Newswise — Washington, D.C., August 11, 2020 – The Comprehensive Stroke Center at MedStar Washington Hospital Center again has been recognized by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for over 10 consecutive years for its exceptional work in stroke care that consistently results in saving lives and preserving quality of life.

The Stroke Center earned four Get With The Guidelines awards: the AHA/ASA’s 2020 Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award and Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll Elite, Target: Stroke Honor Roll Advanced Therapy and Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll Awards.

Hospitals receiving Get With The Guidelines Gold Plus Achievement have reached an aggressive goal of treating stroke patients with 85% or higher compliance to core standard levels of care for two consecutive calendar years. This means the hospital was able to follow all the steps in aggressive care at least 85% of the time for two consecutive years.

MedStar Washington Hospital Center achieved this elite recognition using MRI screenings, a technique that is not widely practiced at other stroke centers because of lack of accessibility to an MRI scanner in the emergency setting. It’s one of the few stroke centers in the nation to use MRI as first line imaging in the diagnosis and treatment of acute stroke. This process is enhanced by the experienced teams that quickly initiate this sensitive imaging process. CT is typically used most often because it is more universally available, whereas not all hospitals have access to MRIs.  

 “These prestigious awards recognize our stroke program’s commitment to ensure stroke patients who come from all over the Washington area and beyond receive the most appropriate treatment, according to nationally accepted standards and recommendations,” said Amie Hsia, MD, director of the Comprehensive Stroke Center at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. “The tools and resources provided help us track and measure our success, in meeting evidenced-based clinical guidelines developed to improve patient outcomes.”

The hospital earned each award by meeting specific quality achievement measures at a set level for a designated period. 

  • The Stroke Gold Plus honor evaluated the proper use of medications and other stroke treatments based on evidence-based guidelines.
  • The Stroke Elite award required treating eligible stroke patients with the clot-busting drugs within 60 minutes of arriving at the hospital.
  • The Advanced Therapy designation assessed door-to-revascularization (how long it took to assess the patient to the time of clot removal), within 90 minutes of arriving at the hospital and within 60 minutes for transfers.
  • For the first time, MedStar Washington Hospital Center received AHA/ASA’s inaugural Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll for taking steps to help stroke patients control and manage type 2 diabetes, which is a well-established risk factor for stroke. It demonstrated at least 90% compliance for 12 consecutive months for the “Overall Diabetes Cardiovascular Initiative Composite Score."

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and a major cause of serious disability for adults in the United States. On average, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds and nearly 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.                                                                                          



MedStar Washington Hospital Center is a 912-bed, major teaching and research hospital. It is the largest private, not-for-profit hospital in the nation’s capital, among the 100 largest hospitals in the nation and a major referral center for treating the most complex cases. Its cardiology program is highly acclaimed and its cardiac surgery program has consistently earned the highest national rating–three stars–from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. The Hospital Center operates the Washington region’s first Comprehensive Stroke Center and the District’s only Cardiac Ventricular Assist Device program, both certified by The Joint Commission. The hospital is also home to MedSTAR, a nationally verified level I trauma center with a state-of-the-art fleet of helicopters and ambulances, and also operates the region’s only adult Burn Center.