UAMS Receives Top Honors for Stroke Care and Outcomes

By Linda Satter

The highest honor awarded was the Get With the Guidelines Stroke Gold Plus Award, which UAMS received for the ninth consecutive year. It signifies that stroke patients at UAMS receive the most appropriate treatment, which translates into more lives saved and reduced disability.

UAMS also received Honor Roll Elite recognition in the Target: Stroke category, for the third consecutive year, signifying that crucial medication was administered to stroke patients within an hour of their arrival, at least 85% of the time.

In addition, The American Heart Association placed UAMS on its Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll for ensuring that Type 2 diabetes patients, who might be at higher risk for complications, receive the most up-to-date, evidence-based care when hospitalized due to stroke.

In 2018, UAMS became the first health provider in Arkansas to be certified as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by The Joint Commission, an independent organization that evaluates and accredits more than 20,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. The certification is the most demanding accreditation. It is awarded to hospitals that can receive and treat the most complex stroke cases around the clock while also being able to provide endovascular procedures and post-procedural care and having an Emergency Department with a dedicated stroke-focused program.

Get With The Guidelines is the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program. It helps ensure that patient care aligns with the latest research- and evidence-based guidelines, in furtherance of the goal of saving lives and hastening recovery.

“This recurring achievement highlights our dedication to excellence in caring for stroke patients,” said Paige Womack, BSN, RN, director of the UAMS stroke program. “The continued commitment of our UAMS stroke team and health care professionals to improve care by following the latest treatment guidelines and optimizing processes ensures timely and proper care for patients with stroke.”

She added, “Through the Get With The Guidelines program, our stroke team applies proven knowledge and guidelines to the care of Arkansans on a daily basis, providing the highest likelihood of survival and optimal chance for improved functional outcomes following a stroke.”

“We are pleased to recognize UAMS for its commitment to caring for those in their community who need stroke care,” said John Warner, M.D., past president of the American Heart Association and CEO of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

Stroke is the leading cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the United States. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain clots or bursts, depriving the brain of adequate blood and oxygen. Stroke detection and treatment are key to improving survival, minimizing disability and accelerating recovery times.

Early stroke detection and treatment are essential, and studies show that patients can recover better when providers consistently follow treatment guidelines, according to the American Heart Association.

UAMS is the state's only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS' clinical enterprise. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,275 students, 890 medical residents and fellows, and five dental residents. It is the state's largest public employer with more than 12,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children's, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), YouTube or Instagram.