Freeman News

Freeman Earns Stroke Care Award

January 27, 2017

Award recognizes commitment to quality care for stroke patients.

Freeman Health System, the first and only hospital in an 80-mile radius designated as a Level II Stroke Center by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, recently received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get with the Guidelines® – Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes Freeman’s commitment and success in implementing excellent care for stroke patients, according to evidence-based guidelines.

“For patients who have a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and this award demonstrates our commitment to ensuring care based on nationally respected clinical guidelines,” said Paula F. Baker, Freeman President and Chief Executive Officer. “Freeman is dedicated to improving the quality of stroke care, and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get with the Guidelines – Stroke program helps us achieve that goal.”

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the number five cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the United States. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

To receive the Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award, hospitals must achieve 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get with the Guidelines – Stroke achievement indicators for at least 12 consecutive months and, during the same period, achieve 75 percent or higher compliance with five of the eight Get with the Guidelines – Stroke quality measures.

These quality measures are designed to help hospital teams provide the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. They focus on appropriate use of guideline-based care for stroke patients, including aggressive use of medications such as clot-busting and anti-clotting drugs; blood thinners and cholesterol-reducing drugs; preventive action for deep vein thrombosis; and smoking cessation counseling.

For providers, Get with the Guidelines – Stroke offers quality-improvement measures, discharge protocols, standing orders and other measurement tools. Providing hospitals with resources and information that make it easier to follow treatment guidelines can help save lives and ultimately reduce overall healthcare costs by lowering readmission rates for stroke patients.

For patients, Get with the Guidelines – Stroke uses the “teachable moment,” the time soon after patients have had a stroke, when they learn how to manage their risk factors while still in the hospital and recognize the F.A.S.T. warning signs of a stroke.

  • F – Face drooping
  • A – Arm weakness
  • S – Speech Difficulties
  • T – Time to call 9-1-1


About Freeman Health System
Locally owned, not-for-profit and nationally recognized, Freeman Health System includes Freeman Hospital West, Freeman Hospital East, Freeman Neosho Hospital and Ozark Center – the area’s largest provider of behavioral health services – as well as two urgent care clinics, dozens of physician clinics and a variety of specialty services. For 2017, Freeman earned dozens of individual awards for medical excellence and patient safety from CareChex®, a quality rating system that helps consumers evaluate healthcare providers. U.S. News & World Report ranked Freeman one of the top Hospitals in Southwest Missouri more than four years in a row, and the Leapfrog Group awarded Freeman the highest grade possible in the Fall 2016 Hospital Patient Safety Score. With more than 300 physicians on staff representing more than 60 specialties, Freeman provides cancer care, heart and vascular care, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopaedics, children’s services and women’s services. Additionally, Freeman is the only Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in a 70-mile radius. For more information, visit or or follow Freeman President and Chief Executive Officer Paula Baker at