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Lee Health Hospitals Again Earn Top Marks for Stroke Care

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American Heart Association (AHA)/American Stroke Association’s (ASA) Award All Lee Health Adult, Acute Care Hospitals

(Fort Myers, Fla. – Jan. 22, 2020) --- Cape Coral Hospital, Gulf Coast Medical Center and Lee Memorial Hospital each earned the American Heart Association (AHA)/American Stroke Association’s (ASA) Get With The Guidelines® - Stroke Gold Plus Target Stroke Elite Plus Honor Roll Quality Achievement Award – the highest possible level.

HealthPark Medical Center received “Get with the Guidelines Gold Plus Target: Stroke Elite Honor Roll Quality Achievement Award.”

These awards are based on the proper use of medications and other stroke treatments aligned with the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines for a speedy recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients.

“We’re thrilled that all of our adult, acute care hospitals earned high-level awards for stroke care,” said Cindy Drapal, DNP, system director, Lee Health Neurosciences. “Every second matters when treating stroke and by continuing to incorporate the best evidence-based guidelines into our processes, we’re ensuring our patients receive the best care possible.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stroke is one of the leading causes of death and serious, long-term disability in the United States. On average, someone has a stroke every 40 seconds, someone dies of a stroke every four minutes and nearly 800,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

Get With The Guidelines – Stroke® is an in-hospital program for improving stroke care by promoting consistent adherence to the latest scientific treatment guidelines. It uses the “teachable moment” after a patient has a stroke and when they are most likely to listen to and follow their health care professionals’ guidance. Before discharge, patients receive education on managing their health, schedule a follow-up visit and other care transition interventions.

“Studies show that patients who are taught how to manage their risk factors while still in the hospital reduce their risk of a second stroke,” said Dr. Michael Horowitz, Lee Health medical director for neuroscience and stroke. “Our aim is to prevent patients from having another stroke because it drastically increases the risk of death and other long-lasting health impacts.”

To achieve the Target: Stroke Honor Roll – Elite Plus recognition, hospitals must administer clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) medication within 60 minutes of arrival to the facility in 75 percent or more of eligible acute ischemic strokes and within 45 minutes of arrival in 50 percent of eligible acute ischemic stroke patients treated with IV tPA.

Offering 24/7 neurointerventional coverage with a full team of specialists, support staff, a dedicated neuroscience intensive care unit for stroke patients and a dedicated neurointerventional suite equipped with state-of-the-art biplane angiography systems, Gulf Coast Medical Center provides lifesaving care around-the-clock and close to home. Gulf Coast Medical Center also is Lee County’s only certified Comprehensive Stroke Center.

About Lee Health

Since the opening of the first hospital in 1916, Lee Health has been a health care leader in Southwest Florida, constantly evolving to meet the needs of the community. A non-profit, integrated health care services organization, Lee Health is committed to the well-being of every individual served, focused on healthy living and maintaining good health. Staffed by caring people, inspiring health, services are conveniently located throughout the community in four acute care hospitals, two specialty hospitals, outpatient centers, walk-in medical centers, primary care and specialty physician practices and other services across the continuum of care. Learn more at

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