For seventh year, VCU Medical Center nets award for its work with stroke patients

Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center was recently awarded the Gold Plus Achievement Award and was designated as a Target: Stroke Honor Roll-Elite Plus hospital for its participation in the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke® program. The award is given by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. May is Stroke Awareness Month.

Get With The Guidelines is the AHA/ASA’s hospital-based quality improvement program, which provides hospitals with tools and resources developed to save lives and hasten recovery. VCU Medical Center earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period. These quality measures are designed to help hospital teams follow the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients, the organizations said.

In the U.S., nearly 800,000 people each year suffer a stroke, and stroke kills nearly 129,000 people a year. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or ruptures. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so it and brain cells die. Poor diet and cigarette smoking are some risk factors associated with stroke.

Warren Felton
Warren Felton

Warren Felton III, M.D., medical director of the VCU Comprehensive Stroke Center, said the award is a testament to the care stroke patients receive there, and the staff’s commitment to excellence and administering superb care. The VCU Comprehensive Stroke Center is the first in Virginia.

“The VCU protocol has expanded the treatment options for more patients with stroke to have the best chance for the best outcome, including those with stroke due to blocked arteries, brain hemorrhage and brain aneurysm. Our adherence to the Get With The Guidelines Stroke Program is our effort to stay aligned with the latest best practices in health care so that patients not only survive, but are rehabilitated and experience speedy recoveries,” he said. “We are pleased to be awarded for the highest level of recognition of care to stroke patients and their families for the seventh consecutive year.”

To continue the conversation, VCU Health is hosting a Twitter chat on stroke from noon to 1 p.m. on May 10.  The conversation will be led by Felton. Using the hashtag #VCUHealthChat with @VCUHealth, Twitter followers can join the conversation and submit questions throughout the hour.

About VCU and VCU Health

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 30,000 students in 233 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Twenty-two of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 11 schools and three colleges. The VCU Health brand represents the VCU health sciences academic programs, the VCU Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Health System, which comprises VCU Medical Center (the only academic medical center in the region), Community Memorial Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, and MCV Physicians. The clinical enterprise includes a collaboration with Sheltering Arms Institute for physical rehabilitation services. For more, please visit and