Pardee UNC Health Care receives achievement award

June 28, 2017

Pardee UNC Health Care has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Silver Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment and success in ensuring that stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

To receive the Silver Quality Achievement Award, hospitals must achieve 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke achievement indicators for at least 12 consecutive months.

These quality measures are designed to help hospital teams provide the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. They focus on appropriate use of guideline-based care for stroke patients, including aggressive use of medications such as clot-busting and anti-clotting drugs, blood thinners and cholesterol-reducing drugs, preventive action for deep vein thrombosis and smoking cessation counseling. 

“A stroke patient loses 1.9 million neurons each minute stroke treatment is delayed. This recognition demonstrates our commitment to delivering advanced stroke treatments to patients quickly and safely,” said Joel Callahan Jr., M.D., a neurologist at Pardee. “Pardeecontinues to strive for excellence in the acute treatment of stroke patients. The recognition from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke further reinforces our team’s hard work.”

“Time is brain and any delay in treatment can negatively impact our ability to deliver the best care,” added Dr. Callahan. “Education and patient awareness remains critical. The sooner a patient (or family member or friend) recognizes the signs and symptoms of a stroke, the sooner they can go to the emergency department and receive the care they need.  Stroke can present with multiple symptoms, but any sudden change in strength, speech or coordination should alert you to call 911.”

“The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association recognize Pardee UNC Health Care for its commitment to stroke care,” said Paul Heidenreich, M.D., M.S., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines Steering Committee and Professor of Medicine at Stanford University. “Research has shown there are benefits to patients who are treated at hospitals that have adopted the Get With The Guidelines program.”

Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke puts the expertise of the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association to work for hospitals nationwide, helping hospital care teams ensure the care provided to patients is aligned with the latest research-based guidelines. Developed with the goal to save lives and improve recovery time, Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke has impacted more than 3 million patients since 2003.

Pardee stroke patient Reid Tessler, 66, knows from firsthand experience that every minute counts with a stroke. Just a few months ago, Tessler woke up with a “strange feeling. It alerted me to go to the bathroom and look at myself in the mirror, and I saw my face drooping.” He called 911 and was brought to Pardee’s emergency department, where a scan confirmed a stroke. Tessler received the clot-busting medication tPA within 2.5 hours of his stroke, which saved his life and prevented serious, life-changing side effects. 

“Within 45 minutes, I was able to put a few words together very slowly, very deliberately, but the sentences started coming back,” he said. Since his treatment, Tessler has had no paralysis, difficulty following directions or speech issues. 

“Mr. Tessler’s case is the gold standard,” said Dr. Callahan. “The way he responded and the treatment he received is the goal for every patient.” 

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds, someone dies of a stroke every four minutes, and nearly 800,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

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 since 2001. For more information, visit