John Muir Health Recognized for Excellence in Cardiac and Stroke Care by American Heart Association/American Stroke Association

Walnut Creek, CA (April 23, 2013) - John Muir Health’s Concord and Walnut Creek medical centers were recently recognized with the American Heart Association/ American Stroke Association's prestigious "Get With The Guidelines" Stroke Gold Plus Achievement Award. This is John Muir Health’s third consecutive year winning one of the highest possible distinctions for stroke and heart failure.

John Muir Medical Center, Concord and John Muir Medical Center, Walnut Creek were also two of just 164 hospitals in the nation to receive Platinum recognition for implementing a higher standard of care for heart attack patients as outlined by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) and consistent with the Get With The Guidelines program. To receive this recognition, both medical centers had to consistently follow ACC/AHA’s most current, scientifically-based treatment guidelines for two consecutive years and meet a performance standard of 90% for specific measures.

Nationwide, more than 1,650 hospitals participate in Get With The Guidelines, a quality-improvement program designed to ensure that hospitals consistently care for heart and stroke patients following the most up-to-date clinical guidelines, best practices and recommendations.

To achieve Gold Plus recognition, John Muir Health’s medical centers had to reach an aggressive goal of treating stroke and heart failure patients with 85 percent or better compliance to specific levels of care outlined by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for 24 consecutive months. The Concord and Walnut Creek medical centers have also achieved 75 percent or higher compliance with six of 10 Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Measures, which measure quality of care.  

“We are proud that the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, two prestigious organizations, have validated John Muir Health's commitment to quality heart attack, heart failure and stroke care,” said Dr. Raymond Stephens, neurologist and Stroke Program Medical Director at John Muir Health. “We are committed to providing the best possible care to patients following the most current guidelines and best practices for treatment.”

Stroke, heart failure and heart attacks are leading causes of death in the United States. According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, 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. Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States and is a major cause of disability. The most common heart disease in the United States is coronary heart disease, which often appears as a heart attack. Get With The Guidelines tools enable John Muir Health’s medical centers to continuously improve the quality of care provided to heart attack and stroke patients, improve health outcomes, save lives and ultimately, reduce health care costs by lowering recurrence of heart attacks or strokes.

“These awards are a tribute to our skilled and caring physicians, nurses and staff,” said Howard Min, M.D., cardiologist and Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory Medical Director at John Muir Health’s Concord medical center. “Implementing a higher standard of care for heart attack, heart disease and stroke patients is a collaborative effort that helps improve care, positively impacting patients’ lives.”

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