St. John Stroke Center Receives American Stroke Association Award

Only hospital in Oklahoma to receive Silver Plus Performance Award recognition

Tulsa, Okla. -- The St. John Stroke Center has received the Get With The GuidelinesSM-Stroke Silver Plus Performance and Quality Achievement Award from the American Stroke Association. The 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 award was accepted by St. John Stroke Center’s Co-Medical Director, Anna Wanahita, M.D. and Co-Vice Director, Justin Thankachan, M.D. at the recent International Stroke Conference in San Antonio, TX. St. John Medical Center was the only Oklahoma hospital to receive the Get With the Guidelines-Stroke Silver Plus Award.

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. The performances measured include appropriate use of medications, such as intravenous tissue type plasminogen activator (IV tPA), the overall effort in reducing in hospital complications and optimization of stroke risk factors reduction.

The Silver Performance Award recognizes 85 percent or higher adherence to the Get With The Guidelines program requirements for 12 consecutive months. The Silver Plus Award is a new advanced level of recognition that allows hospitals to be acknowledged for their high degree of compliance with applicable quality measures.

“This award recognizes our commitment to meeting national standards and reducing the risk of death and disability for stroke patients," said Dr. Wanahita. “I cannot overstate the importance of rapid treatment and team effort on the management of stroke patients. Every moment is critical because time lost is brain lost.”

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 third 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 operates hospitals in Tulsa, Owasso, Sapulpa and Bartlesville, and a new hospital is currently under construction in Broken Arrow. 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 medical complexes in South Tulsa and Claremore.


1Translating 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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