When Purchia Spencer noticed the left side of her body becoming paralyzed she knew something was seriously wrong. As a licensed practical nurse, Purchia was familiar with the signs of stroke and knew she had a limited window of time to get care. She was rushed to NYC Health + Hospitals / Kings County where she was treated by a dedicated stroke team led by Dr. Susan W. Law, director of the hospital’s Stroke Center. Purchia continues to receive outpatient care at the hospital’s stroke clinic. She credits the hospital for her “remarkable progress” and for regaining use of the left side of her body.
Kings County was recently one of nine hospitals in the public health system to receive national recognition for improving quality of care and outcomes for stroke patients. The award was presented to the hospital by the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Stroke Association (ASA) for consistently applying best-practice, research-based standards of care that reduce recovery time, disability and mortality rates for stroke patients, and reduce hospital readmissions for stroke patients.
“This is the fifth year in a row that Kings County has received the Stroke Gold Plus Award,” said Ernest J. Baptiste, CEO, NYC Health + Hospitals / Kings County. “I am very proud of the life-saving and life-altering care provided by our stroke team. Their quick response and follow-up care have made it possible for many patients to resume their daily lives.”
“I’m glad I came to Kings County when I was having a stroke because the care has been excellent, my progress has been remarkable, and I now have use of the left side of my body,” said Purchia. “Dr. Susan Law is outstanding and very compassionate. She has been with me from the beginning. I check in with her for everything, including my travel plans. She is always responsive to my needs.”
“I am passionate about my work at Kings County because there is a real need for high quality stroke care and patient education for the community we serve,” said Dr. Law, who oversees care coordination at the hospital’s Stroke Center. “We have an excellent stroke team and I’m proud to be part of it. We work very hard to deliver the best possible outcomes for patients, and the recent award by AHA / ASA is a true testament to that work.”
Stroke is a leading cause of death in New York. According to the AHA/ASA, stroke is one of the leading cause of death and adult disability in the United States. On average, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds, someone dies of a stroke every four minutes, and nearly 800,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.
“We are pleased to recognize NYC Health + Hospitals for their commitment to stroke care,” said Paul Heidenreich, M.D., M.S., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines Steering Committee and Professor of Medicine at Stanford University. “Research has shown there are benefits to patients who are treated at hospitals that have adopted the Get With The Guidelines program.”
The awards were presented to the NYC Health + Hospitals facilities for meeting and exceeding standards established by the “Get With The Guidelines” program, a national, hospital-based quality improvement initiative created by AHA and ASA to improve the care of patients with stroke. To earn this recognition, hospitals must achieve high rates of adherence to quality care standards for stroke care set by the Guidelines program, which includes aggressive use of medications such as clot-busting and anti-clotting drugs, blood thinners and cholesterol-reducing drugs, preventive action for deep vein thrombosis and smoking cessation counseling.