Mercy Arkansas Hospitals Recognized With Awards for Stroke Care

July 12, 2023

Mercy hospitals in Arkansas have again earned national recognition for their commitment to providing high-quality stroke care.

The American Heart Association (AHA) is recognizing Mercy Fort Smith with its Gold Plus, Target: Stroke Elite Honor Roll and Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll awards. Recognition is based on 2022 calendar year data submitted. 

Mercy doctor's coat Dr. Jacob Didion, Mercy Fort Smith

The AHA issues its Get With The Guidelines - Stroke awards to hospitals that demonstrate their commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment following national recognized, research-based guidelines, which saves lives and reduces disabilities. These hospitals also educate patients to help them manage their health and recovery at home.

“Immediate treatment is an important part of surviving and recovering from a stroke,” said Dr. Jacob Didion, neurohospitalist with Mercy Fort Smith. “This latest recognition for Mercy’s stroke care program recognizes the efforts of our team in providing the most thorough, effective care available.”

As the fifth-leading cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the U.S., a stroke occurs when a clot blocks a blood vessel to the brain or a blood vessel bursts, which prevents the needed oxygen from reaching the brain.

To earn the Target: Stroke Elite Honor Roll, Mercy had to meet specific criteria where the time between an eligible patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with clot-busting medication is reduced. To earn the Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll award, Mercy had to demonstrate it aims to ensure patients with Type 2 diabetes, who might be at higher risk for complications, receive the most up-to-date, evidence-based care when hospitalized due to stroke.

In addition to these awards, Mercy Fort Smith is a Primary Stroke Center as designated by The Joint Commission and was one of the first hospitals this year that committed to expanding focus on hemorrhagic stroke patient care with new features through the AHA.

Rural hospital recognition

Mercy Hospitals in Booneville, Ozark, Paris and Waldron also received stroke care recognition from the AHA. Each hospital was honored with a bronze Get With the Guidelines award for rural stroke care.

“Providing exceptional care close to home is what our critical access hospitals aim to do,” said Juli Stec, vice president of patient services for Mercy. “Our stroke care teams are to be commended for their efforts in treating these patients and getting them on the road to recovery as quickly as possible.”