Marin General Hospital receives Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award

Marin General Hospital receives Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award

GREENBRAE, CA — Marin General Hospital has received an award for its stroke treatment program from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. The Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award recognizes the hospital’s success in implementing excellent care for stroke patients, using evidence-based guidelines.

"Our stroke program success has been achieved because of the concerted efforts of our entire team," said Dr. John Panagotacos, a neurologist and fellowship-trained stroke specialist at Marin General Hospital. "The EMS team, the emergency department staff, imaging and laboratory services, our dedicated nurses and therapists, and finally the social workers and case managers who take over once recovery and discharge begin all work phenomenally well together. This really is a salute to them all."

Hospitals receiving the award have been measured over two or more 12-month intervals on their adherence to the guidelines and stroke quality achievement indicators developed by the AHA’s American Stroke Association division. These measures include aggressive use of medications, such as tPA, antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, DVT prophylaxis, cholesterol reducing drugs and smoking cessation, all aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.

“Everyone on our staff recognizes it is a race with time when a stroke occurs,” said Louis Manila, RN, RT, director of cardiovascular, neurovascular and imaging services at Haynes Cardiovascular Institute at Marin General Hospital. “Every minute lost can result in brain damage, so it is critical that all of us work together to quickly and efficiently follow the protocols to provide the care that has been proven effective in minimizing stroke damage—and maximizing recovery.”

“Marin General Hospital is to be commended for its commitment to implementing standards of care and protocols for treating stroke patients,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., chair of the Get With The Guidelines National Steering Committee and director of the TeleStroke and Acute Stroke Services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. “The full implementation of acute care and secondary prevention recommendations and guidelines is a critical step in saving the lives and improving outcomes of stroke patients.”

The Get With The Guidelines-Stroke program calls for hospitals to use the time soon after a patient has had a stroke—when they’re most likely to be receptive to guidance—to advise patients about how to manage their risk factors. This includes customized patient education materials from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association that are made available at the point of discharge, based on patients’ individual risk profiles. They’re written in an easy-to-understand format and are available in English and Spanish.

“The risk of stroke roughly doubles every decade after age 50,” said Manila. “As we face the wave of aging Baby Boomers, we have recognized the need to be focused on continually improving the quality of stroke care.”

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is one of the leading causes of death and serious, long-term disability in the United States. 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.


Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program that empowers healthcare teams to save lives and reduce healthcare costs by helping hospitals follow evidence-based guidelines and recommendations. For more information, visit