Spectrum Health Lakeland Earns National Recognition for Efforts to Improve Stroke Treatment

For the ninth consecutive year, Spectrum Health Lakeland has received the Gold Plus Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association with Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite and Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll.

These accolades recognize Spectrum Health Lakeland for its commitment to ensuring that stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to recognized, research-based national guidelines, ultimately leading to more lives saved and reduced disability. .

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and one of the leading causes of disability among adults in the United States. Additionally, type 2 diabetes has a higher risk of complications if hospitalized due to stroke. Early detection and treatment of strokes are key to improving survival, minimizing disability and accelerating recovery times.

“Identifying the symptoms of a stroke is crucial to a person’s outcome; call 9-1-1 immediately so the person can begin receiving lifesaving care as soon as possible,” said Robert Ward, III, DO, D.FACN, stroke program medical director at Spectrum Health Lakeland. “Our team acts quickly and has implemented proven knowledge and guidelines, which studies show can help patients recover better. The end goal is to ensure that more people in our community can live longer, healthier lives.


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Each year, program participants apply for recognition of the award by demonstrating how their organization is committed to providing quality stroke patient care. In addition to following treatment guidelines, Spectrum Health Lakeland also provides patient education to help them manage their health and rehabilitation once at home.

“We are thrilled to be recognized for our commitment to improving outcomes for stroke patients,” said Natalie Baggio, BSN, RN, MBA, Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer at Spectrum Health Lakeland. “Our clinical teams are working tirelessly to provide the highest quality care, see fewer readmissions and help reduce mortality rates. Spectrum Health Lakeland hospitals consistently follow these guidelines, which can minimize the long-term effects of a stroke and even prevent death.

Additionally, Spectrum Health Lakeland received the Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll from the Diabetes Care Association, which aims to ensure patients with type 2 diabetes, who may be at higher risk for co

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