FOR RELEASE: 11/16/2011Contact: John Cappiello, (203) 384-3637

Bridgeport Hospital receives national award for stroke care

Bridgeport Hospital has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® (GWTG)–Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award for providing stroke patients with treatment that meets nationally accepted standards of care.

Bridgeport Hospital is also certified by The Joint Commission and designated by the State of Connecticut as a primary stroke center.

“God put me in the right place after my stroke,” Monroe resident Connie Simon says about her care at Bridgeport Hospital. “Each day was a new day in my life, as my team of doctors, nurses, physical therapists and patient care technicians helped me rebuild my life around my handicaps.”

Simon, a career nurse at the hospital and one of the leaders of the “Night Owls” night shift staff, says the encouragement and positive attitude of her caregivers were major factors in her recovery. “The words ‘no’ and ‘can’t’ were never used,” she says.

To receive the GWTG–Stroke Silver Plus Award, Bridgeport Hospital consistently met national quality measures for stroke care during the past year. These measures include aggressive use of medications, such as tPA, antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, prevention of deep-vein thrombosis, cholesterol reducing drugs and smoking cessation, all aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.

“With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and the GWTG–Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award demonstrates that our staff is committed to providing care that has been shown to quickly and efficiently treat stroke patients with evidence-based protocols,” says Bridgeport Hospital Stroke Center Co-Medical Director and Chairman of Emergency Medicine Michael Werdmann, MD.

“The award underscores the quality of stroke care we provide,” says Performance Management Coordinator Elizabeth Crespo, RN, who was instrumental in helping Bridgeport Hospital earn the award in her former role as Neurovascular Coordinator. “It’s a true team effort, not just the work of one person or a few people.”

GWTG–Stroke uses the “teachable moment,” the time soon after a patient has had a stroke, when they are most likely to listen to and follow their healthcare professionals’ guidance. Studies demonstrate that patients who are taught how to manage their risk factors while still in the hospital reduce their risk of a second heart attack or stroke.

“The time is right to be focused on improving the quality of stroke care,” says Bridgeport Hospital Stroke Center Co-Medical Director and neurologist Philip Barasch, MD. “The number of acute ischemic stroke patients eligible for treatment is expected to grow over the next decade due to increasing stroke incidence and a large aging population.”

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.

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Part of Yale New Haven Health System, Bridgeport Hospital is a 383-bed acute care hospital (plus 42 beds licensed to Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital) serving parts of Fairfield and New Haven counties. The hospital admits more than 18,000 patients and receives more than 240,000 outpatient visits annually.