Western Baptist Hospital was recognized with back-to-back national honors in October for the hospital’s stroke program.
The hospital received the Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association and the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center for the second consecutive cycle.
Western Baptist, the only certified primary stroke center in Kentucky west of Owensboro, received the Get With the Guidelines-Stroke silver award after meeting national care standards in at least 85 percent of patients during the past year, as outlined by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.
“This is an amazing achievement for a young stroke center to achieve in such a short time,” said Dr. Joseph Ashburn, neurologist and director of the stroke center.
“We have begun multi-disciplinary rounds where physical, occupational and speech therapists, nurses and physicians get together daily to discuss patient care at all levels. We are always moving forward to take it to the next level.”
Ashburn said the hospital received the Bronze Award last year and expected to achieve the Gold recognition next year.
In achieving Joint Commission advanced certification, Western Baptist has demonstrated its commitment to the highest level of care for its stroke patients, said Jean E. Range, executive director, Disease-Specific Care Certification, Joint Commission.
“Certification is a voluntary process, and The Joint Commission commends Western Baptist for successfully undertaking this challenge to elevate its standard of care and instill confidence in the community it serves,” he said.
Larry Barton, Western Baptist president and CEO, said the distinctions are important because of what they mean for people suffering from stroke.
“These achievements recognize Western Baptist Hospital’s commitment to providing outstanding stroke care to our patients and our community,” he said.
Stroke is one of the nation’s leading causes of death and serious, long-term disability. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds and someone dies of a stroke every 4 minutes.
Registered nurse Mary Legge, the hospital’s stroke team leader, said research has shown stroke patients treated on stroke units do better than those treated on a normal medical unit.
“Patients are more likely to survive the stroke, have fewer disabilities and be able to live independently,” she said. “Our stroke unit nurses and rehabilitation staff receive extensive training and ongoing education to meet the comprehensive needs of each patient.”
The hospital’s stroke support group meets 3 to 4:30 p.m. the first Monday of each month in the Baptist Heart Center conference room to provide support for stroke survivors and caregivers. Call 270-415-7697 to register.