Willis-Knighton Health System’s stroke program at WK Pierremont Health Center and WK Bossier Health
Center have received the Get with the Guidelines – Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award from the
American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. The award recognizes the health system’s
commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally
recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.
Willis-Knighton was also recognized with the Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite and the Target: Type 2 Diabetes
Honor Roll awards.
The stroke program earned the awards by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis
and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period. These measures include evaluation of
the proper use of medications and other stroke treatments aligned with the most up-to-date, evidence-based
guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. Before
discharge, patients should also receive education on managing their health, get a follow-up visit scheduled, as
well as other care transition interventions.
“These awards reflect the dedication our stroke teams have to providing quality care and rapid treatment of
stroke,” says Brittney Anderson, stroke coordinator at WK Pierremont Health Center. “Stroke care is advancing
rapidly, and these awards demonstrate Willis-Knighton’s commitment to improving patient care by adhering
to the latest treatment guidelines so that patients recover better and experience longer, healthier lives.”
Sarah Fields, stroke coordinator at WK Bossier Health Center, added, “Hospitals adhering to clinical measures
through the Get with the Guidelines quality improvement initiative can often see fewer readmissions and
lower mortality rates.”
Stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the U.S. according to the American
Heart Association and American Stroke Association. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel carrying oxygen
nutrients to the brain is blocked by a clot or ruptures. On average, someone in the U.S. has a stroke every 40
seconds, someone dies of a stroke every 3 ½ minutes, and nearly 800,000 people are affected by a new or
recurrent stroke each year.
Get with the Guidelines is the American Heart Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program that
provides hospitals with tools and resources to increase adherence to the latest research-based guidelines.
Developed with the goal of saving lives and hastening recovery, Get with the Guidelines has touched the lives
of more than 6 million patients since 2001.
Willis-Knighton’s first stroke unit opened at WK Pierremont Health Center in 2016 and in 2017 it received The
Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers. The
certification indicates it is a facility that gives highly reliable care for stroke patients. The protocols developed
by the WK Pierremont stroke team have been replicated for all Willis-Knighton emergency departments.
The second stroke unit at WK Bossier Health Center opened in February 2019. The six-bed unit is the second in
the system that consolidates stroke patients into an area where a team with specialized training provide care.