MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Two WVU Medicine–WVU Hospitals programs, the Stroke Center and the Heart Failure Program, have received awards from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® quality-improvement program recognizing their excellence in care and commitment to improvement.

The Stroke Center received the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Achievement Award with Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll Elite Plus. The Stroke Center has been a Gold Plus recipient for six years. The award is given to hospitals that consistently meet Get With The Guidelines-Stroke achievement indicators and quality measures.

Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus recognizes hospitals that reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA. A short “door-to-needle” time is imperative to preserve brain function after a stroke. In 2015, the WVU Stroke Center’s median door-to-needle time was 45 minutes, five minutes below the national average for participating hospitals. Nationally, participating hospitals treated 39.1 percent of patients in less than 45 minutes, while the Stroke Center beat 45 minutes for 52.5 percent of patients in 2015 and 100 percent of all patients seen in January 2016.

“We as an institution have adopted a culture of excellence for stroke care,” Matthew Smith, M.D., M.S., director of the Stroke Center, said. “I remain in awe of how far we have come and know that we will continue to improve.”

The Heart Failure Program earned the Heart Failure Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award with Target: Heart FailureSM Honor Roll by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of heart failure patients, including evaluation of the patient, proper use of medications, and aggressive risk-reduction therapies. Before patients are discharged, they also receive education on managing their heart failure and overall health, a scheduled follow-up visit, and other care transition interventions.

The Target: Heart Failure Honor Roll designation indicates a hospital that works to reduce hospital readmissions for heart failure patients and help patients improve their quality of life in managing this chronic condition.

“These awards are proof positive of the excellence that goes on every day in our stroke and heart failure care,” Albert Wright, president and CEO of WVU Medicine–WVU Hospitals, said. “It’s very gratifying to see our people, who provide great care every day, be recognized for their achievements. The Stroke Center and Heart Failure Program deserve these awards and should be very proud. I’m proud for them.”

Get With The Guidelines is the American Heart Association/American Stroke 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. For more information, visit

For more information: Amy Johns, Director of Public Affairs, 304-293-7087