Saint Peter’s University Hospital Once Again Earns National Recognition for Quality Stroke Care

August 9, 2022

Saint Peter’s University Hospital Once Again Earns National Recognition for Quality Stroke Care
American Heart Association and American Stroke Association present Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Award for a
commitment to prioritizing quality care for stroke patients
New Brunswick, N.J. – August 9, 2022 – Saint Peter’s University Hospital, a member of Saint Peter’s Healthcare System, has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award for its commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines.
Stroke is the fifth 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.
“It’s an honor for Saint Peter’s to be consistently recognized for the care we deliver to patients experiencing a stroke,” said Roger Behar, MD, neurologist and medical director of the Stroke Program at Saint Peter’s University Hospital. “Time is of the essence when someone is having a stroke and this recognition signifies our dedication to providing high-quality stroke care as quickly as possible.”
Get With The Guidelines-Stroke was developed to assist healthcare professionals provide the most up-to-date, research-based guidelines for treating stroke patients. Each year program participants apply for this 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 upon returning home from the hospital.
“We are incredibly pleased to recognize Saint Peter’s University Hospital for its commitment to caring for patients with stroke,” said Steven Messe, MD, chairperson of the Stroke System of Care Advisory Group. “Participation in Get With The Guidelines is associated with improved patient outcomes, fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates – a win for healthcare systems, families and communities.”
Patients who come to Saint Peter’s experiencing a stroke can expect to receive an interdisciplinary plan of care that not only includes the doctors and nurses, but physical therapy specialists, nutritionists and pharmacists who help decide on the best medications for patients. To prevent the risk of having a second stroke, patients are evaluated for secondary risk factors while they are in the hospital. Once the patient goes home, Saint Peter’s staff follows up with them to see how they are recovering.
“It’s important to get treatment as quickly as possible if you think you or a loved one is having a stroke. The acronym ‘BE FAST’ can help people remember what signs to look out for,” said Maria Bartman, BSN, RN, CEN, stroke coordinator at Saint Peter’s and chair of Saint Peter’s Stroke Committee.
B – Balance: Is the person having trouble with balance or coordination?
E – Eyes: Is the person experiencing blurred or double vision or a loss of vision?
F – Face Drooping: Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.
A – Arm Weakness: Is one arm weak or numb? Does one arm drift downward if the person raises their arms?
S – Speech Difficulty: Is the person’s speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence like, “The grass is green.”
T – Time to call 911: If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms subside, call 911 and get them to the hospital immediately.
Saint Peter’s University Hospital is designated a primary stroke center by the New Jersey State Department of Health and Senior Services and is certified as a primary stroke center by The Joint Commission, demonstrating that the hospital has consistently met quality metrics and provided some of the best evidence-based care for its stroke patients. A primary stroke center is the first line of defense in diagnosing and treating stroke and preventing or minimizing permanent brain damage to the patient. Saint Peter’s was also the first hospital in New Jersey to be recognized as an Age-Friendly Health System, implementing evidence-based interventions specifically designed to improve care for older adults across emergency departments, intensive care units, medical-surgical units, and primary and specialty care settings.
About Saint Peter’s University Hospital
Saint Peter’s University Hospital, a member of Saint Peter’s Healthcare System, is a 478-bed acute-care teaching hospital sponsored by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen. Saint Peter’s, which received its sixth consecutive designation as a Magnet® hospital for nursing excellence by the American Nurses Credentialing Center in 2020, is a state-designated children’s hospital and a regional perinatal center, and is a regional specialist in diabetes, gastroenterology, head and neck surgery, oncology, orthopedics, and women’s services. Saint Peter’s is the recipient of the Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses for the adult intensive care unit, neonatal intensive care unit, cardiac progressive care unit and the pediatric intensive care unit. The Children’s Hospital at Saint Peter’s University Hospital provides families with access to a full range of pediatric specialties, including a nationally recognized Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, pediatric surgery and orthopedic surgery featuring innovative anterior scoliosis correction. The hospital offers a midwifery service and the brand-new state-of-the-art Mary V. O’Shea Birth Center. Saint Peter’s is a sponsor of residency programs in obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics and internal medicine, and is a major clinical affiliate of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences. Visit or call 732-745-8600.
About Get With The Guidelines®
Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program that provides hospitals with the latest research-based guidelines. Developed with the goal of saving lives and hastening recovery, Get With The Guidelines has touched the lives of more than 12 million patients since 2001. For more information, visit

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Subscribe to the Saint Peter's Better Health newsletter and receive the latest health news, community events, recipes, and more.

Support Saint Peter’s

Your gift of any size directly impacts the patients who are cared for at Saint Peter's. Donate TodayLearn More