Eau Claire, Wis. – HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital is proud to receive national recognition from the American Heart Association (AHA) for its stroke treatment program. 

The Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award recognizes HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines. It also recognizes the hospital for its work in providing education to patients to help them manage their health and rehabilitation once at home after stroke treatment.

“This is such an honor,” said HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital Stroke Program Coordinator, Annie Letkiewicz. “Our hospital is a Joint Commission Certified Primary Stroke Center, and the Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke program from AHA makes it easier for our teams to put proven knowledge and guidelines to work every day to improve outcomes and provide exceptional care to stroke patients.”

Approximately every 40 seconds someone in the United States suffers a stroke, according to the AHA.

Among treatment options for patients experiencing a stroke is a clot-busting medicine called Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) which can dissolve a stroke-causing clot. When tPA is not effective or cannot be used, a minimally invasive clot-retrieval procedure may be an option. This procedure can break up a clot and remove it from the brain after the onset of stroke symptoms. Dr. Jacques Tham, who performs this procedure at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital says it is extremely rewarding to see patients begin to talk or move their affected arm and leg again, sometimes within minutes of removing the clot from the brain. HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital is the only facility in the area to offer this treatment.

“Early stroke detection is crucial,” says Dr. Tham. “We see better survival rates, minimized disability and faster recovery times for patients who receive treatment quickly.”

The simple acronym BE FAST can help identify someone who may be having a stroke: 

  • Balance: Sudden loss of coordination or balance
  • Eyes: Sudden change in vision or blurred vision
  • Face: Sudden weakness or drooping on one side of the face
  • Arm: Sudden arm or leg numbness or weakness
  • Speech: Sudden slurred speech or trouble understanding speech
  • Terrible Headache: Sudden onset of severe headache

If you are experiencing stroke symptoms, or see symptoms developing in another person, call 911 immediately. 

For more information about stroke signs and symptoms, visit the AHA stroke website. Find more details about emergency stroke care at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital, 900 W. Clairemont Ave., here: www.SacredHeartEauClaire.org.


About HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital
HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the Founding Institute, and it is an affiliate of Hospital Sisters Health System. Since 1889, it has been meeting patient needs in western Wisconsin with the latest medical innovations and technology, together with a Franciscan whole-person healing tradition.

About Hospital Sisters Health System
Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high-quality Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our physician practices and 15 local hospitals in two states – Illinois (Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, O’Fallon, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan and two in Green Bay). HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, and Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the founding institute. For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org. For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visit www.hospitalsisters.org.

Media Contact

Karen Kraus

Communications Department
HSHS Wisconsin
Office: (715) 717-4591
Cell: (715) 717-4747

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