VCU receives eighth national stroke honor

Melissa Hurley said she felt like she wasn’t just another patient.    

Mildred Thomas called her surgeon the “man of the hour” for his bedside manner.

Warren Felton III, M.D.
Warren Felton III, M.D.

At different times, both Hurley and Thomas experienced a form of stroke and were treated at VCU Health. Their testimonies to the caliber of care they received is just one of the reasons Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, again this year, received American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Get With The Guidelines-Stroke honors.  

VCU received the highest award for stroke achievement, stroke quality care levels adherence and intravenous tissue plasminogen activator drug administration. This is the eighth consecutive year VCU has been honored by AHA/ASA.

“VCU Health’s recognition by the AHA/ASA reflects the continued interdisciplinary, interdepartmental commitment to excellence by all those dedicated to the care of patients with stroke and cerebrovascular disease, and their families,” said Warren Felton III, M.D., medical director, VCU Comprehensive Stroke Center.

Get With The Guidelines is the AHA/ASA’s quality improvement program, which provides hospitals with tools to save lives and accelerate recovery. As an awardee, VCU Medical Center met specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients. These quality measures are designed to help hospital teams follow the most modern, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speedy recovery and reduced stroke patient death and disability from stroke.

In 2015, VCU Medical Center was designated the first certified comprehensive stroke center in Virginia. More than one-third of VCU Medical Center stroke patients are transferred from other hospitals throughout Virginia. VCU Medical Center was the first in the state to expand code stroke alert to 24 hours, the first to integrate emergency department multimodal neuroimaging for acute stroke diagnosis, regardless of severity, and the first to use liquid copolymer in the treatment of cerebral aneurysm.  Timely administration of TPA places VCU among the top 5 percent of comprehensive stroke centers in the country.

“We continue to be extremely proud of all members of our stroke team at VCU Health System,” said Deborah Davis, CEO of VCU Health System Hospitals and Clinics and vice president for clinical affairs at VCU. “These recognitions are a celebration of what they do each and every day.”

Because May is stroke month, VCU Health has several events planned to bring awareness to stroke, including Strike Out Stroke Night At The Diamond with the Richmond Flying Squirrels at 6:30 p.m. May 4, a Power To End Stroke Jazz Night event at 5:30 p.m.May 11 at Trinity Family Life Center in Richmond and EMS Day At The Diamond with the Richmond Flying Squirrels at 12:05 p.m. May 21. Hands on CPR training will be available at each event. For more information about the jazz event call (804) 321-6761.


Subscribe for free to the VCU News email newsletter at and receive a selection of stories, videos, photos, news clips and event listings in your inbox every Monday and Thursday.