Atrium Health Navicent Celebrates 13 Years of World Class Stroke Care

Atrium Health Navicent The Medical Center has earned its 11th consecutive “Get With the Guidelines – Stroke Gold Plus” Quality Achievement Award, an annual award presented by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association (AHA) for excellence in stroke care. Atrium Health Navicent The Medical Center earned the “Get With the Guidelines – Stroke Gold Plus” Quality Achievement 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. In addition, Atrium Health Navicent The Medical Center has also been named to AHA’s “Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus” for the fourth year.

The awards recognize the hospital’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence. To qualify for this recognition, hospitals must meet quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke.

For the second consecutive year, AHA also recognized hospitals who are taking steps to help stroke patients control and manage Type 2 diabetes, a well-established risk factor for stroke. Atrium Health Navicent has been named to AHA’s inaugural “Target Type 2 Diabetes” Honor Roll. The hospital has made great strides in helping central Georgians manage their diabetes, particularly resolving racial and gender disparities for those with this disease.

Atrium Health Navicent The Medical Center has been honored annually since 2008 for its commitment to stroke care.

“Atrium Health Navicent The Medical Center is dedicated to using evidence-based protocols to provide patients with advanced stroke care quickly and safely. The tools and resources provided by the American Heart Association’s Get With the Guidelines Initiative help us track and measure our success in meeting evidence-based clinical guidelines developed to improve patient outcomes,” said Dr. Sanford Duke, Chief Clinical Officer for Atrium Health Navicent. “Receiving this award for care provided during the pandemic is just one more example of how our teammates live our culture commitments, working as one to make great things happen and driving for excellence always.”

According to AHA, stroke is the fifth cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the U.S. 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. Early stroke detection and treatment are key to improving survival, minimizing disability and speeding recovery times.

“The number of acute ischemic stroke patients eligible for treatment is expected to grow over the next decade due to increasing stroke incidence and an aging population. Atrium Health Navicent remains focused on improving the quality of stroke care by implementing evidence-based guidelines, including Get With The Guidelines – Stroke,” said Denise Goings, a registered nurse and Atrium Health Navicent’s stroke coordinator.

About Atrium Health Navicent

Atrium Health Navicent is the leading provider of healthcare in central and south Georgia and is committed to its mission of elevating health and well-being through compassionate care. Atrium Health Navicent provides high-quality, personalized care in 53 specialties at more than 50 facilities throughout the region. As part of the largest, integrated, nonprofit health system in the Southeast, it is also able to tap into some of the nation’s leading medical experts and specialists with Atrium Health, allowing it to provide the best care close to home – including advanced innovations in virtual medicine and care. Throughout its 125-year history in the community, Atrium Health Navicent has remained dedicated to enhancing health and wellness for individuals throughout the region through nationally recognized quality care, community health initiatives and collaborative partnerships. It is also one of the leading teaching hospitals in the region, helping to ensure viability for rural health care for the next generation. For more information, please 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 9 million patients since 2001. For more information, visit