Doctor with a stethescope holding MRI brain scans

UC Davis Medical Center earns national recognition for stroke treatment

The American Heart Association presents award for commitment to quality care for stroke patients


The UC Davis Comprehensive Stroke Center has received the American Heart Gold Plus Get With The Guidelines - Stroke Quality Achievement Award. The honor was awarded for the center’s  commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines. 

A stroke occurs when one of the blood vessels that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is blocked by a clot (ischemic stroke) or bursts (hemorrhagic stroke), causing parts of the brain to die. Another type of cerebrovascular event — known as a transient ischemic attack, or TIA — is caused by a temporary blood clot and often called a “warning stroke.” 

Stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the U.S. On average, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds, and nearly 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year. Early stroke detection and treatment are key to improving survival, minimizing disability and speeding recovery times. 

Get With The Guidelines-Stroke was developed to help healthcare professionals  provide the most up-to-date, research-based guidelines for treating stroke patients. 

“UC Davis Health is honored to be recognized by the American Heart Association for our dedication to helping our patients have the best possible chance of survival and recovery after a stroke,” said Kwan L. Ng, director of vascular neurology and the Comprehensive Stroke Center at UC Davis Health. “Get With The Guidelines-Stroke makes it easier for our teams to put proven knowledge and guidelines to work on a daily basis to improve outcomes for stroke patients.” 

Each year, program participants apply for the award recognition by demonstrating how their organization has committed to providing quality care for stroke patients. In addition to following treatment guidelines, participants also provide education to patients to help them manage their health and rehabilitation at home. 

Kwan L. Ng
UC Davis Health is honored to be recognized by the American Heart Association for our dedication to helping our patients have the best possible chance of survival and recovery after a strokeKwan L. Ng

“We are pleased to recognize UC Davis Health for their commitment to stroke care,” said Lee H. Schwamm, national chairperson of the Quality Oversight Committee and executive vice chair of neurology, director of Acute Stroke Services, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts. “Research has shown that hospitals adhering to clinical measures through the Get With The Guidelines quality improvement initiative can often see fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates.” 

UC Davis Health also received the American Heart Association’s Target Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus award. To qualify for this recognition, hospitals must meet quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke.  

UC Davis Medical Center has been certified as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, the highest recognition possible from The Joint Commission, a global driver of quality improvement and patient safety in health care. 

Know the symptoms of stroke 

When it comes to stroke symptoms and actions, remember two words — BE FAST. It stands for: 

B – balance loss, especially sudden
E – eyesight loss, especially sudden
F – face drooping or numbness
A – arm weakness or numbness
S – speech difficulty, especially slurred speech
T – time to call 911 

Other common stroke symptoms that should trigger a call for an immediate emergency response include sudden: 

  • numbness or weakness in a leg or on one side of the body
  • confusion or trouble understanding speech
  • trouble walking, dizziness or coordination
  • severe headache with no known cause  

Related stories and resources

UC Davis Medical Center Comprehensive Stroke Center
A teacher’s learning experience with stroke
Know and respond quickly to signs of stroke
Stroke facts from the S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and American Stroke Association