Mountainside Hospital Receives National Gold Award for Stroke Care

June 11, 2012 04:48 AM

Mountainside Hospital has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s (AHA/ASA) highest honor for stroke care, the Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment and success in ensuring that the care received by its stroke patients meets nationally accepted standards and recommendations.
Gold awards are presented to hospitals that achieve more than 24 consecutive months of 85 percent or higher adherence to stroke care quality achievement indicators and 75 percent or higher compliance with six of 10 quality measures.

“This award is one of many recent achievements that vividly underscore the success of our ongoing efforts to provide a standard of care that significantly exceeds what’s traditionally associated with community hospitals,” said John Fromhold, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mountainside Hospital. “Time is of the essence when a stroke occurs and we’re proud to offer swift access to treatment options that save lives and reduce the extent of disabilities caused by strokes.”

Mountainside obtained certification as a Primary Stroke Center from the New Jersey Department of Health in 2009 and joined a stroke care network created under the Primary Stroke Center Act. The goal of that legislation is to ensure that a rapid, appropriate response to stroke emergencies is no more than 30 minutes away from any resident.

“Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and long-term disability nationwide and cerebral vascular disease, the underlying cause of strokes, is one of the most common reasons for hospitalization in this state. Our program emphasizes prevention, as well as urgent care and rehabilitation services,” observed Dr. David Blady, a board-certified neurologist who serves as the Mountainside Stroke Committee Chairman.
The hospital’s capabilities include a round-the-clock acute stroke team available to treat patients within 15 minutes of their arrival or identification; telemetry and critical care beds for stroke patients; acute care rehabilitation services; and a transfer agreement with a designated comprehensive center for the most severe stroke cases.

“This award signifies that our team is skilled in the use of the most current, rapid and effective diagnosis and treatment protocols,” said Dr. Blady. Mountainside’s multidisciplinary Stroke Committee encompasses physicians who are board-certified in a range of specialties including neurology and emergency medicine; Stroke Coordinator Amy Paolella, RN, BSN, and other nurses; rehabilitation therapists; radiology technicians; pharmacists; and the hospital’s community health manager. All team members have successfully completed specialized training and participate in continuing education to keep their skills current. All of the hospital’s nurses and some ancillary staff are required to complete stroke education and awareness programs, as well.

“For many people, stroke risk can be identified and controlled through routine cholesterol level, blood pressure, pulse and carotid artery checks that result in early intervention,” Dr. Blady said. “In fact, Mountainside offers monthly stroke screenings at the hospital and in other community settings.” For further information about upcoming screenings, refer to the events schedule online at

Warning signs of a stroke
The first step in early intervention when a stroke occurs is recognizing the warning signs, Dr. Blady said. Immediate medical attention should be sought whenever one or more of these symptoms occur:

• Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, an arm or leg or one side of the body
• Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding others
• Sudden trouble seeing involving one or both eyes
• Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
• Sudden severe headache with a no known cause



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