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BFMC Receives Highest Honors for Stroke Care

April 26, 2011

L – R: Nancy Woodring, RN, MBA, performance improvement coordinator, BFMC; Annette Szpila, RN, MSN, assistant director professional development, BFMC; Lauren Smith, MD, medical director, Department of Public Health; and Charles Pozner, MD,  Brigham and Women’s Hospital and AHA volunteer.



ALT  View the award certificate....



Baystate Franklin Medical Center has again been recognized as a leader in stroke care, receiving the “Get with the Guidelines Gold Plus Award” from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, and the “Defect-free Care Award” (often referred to as perfect care) from the Stroke Collaborative Reaching for Excellence (SCORE), a partnership involving 56 Massachusetts hospitals, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the American Heart Association.  The awards were presented on Wednesday, April 13 in Westborough, Massachusetts. 


This is the second year in a row that Baystate Franklin has received the Defect-free Care Award, and the first time it has received the “Get with the Guidelines Gold Plus Award.” For the prior three years, the hospital had been recognized by the American Heart Association/ American Stroke Association with a silver award – an honor which was listed in U.S. News & World Report.


“We are extraordinarily proud of these awards,” said Deborah Palmeri, MSN, RN Chief Nursing Officer for Baystate Franklin, and attribute them to the collaborative efforts of our stroke team.  This team works together to ensure that we provide exceptional care to all of our patients,” she added, “and includes our physicians and nurses in the Emergency Department, our on-site Neurologist and the tele-Neurology group at Baystate Medical Center, colleagues in Radiology, the Lab, Physical Therapy, and Baystate Health Ambulance, our dietitian, and nurses on the patient care units and in Quality and Education.  Each member of the team has contributed in significant ways to this result.”


Stroke is the third-leading cause of death in the Commonwealth, and a leading cause of adult disability. Immediate assessment and treatment is critical to help improve outcomes.


Knowing the key signs and symptoms of stroke and calling 9-1-1 immediately can save a life. The F.A.S.T. acronym is an easy way to remember: 

  • Face: Does the face look uneven? Ask the person to smile
  • Arm: Does one arm drift down? Ask the person to raise both arms
  • Speech: Does the speech sound strange? Ask the person to repeat a phrase
  • Time: If you observe these symptoms, call 9-1-1


Find out more about FAST and the DPH stroke awareness campaign at