Munson Medical Center Earns National Stroke Care Awards


The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association recently honored Munson Medical Center with its 2022 Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Gold Plus Award along with the Target Stroke Honor Roll Elite Award.

This recognition reflects the hospital’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment based on nationally recognized research-based guidelines tied to the latest scientific evidence. The Gold Plus Award will be acknowledged nationally in U.S. News and World Report and at the International Stroke Conference, Feb. 8 - 10, 2023, in Dallas, Texas.

This is the ninth consecutive year Munson Medical Center has been recognized with the Gold Plus Award, an accomplishment that continues to reflect the work of both the core stroke unit and the expanded Endovascular Stroke Program team. 

“When a patient arrives at the hospital, we have a multidisciplinary team ready to meet them and identify and treat their condition quickly and appropriately,” said the hospital’s Stroke Program Medical Director Kersti Bruining, M.D. “This recognition again affirms the hard work and dedication of many staff and physicians to ensure the best outcomes for our patients.”

To achieve the Gold Plus Award, a hospital must meet specific quality measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients within a designated period. Prior to discharge, patients also receive education on managing their health, risk factor modification, have a follow-up visit scheduled, and other care transition interventions.

The hospital launched its Endovascular Stroke Program in 2020 that now features two state-of-the-art Artis Icono Biplane imaging devices and has become one of the busiest stroke centers in the state treating more than 200 patients with minimally invasive surgical intervention.

The Target Stroke Honor Roll Elite Award recognizes a 45-minute door-to-treatment time for administering clot-dissolving medication. Munson Healthcare Endovascular Stroke Program Director Gary Rajah, M.D., said ongoing Emergency Department efforts to decrease door-to-treatment times for patients are impressive.

“All of the team members involved in providing high-quality care for our stroke patients know that time lost means the loss of brain cells. The results of the stroke team are truly outstanding. I am proud of their ongoing efforts that are making a difference in the lives of stroke patients,” Dr. Rajah said. “We are excited to continue cutting-edge surgical and minimally invasive treatments for ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke across northern Michigan.  Our next focus will be further accreditation to continue providing the highest level of care to our patients.” 

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association reports that stroke is the fifth-leading cause of death and the leading cause of disability in the United States. 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.

More information on Munson Healthcare’s stroke program can be found at