For Immediate Release July 10, 2019


Award Recognizes UMMC’s Leadership and Commitment to Quality Stroke Care

The University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® (GWTG) Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

 “This outstanding recognition acknowledges the commitment, expertise and compassion of our Comprehensive Stroke Center team in delivering world class stroke care every day,” says Mohan Suntha, MD, MBA, President and CEO of UMMC. “Research has shown that hospitals adhering to clinical measures through the Get With The Guidelines quality improvement initiative can often see fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates from stroke. We are committed to these goals and to helping stroke patients have the very best outcomes.”

UMMC earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period. Target: Stroke Honor Roll-Elite Plus means that UMMC has met the standard for time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke, which is within 60 minutes in 75 percent or more of acute ischemic stroke patients treated with IV tPA and time to thrombolytic therapy within 45 minutes in 50 percent of acute ischemic stroke patients treated with IV tPA. Gold Plus means UMMC CSC has met 24 consecutive months of achievement measures in GWTG.

These measures include evaluation of the proper use of medications and other stroke treatments aligned with the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. Before discharge, patients should also receive education on managing their health, get a follow-up visit scheduled, as well as other care transition interventions.

“UMMC is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our stroke patients by implementing the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke initiative,” says Seemant Chaturvedi, MD, the Stewart J. Greenebaum Endowed Professor in Stroke Neurology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) and director of the UMMS stroke program. “The tools and resources provided help us track and measure our success in meeting evidence-based clinical guidelines developed to improve patient outcomes.”

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds and nearly 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

“Stroke can be a complex and challenging condition. At the University of Maryland Medical Center, we are continually striving to provide the best and most advanced care to our stroke patients. We are honored to receive this prestigious designation,” says Karen Yarbrough, DNP, ACNP-BC, CRNP, director of the UMMC Comprehensive Stroke Center.

Earlier this year, UMMC was again awarded the Joint Commission’s Advanced Certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, reinforcing its position as one of nation’s top programs to treat the most complex stroke patients. The two-year designation is awarded to fewer than 70 elite stroke centers in the United States.

“This is another tremendous accomplishment for our faculty-physicians in UMMC’s Comprehensive Stroke Center,” says UMSOM Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Maryland, Baltimore. “We can be proud that this Center is a leader in both conducting a range of clinical and outcomes research studies as well as in providing the most advance and innovative treatments to stroke patients from across the State of Maryland.”


About the University of Maryland Medical Center
The University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) comprises two hospitals in Baltimore: an 800-bed teaching hospital – the flagship institution of the 14-hospital University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) – and a 200-bed community teaching hospital, UMMC Midtown Campus. UMMC is a national and regional referral center for trauma, cancer care, neurological care, cardiac care, diabetes and endocrinology, women’s and children’s health, and has one of the largest solid organ transplant programs in the country. All physicians on staff at the flagship hospital are faculty physicians of the University of Maryland School of Medicine. At UMMC Midtown Campus, faculty physicians work alongside community physicians to provide patients with the highest quality care. UMMC Midtown Campus was founded in 1881 and is located one mile away from the University Campus hospital.

About the University of Maryland School of Medicine
Now in its third century, the University of Maryland School of Medicine was chartered in 1807 as the first public medical school in the United States. It continues today as one of the fastest growing, top-tier biomedical research enterprises in the world -- with 43 academic departments, centers, institutes, and programs; and a faculty of more than 3,000 physicians, scientists, and allied health professionals, including members of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, and a distinguished recipient of the Albert E. Lasker Award in Medical Research.  With an operating budget of more than $1 billion, the School of Medicine works closely in partnership with the University of Maryland Medical Center and Medical System to provide research-intensive, academic and clinically-based care for more than 1.2 million patients each year. The School has over 2,500 students, residents, and fellows, and more than $530 million in extramural funding, with most of its academic departments highly ranked among all medical schools in the nation in research funding. As one of the seven professional schools that make up the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus, the School of Medicine has a total workforce of nearly 7,000 individuals. The combined School and Medical System (“University of Maryland Medicine”) has an annual budget of nearly $6 billion and an economic impact more than $15 billion on the state and local community. The School of Medicine faculty, which ranks as the 8th highest among public medical schools in research productivity, is an innovator in translational medicine, with 600 active patents and 24 start-up companies. The School works locally, nationally, and globally, with research and treatment facilities in 36 countries around the world. Visit

About Get With The Guidelines®
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