North Memorial Medical Center Honored For Outstanding Stroke Care

The American Heart Association AND The American Stroke Association Name North Memorial a Gold Plus Achievement Award Hospital

North Memorial Medical Center’s Stroke Program has been recognized by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association for efforts to improve quality of patient care and outcomes. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in Minnesota and affects 90,000 Minnesotans, according to the Minnesota Stroke Association.

To receive the award, North Memorial Medical Center:

  • Achieved 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month intervals.
  • Achieved 75 percent or higher compliance with six of 10 Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Measures, which are reporting initiatives to measure quality of care.

These measures include aggressive use of medications, such as antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, deep vein thrombosis prophylaxis, cholesterol reducing drugs and smoking cessation, all aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.           

Time lost is brain lost: North Memorial provides proven stroke care

In addition North Memorial Medical Center has also been recognized as a recipient of the association’s Target: Stroke Honor Roll, for improving stroke care. Over the past year, over 50 percent of eligible ischemic stroke patients have received tissue plasminogen activator, (tPA) intravenously, within 60 minutes of arriving at North Memorial (known as ‘door-to-needle’ time).  A thrombolytic, or clot-busting agent, tPA is the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the urgent treatment of ischemic stroke. If given intravenously in the first three hours after the start of stroke symptoms, tPA has been shown to significantly reverse the effects of stroke and reduce permanent disability.

“With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and the Get With The Guidelines–Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award demonstrates North Memorial’s commitment to being one of the top hospitals in the country for providing aggressive, proven stroke care,” said Irfan Altafullah, MD and Medical Director of the Stroke Program at North Memorial Medical Center. “We will continue with our focus on providing care that has been shown in the scientific literature to quickly and efficiently treat stroke patients with evidence-based protocols.”

About North Memorial Stroke Program
North Memorial was the first hospital in Minnesota to be certified by the Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center. The Stroke Program offers clinical care from diagnosis and treatment and hospital care, to patient and family education and support. Our steering committee maintains certification and award-winning program elements through association with Det Norske Veritas (DNV), American Stroke Association, and Minnesota Department of Health.

About Get With The Guidelines
Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program that empowers healthcare teams to save lives and reduce healthcare costs by helping hospitals follow evidence-based guidelines and recommendations.  For more information, visit