Press Release

For Immediate Release
Feb 15, 2011
Contact : Donna Sellmann, Public Relations Manager  

Meridian Stroke Centers Receive
Get With The Guidelines Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award

Award demonstrates Meridian’s commitment to quality care for stroke patients  

Neptune, NJ - Three Meridian hospitals have received the 2010 American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award.  The award recognizes Jersey Shore University Medical Center (Neptune), Ocean Medical Center (Brick), and Riverview Medical Center (Red Bank) for their commitment and success in implementing excellent care for stroke patients, according to evidence-based guidelines.

To receive the award, each of the three medical centers achieved 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Performance Achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month intervals and 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 tPA, antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, DVT prophylaxis, cholesterol reducing drugs and smoking cessation, all aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.  

"With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and the Get With The Guidelines–Stroke Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award demonstrates our continued medical centers' commitment to being among the top hospitals in the country for providing aggressive, proven stroke care," said Stephen Martino, M.D., medical director of the stroke centers at Jersey Shore and Ocean.  "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."

"Jersey Shore, Ocean, and Riverview medical centers are to be commended for their commitment to implementing standards of care and protocols for treating stroke patients," said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., chair of the Get With The Guidelines National Steering Committee and director of the TeleStroke and Acute Stroke Services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.  "The full implementation of acute care and secondary prevention recommendations and guidelines is a critical step in saving the lives and improving outcomes of stroke patients."   

"Meridian's team members provide prompt identification and immediate treatment of a stroke, which is critical to optimal recovery," says Noah Gilson, M.D., medical director of the stroke center at Riverview. "We recognize that implementing Get With The Guidelines-Stroke helps improve quality of stroke care, and we pair that with the stringent criteria and on-site evaluations by review teams from other state and national organizations."  

Meridian's commitment to providing quality stroke care is evidenced by having five nationally accredited Primary Stroke Centers, each with specialized teams of stroke experts poised to stop the advance of a stroke. And, with the Meridian Stroke Transfer Network, the most complex stroke patients have seamless access to the region's only Stroke Rescue Center at Jersey Shore University Medical Center.  

Get With The Guidelines–Stroke uses the "teachable moment," the time soon after a patient has had a stroke, when they are most likely to listen to and follow their healthcare professionals' guidance.  Studies demonstrate that patients who are taught how to manage their risk factors while still in the hospital reduce their risk of a second heart attack or stroke.

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and a leading cause of serious, long-term disability. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 45 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every three minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization in New Jersey, comprising Jersey Shore University Medical Center and K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital in Neptune, Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin, Bayshore Community Hospital in Holmdel, and Meridian Partner Companies that include home health services, skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers, ambulatory care, ambulance services, and outpatient centers. Meridian Health has consistently been rated among the top performing health systems in New Jersey for clinical quality, is one of the FORTUNE "100 Best Companies to Work For", and is the recipient of numerous state and national recognitions for patient care and nursing excellence, including the distinction of being the first health system in the country to receive Magnet designation for nursing. For more information, visit   

For more information on Get With The Guidelines, visit