St. John Stroke Center Receives Stroke Association Achievement Award

First and Only Stroke Center in Oklahoma to Receive the Award for Stroke Care

Tulsa, Okla. -- The St. John Stroke Center has received the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Performance and Quality Achievement Award from the American Stroke Association.

The Gold Plus award recognizes St. John’s commitment to implementing a higher standard of stroke care by ensuring that stroke patients receive treatment according to nationally accepted standards and recommendations.

The St. John Stroke Center was the first and only stroke center in Oklahoma to receive the award at the recent International Stroke Conference in Los Angeles, California. The award was accepted by St. John Stroke Center’s Co-Medical Director, Anna Wanahita, M.D., and several members of the stroke team during the conference.

“The St. John Stroke Center is proud to be honored as a statewide leader in stroke treatment, prevention and education,” said Dr. Wanahita. “We are honored to be recognized by the international stroke community for our efforts to reduce the risk of death and disability for our stroke patients.”

The Get With The Guidelines-Stroke program was built to ensure that patients hospitalized with stroke were treated according to the latest evidence-based guidelines to reduce hospital complications and optimize stroke risk factor reduction. The performances measured include appropriate use of medications, such as intravenous tissue type plasminogen activator (IV tPA), anticoagulation therapy, deep venous thrombosis prophylaxis, cholesterol-reducing drugs and smoking cessation, all aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.

The Gold Plus Performance Award recognizes 85 percent or higher adherence to the Get With The Guidelines program requirements for two or more consecutive 12-month intervals, and 75 percent or higher compliance with six of 10 Get With The Guidelines Stroke Quality Measures designed to improve quality of patient care and outcomes.

As a part of the Get With The Guidelines program, patients are provided with individualized education, tailored to their unique risk profiles. The combination of these quality components improves recovery of the stroke patient, reduces their in-hospital complications, and decreases the secondary risk of a repeat event.

Recently published data showed that hospital participation in the Get With The Guidelines program was associated with substantial improvements of components measured, improving the lives of stroke patients and reducing death and disability. Based on five-year data, participating hospitals saw a 31 percent increase of stroke patients who received the IV-tPA clot-busting drug within two hours of the start of their stroke. The program data also showed significant improvement in smoking cessation counseling, as well as adherence to certain medications, such as cholesterol medications, that decrease the risk of stroke.1

According to the American Heart Association and 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.
For more information on the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines program, visit

About St. John Stroke Center

The St. John Stroke Center is the first and only stroke center certified by The Joint Commission in northeast Oklahoma. The St. John Stroke Center is dedicated to providing comprehensive management of stroke, which includes acute treatment, determining the cause, secondary prevention, and education for stroke patients, as well as continued support for their families.

About St. John Health System

St. John Health System is an 84-year-old, not-for-profit Catholic healthcare system founded by the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother.

St John Health System owns or manages nine hospitals in Northeastern Oklahoma and Southern Kansas, including St. John Medical Center, St. John Owasso, St. John Broken Arrow, St. John Sapulpa, OSU Medical Center, Jane Phillips Medical Center, Sedan City Hospital and Nowata Hospital. Other subsidiaries of St. John Health System include OMNI Medical Group primary care physicians, St. John Physicians, Inc., a multi-specialty group physician practice; St. John Urgent Care Centers, St. John Villas Senior Living Centers and a medical complex in South Tulsa.

1 Translating Evidence Into Practice: A Decade of Efforts by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association to Reduce Death and Disability Due to Stroke. A Presidential Advisory From the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association: Lee Schwamm, Pierre Fayad, Joseph E. Acker, III, et. al,

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