Mercy Health – Urbana Hospital awarded for efforts to improve rural stroke care

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Just in time to kick off Stroke Awareness Month, Mercy Health – Urbana Hospital is proud to announce it has received the American Heart Association’s Get with the Guidelines® – Stroke Rural Recognition Bronze award for its efforts to optimize stroke care and eliminate rural health care outcome disparities.

“We are proud that our team is being recognized for the important work we do every day to improve the lives of people in Champaign County who are affected by stroke, giving them the best possible chance of recovery and survival,” said Jamie Houseman, president of Mercy Health – Urbana Hospital. “As a hospital in a rural community, we deal with characteristics, such as extended inter-facility transportation times, and limited staffing resources. We’ve made it a goal to make sure those hurdles do not affect the standard of care our stoke patients receive.”

People who live in rural communities live an average of three years fewer than their urban counterparts and have a 40% higher likelihood of developing heart disease and face a 30% increased risk for stroke mortality — a gap that has grown over the past two decades.

The American Heart Association, the world’s leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health for all, recognizes the importance of health care services provided to people living in rural areas by rural hospitals that play a vital role in initiation of timely evidence-based care. For that reason, all rural hospitals participating in Get With The Guidelines® – Stroke are eligible to receive award recognition based on a unique methodology focused on early acute stroke performance metrics.

“Patients and health care professionals in Urbana face unique health care challenges and opportunities,” said Karen E. Joynt Maddox, M.D., MPH, volunteer expert for the American Heart Association, co-author on “Call to Action: Rural Health: A Presidential Advisory from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association” and co-director of the Center for Health Economics and Policy at the Institute for Public Health at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. “Mercy Health has furthered this important work to improve care for all Americans, regardless of where they live.”

The Get with the Guidelines® – Stroke Rural Recognition Bronze award recognizes hospitals for their efforts toward acute stroke care excellence demonstrated by composite score compliance to guideline-directed care for intravenous thrombolytic therapy, timely hospital inter-facility transfer, dysphagia screening, symptom timeline and deficit assessment documentation, emergency medical services communication, brain imaging and stroke expert consultation.

Head to to learn more about the stroke treatment and care we offer at Mercy Health.

Submitted by Mercy Health – Urbana Hospital.

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