Ocala Health
July 26, 2016

Ocala, FL – Ocala Health has once again received the Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold-Plus Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for the treatment of stroke patients. This is the sixth consecutive year that Ocala Health has received this award.

Get With The Guidelines Stroke helps hospital teams provide the most up-to-date, research-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. Ocala Health earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period. These measures include aggressive use of medications and risk-reduction therapies aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.

“Ocala Health is dedicated to improving the quality of stroke care and The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines–Stroke helps us achieve that goal,” said Ann Szapor, Chief Nursing Officer, Ocala Health. “With this award, our hospitals demonstrate our commitment to ensure that our patients receive care based on internationally-respected clinical guidelines.”

Studies have shown that hospitals that consistently follow Get With The Guidelines quality improvement measures can reduce patients’ length of stays and 30-day readmission rates and reduce disparity gaps in care. Get With The Guidelines–Stroke also helps Ocala Health’s staff implement prevention measures, which include educating stroke patients to manage their risk factors and to be aware of warning signs for stroke, and ensuring they take their medications properly. Hospitals can make customized patient education materials available upon discharge, based on the patients’ individual risk profiles. The take-away materials are written in an easy-to-understand format in either English or Spanish.

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the number four cause of death and a leading cause of adult 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.


Pictured left to right: Judy Ingram, Deb Stockton, Derek Fisher, Kevin Taylor, Summer Lunch, Nicole Reardon, Karen Henson, Val Timmons, Ann Szapor, Michele DeCarlis, Janet McKenna, Lisa Walker, Rhoda Saunders from the AHA/ASA, Edwin Rivera, Brain Smith.