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Abrazo Phoenix hospitals get salute from American Heart Association for comprehensive stroke treatment

Photo of Abrazo Airlift services
Nearly 800,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year in the United States oftentimes leading to an emergency transportation situation. (File Photos/DigitalFreePress.com)
Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

Stroke care provided at Abrazo hospitals has been recognized with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines quality achievement award for commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment.

The most appropriate treatment, reported by Abrazo officials, is according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines, ultimately leading to more lives saved and reduced disability.

The awards underscore Abrazo’s investment in talent and technology to treat stroke and neurological disease in its hospitals in the Phoenix metropolitan area. They are:

  • Abrazo Central Campus, a comprehensive stroke center, earned the Stroke Gold Plus with Advanced Therapy and Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll awards.
  • Abrazo West Campus, a primary plus stroke center, received the Stroke Silver Plus, Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite and Target Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll awards.
  • Abrazo Arrowhead Campus, a primary stroke center, received the Stroke Gold Plus with Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus and Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll awards.


Omar Pineda, CEO of Abrazo Central Campus, says neuroscience is central focus of the health network.

“Neurosciences is a significant focus for the Abrazo Health network and we continue investing in our capabilities for neurosurgery and stroke treatment,” he said in a release. “Abrazo Health is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our stroke patients by implementing the Get With The Guidelines-stroke initiative. The tools and resources provided help us track and measure our success in meeting evidenced-based clinical guidelines developed to improve patient outcomes.”

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States.

“With complex stroke care, you must have quality clinicians, resources and support, and the ability to act with extreme efficiency because of the time-critical nature of these events,” said Dr. Emun Abdu, a cerebrovascular and endovascular neurosurgeon at Abrazo Central Campus.

Brief stroke facts

Nearly 800,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year in the United States.

A stroke occurs when blood supply to part of the brain is blocked or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts. In either case, parts of the brain become damaged or die.

Ischemic stroke occurs when blood clots or other particles block the blood vessels to the brain. Fatty deposits called plaque can also cause blockages by building up in the blood vessels. Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel bursts in the brain. Blood builds up and damages surrounding brain tissue.

Dr. Sushant Kale, interventional neurologist at Abrazo West Campus, contends time is of the essence when someone is suffering from any classification of stroke.

“The point to remember is that ‘time equals brain.’ A delay of even five or 10 minutes can make a big difference in a patient’s outcome,” he said.

Risk factors commonly associated in older adults, such as hypertension, diabetes, tobacco use and obesity are now being seen in younger stroke patients, according to Abrazo West Stroke Program Coordinator Amanda Rowell.

“Abrazo Health is dedicated to providing quality care for each of the communities we serve,” added Abrazo West Campus CEO Hans Driessnack. “This recognition acknowledges our network’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.”

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