Get With the Guidelines - Stroke Gold Plus Award Again Presented to South Nassau
For Immediate Release June 19, 2014
Contact: Damian Becker, Manager of Media Relations
Get With the Guidelines - Stroke Gold Plus Award
Again Presented to South Nassau
Oceanside, NY – The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association has awarded South
Nassau Communities Hospital with the Get With The Guidelines®
Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement
Award for a third consecutive year.
The Get With the Guidelines Stroke program helps hospitals provide the most up-to-date, research-based
guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. South
Nassau earned the 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 use of medications and risk-
reduction therapies aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.
“To fulfill our mission to meet the patients’ and communities’ needs for quality, patient-centered
healthcare services, South Nassau must always be focused on performance improvement and raising our
standards,” said Linda Efferen, M.D., chief medical officer.
South Nassau was also named to the association’s Target: Stroke Honor Roll for meeting stroke quality
measures that reduce the time between hospital arrival and treatment with the clot-buster tPA, the only drug
approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke. People who suffer a stroke and
receive the drug within three hours of the onset of symptoms may recover more quickly and are less likely to
suffer severe disability.
A thrombolytic, or clot-busting agent, tPA is the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration for the urgent treatment of ischemic stroke. If given intravenously in the first few hours after
the start of stroke symptoms, tPA has been shown to significantly reverse the effects of stroke and reduce
permanent disability. The tPA therapy is not an option for patients with hemorrhagic stroke (which is when a
blood vessel in the brain leaks or bursts) or who have: bleeding ulcer, blood clotting problems, brain cancer,
extremely high blood pressure or prior bleeding problems.
A study appearing in the April 23-30, 2014, issue of Journal of the American Medical Association
examining the results of “Target: Stroke” found that implementation of the quality initiative was associated with
improvement in the time to treatment and a lower risk of in-hospital death, intracranial hemorrhage (bleeding in
the brain), and an increase in the portion of patients discharged to their home. Coordinated by Gregg C.
Fonarow, M.D., of the University of California, Los Angeles, and based on the outcomes of more than 71,000
patients, the study’s findings further reinforced the importance and clinical benefits of more rapid
administration of intravenous tPA.
The Get With The Guidelines Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award is one of a multitude of
honors for quality and safety earned by South Nassau in the past year, including: American Nurses
Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Magnet® recognition; Joint Commission Top Performer on Key Quality
Measures; American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer Outstanding Achievement Award; Joint
Commission Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers; Joint Commission Disease-specific
Certification in End-stage Renal Disease; HomeCare Elite™ listing South Nassau’s Home Care as one of the
top home health care providers in the United States (for the eighth consecutive year); and Becker's Hospital
Review list of "100 Best Places to Work in Healthcare" (for the third consecutive year).
According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the fourth-leading
cause of death in the United States and a leading cause of serious, long-term disability. On average, someone
suffers a stroke every 45 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every three minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a
new or recurrent stroke each year. All of the major symptoms of stroke appear suddenly and without warning
and they are often not painful. The most common symptoms of stroke can be remembered by the acronym
F = Face: Is one side of the face drooping down?
A = Arm: Can the person raise both arms, or is one arm weak?
S = Speech: Is speech slurred or confusing?
T = Time: Time is critical! Call 9-1-1 immediately!
Other less common symptoms of stroke are sudden trouble seeing, sudden dizziness, and generalized
weakness. If you or someone you are with is experiencing some or any of these symptoms, call 9-1-1
South Nassau’s Emergency Services Department is designated a regional Stroke Center by the New
York State Department of Health. Including highly skilled, board-certified physicians with expertise in treating
stroke, the department provides:
• Rapid assessment of patients with stroke symptoms
• On-site new generation CT scanner that minimizes radiation exposure
• Prompt treatment using advanced therapies and procedures
• Comprehensive neurological and neurosurgical care throughout hospitalization
• Nurses with special training in stroke care
• Stroke support group
• Community education
As southern Nassau’s only Trauma Level II Center, the emergency department has more than 35 large
independent treatment bays and specialty areas, including Pediatrics and Behavioral Health as well as its own
dedicated Computerized Radiology Suite for rapid access for testing and results.
Designated a Magnet® hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), South Nassau®
Communities Hospital is one of the region’s largest hospitals, with 435 beds, more than 900 physicians and
3,000 employees. Located in Oceanside, NY, the hospital is an acute-care, not-for-profit teaching hospital that
provides state-of-the-art care in cardiac, oncologic, orthopedic, bariatric, pain management, mental health and
emergency services. In addition to its extensive outpatient specialty centers, South Nassau provides emergency
and elective angioplasty, and is the only hospital on Long Island with the Novalis Tx™ and Gamma Knife®
radiosurgery technologies. South Nassau is a designated Stroke Center by the New York State Department of
Health and Comprehensive Community Cancer Center by the American College of Surgeons and is an
accredited center of the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Association and Quality Improvement Program. In
addition, the hospital has been awarded the Joint Commission’s gold seal of approval as a Top Performer on
Key Quality Measures, including heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care; and disease-specific
care for hip and joint replacement, wound care and end-stage renal disease. For more information, visit