SLU Again Only Hospital in Region Recognized by Heart Association for Both Heart Failure and Stroke 
Friday, 09 May 2014 
ST. LOUIS – For the second consecutive year, Saint Louis University Hospital is the only hospital in the St. Louis region to earn the American Heart Association’s Get With the Guidelines (GWTG) Gold Plus performance award for treating patients with heart failure and stroke.

The Gold Plus award recognizes Saint Louis University Hospital for ensuring care that’s consistent with the most up-to-date scientific guidelines.

“We are dedicated to improving the quality of care for our heart failure and stroke patients, and the American Heart Association helps us accomplish this goal by tracking and measuring our success in meeting internationally-respected guidelines,” says Nancy Noedel, RN, chief quality officer at Saint Louis University Hospital. “To be recognized is very rewarding.”

Being recognized by the American Heart Association as a high performer in these areas takes on a new light after recent data published online in the April 22 Journal of the American Medical Association. The study found that hospitals who implemented programs for stroke – like Saint Louis University Hospital has with GWTG – saw median door-to-needle times improve nationally from 74 minutes in 2009 to 59 minutes in 2013. Researchers saw an almost two percent decrease of in-hospital deaths in the United States, from 9.9 percent to 8.3.

“Time is absolutely critical when it comes to acute stroke,” says Eli Feen, MD, neurologist at SLU Hospital and director of the MidAmerica Stroke Network, a collaboration of 56 hospitals in the bi-state region who share knowledge, technology and expertise to deliver quality stroke care. “Every minute that goes by can mean permanent damage to the brain.”

To achieve Gold Performance standards, hospitals must follow treatment guidelines in certain key measures at least 85 percent of the time and maintain that level of performance for consecutive twelve month intervals. Saint Louis University Hospital was in a category one step higher with Gold Plus, representing an additional 75 percent compliance with module specific measures for at least twelve consecutive months.

Such efforts are reflected at SLU Hospital through the MidAmerica Stroke Network and for heart failure, the Center for Comprehensive Cardiovascular Care (C4), established for its individualized approach to heart disease.

“We’re proud of this type of recognition because it shows that our team approach to treating heart disease is saving lives,” says Michael Lim, MD, co-director of the Center for Comprehensive Cardiovascular Care and a SLUCare physician and a board member of the American Heart Association’s St. Louis chapter.

For the complete list of hospitals, visit the American Heart Association’s site here.


About Saint Louis University Hospital
Saint Louis University Hospital is a 356-licensed bed quaternary/tertiary referral center located in the heart of the city of St. Louis. Approximately 75 percent of patients are drawn from a 150-mile radius. Through affiliation as the teaching hospital for Saint Louis University, the hospital provides patients and their families with an environment of medical innovation. Working in this endeavor are the hospital’s medical staff partners, SLUCare, the physicians of Saint Louis University. The hospital admits more than 17,000 patients annually and is a Level I Trauma Center that treats more than 2,000 major trauma cases a year. For more information, please visit

Jason Merrill