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Stroke Program

Kaweah Health receives Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award

American Heart Association Award recognizes Kaweah Health commitment to quality stroke care

Kaweah Health received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke 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.

Kaweah Health 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. 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

American Heart Association® Don't Die of Doubt

5 reasons hospitals are safe for heart, stroke emergencies — even in the pandemic

Although COVID-19 has changed the world, it hasn’t changed the fact that hospitals are the safest place to be if there’s a heart attack, stroke or other medical emergency.

Here’s why the coronavirus shouldn’t make you hesitate or doubt you need emergency help.

  1. Hospitals are following infection control protocols to sanitize, socially distance and keep infected people away from others.

  2. Calling 911 immediately is still your best chance of surviving an emergency.

  3. Year in and year out, heart disease and stroke are the top two killers worldwide.

  4. Fast care is the key to survival.

  5. Emergency room workers know what to do, even when things seem chaotic.

For more information, visit Heart.org/DontDieofDoubt

If you would like additional information specific to the Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke population and their risk, please view the following link: Coronavirus COVID-19 Resources.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus Information)

With the evolving impact of coronavirus in communities across the country, many Americans are facing new challenges keeping them from getting to the office, school, grocery store or gym. The American Heart Association has resources to help maintain a healthy lifestyle while at home.

Kaweah Health Stroke Program

Preventing & Treating Strokes in Visalia, Tulare County & Surrounding Areas

About Our Stroke Program

Stroke is the 5th leading cause of death in the nation. Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a stroke, and every four minutes one person will die from a stroke. According to the California Department of Public Health, more people die of a stroke in Tulare County than in the state of California (42.7 per 100,000 compared to 38.1 per 100,000 deaths). Stroke is a disease that affects the blood vessels that take blood to your brain.

Kaweah Health is committed to providing the best care possible for our patients who have had a stroke or TIA (transient ischemic attack). According to Healthgrades Clinical Quality Reports, Kaweah Health's stroke death rate has been beyond expectations as compared to other hospitals throughout the nation. With this commitment, Kaweah Health has obtained the Joint Commission's Primary Stroke Certification. By pursuing certification, Kaweah Health has reduced the variation in clinical processes thus improving the quality of patient care and increasing community education on stroke prevention.

Mission Statement

The mission of Kaweah Health’s Stroke Program is to provide timely, patient-centered and evidence-based care to achieve the best possible outcomes for patients with signs and symptoms of acute stroke.

Goals

  1. Rapid identification of patients with signs/symptoms consistent with acute stroke.

  2. Management of acute stroke patients appropriately and efficiently according to best practice guidelines.

  3. Maintain certification a as a Primary Stroke Center and identified as a neurological center of excellence.

Think F.A.S.T., It's A STROKE! (LYRIC VIDEO)

Performed by Nurse Master Charlie, RN

This is a lyric video of a song about strokes; the different types of strokes, and the signs & symptoms of strokes.

When minutes matter

Learn more about Carolyn Hill, stroke survivor - Click HERE

Scope of Services

24 Hours, 7 Days a Week

  • Neurology, Intensivists & Hospitalists

  • Laboratory

  • Radiology - CT, CT Angiogram, CT Brain Profusion, MRI

  • Pharmacy

  • Emergency Department Stroke Alert Team Lead

  • Rapid Response Team (RRT) responds to all in-patient stroke alerts

Business Hours, 7 Days a Week

  • Case Management and Social Services

  • Physical and Speech Therapies

  • Admits to Acute In-Patient Rehabilitation Hospital

Business Hours, 6 Days a Week

  • Occupational Therapy

*Endovascular procedures require transfer to another facility.

Stroke Quality Measures

2021 Excellence Award for Treatment of Stroke Care

Healthgrades has announced that Kaweah Health has achieved the excellence award for its performance in stroke care. The achievement is part of Healthgrades annual evaluation of nearly 4,500 hospitals nationwide for 34 of the most common inpatient procedures and conditions.

Healthgrades is the leading online resource for comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals. This achievement is part of findings featured in the Healthgrades 2020 Report to the Nation, which found that clinical performance continues to differ dramatically between hospitals regionally and nationally. Every year, Healthgrades evaluates hospital performance at almost 4,500 hospitals nationwide for 32 of the most common inpatient procedures and conditions, as well as reporting on outcomes in appendectomy and bariatric surgery using all-payer data provided by 15 states and the District of Columbia. Kaweah Health is also the only hospital in the Central Valley to be among the top 5% in the nation for Stroke Care Excellence.

According to Healthgrades, the new report demonstrates how clinical performance continues to differ dramatically between hospitals regionally and nationally. This variation in care has a significant impact on health outcomes. From 2017 through 2019, patients treated at hospitals receiving the Stroke Care Excellence Award™ have, on average, a 38.1 percent lower risk of dying than if they were treated in hospitals that did not receive the award.

The complete Healthgrades 2021 Report to the Nation and detailed study methodology, can be found at www.healthgrades.com/quality.

Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award

Kaweah Health received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke 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.

Kaweah Health 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. 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

Certified Primary Stroke CenterAdvanced Primary Stroke Center

In Spring 2018, The Joint Commission and the American Stroke Association awarded Kaweah Health Medical Center certification as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center. The certification means that Kaweah Health is making exceptional efforts to foster better outcomes for stroke patients. “We commend Kaweah Health for becoming a leader in stroke care, potentially providing a higher standard of service for stroke patients in its community,” said Patrick Phelan, Executive Director, Hospital Business Development, The Joint Commission.

Stroke team award photo

Patient Visits at Kaweah Health

Emergency Department

Annual visits 91,423
Monthly Visits 7,618
Daily Visits 250

Stroke Alerts

Annual 800
Monthly 98
Daily 3

Patient Types

Ischemic 398 Annual 33 Monthly
Hemorrhagic 100 Annual 8 Monthly
TIA's 303 Annual 25 Monthly

Stroke Program Leadership

Dr. Sean Oldroyd

Stroke Program Medical Director

Cheryl Smit RN-BC

Stroke Program Manager

Emma Camarena, RN

Advanced Practice Nurs

Program Contact Information

Cheryl Smit, RN, Stroke Manager
(559) 624-2133
Kaweah Health Quality and Patient Safety Department
520 W. Mineral King Ave ~ Visalia, CA 93291