Skip To Content

Search the Newsroom:

(Seperate multiple keywords with a comma)

Sanford Receives Award for Excellence in Stroke Care

To receive the GWTG-Stroke Gold Performance Achievement Award, Sanford Medical Center demonstrated a high level of adherence to key performance measures for more than 12 consecutive months.

(Fargo, ND) – Sanford Medical Center Fargo has received the American Stroke Association's Get With The Guidelines® (GWTG)--Stroke Gold Performance Achievement Award. This award recognizes Sanford's commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of stroke care by ensuring that stroke patients receive treatment according to national standards and recommendations.

"With a stroke, time lost is brain lost. The GWTG-Stroke Gold Performance Achievement Award addresses the critical element of time," said Sanford’s Stroke Program medical director, Kevin Faber, MD. "Sanford has developed a comprehensive protocol for the rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke. This includes being equipped 24/7 to provide the most accurate and sophisticated brain imaging scans and treatment techniques. Our emergency medicine physicians and hospitalists have championed the care of stroke patients and their rapid evaluation. Our neurologists are available around-the-clock to conduct patient evaluations and use clot-busting medications and other interventional techniques when appropriate.”

To receive the GWTG-Stroke Gold Performance Achievement Award, Sanford Medical Center demonstrated a high level of adherence to key performance measures for more than 24 consecutive months. These include the use of clot-busting medications whenever possible, appropriate blood thinning and clot prevention medications, cholesterol-reducing drugs, and smoking cessation, among many others.

Sanford Medical Center has been using the GTWG-Stroke guidelines since 2006. "The development of our stroke center, coupled with following the GTWG-Stroke program has provided highly specialized care never before available for patients in our region”, said Dennis Millirons, president, Sanford Medical Center Fargo. “Following these guidelines has not only given us the ability to improve our outcomes by decreasing complications and reducing readmissions, but it also allows us to provide enhanced education to patients, families and caregivers and the larger community."

Sanford Medical Center in Fargo is the first and only center in North Dakota to receive this nationally recognized award. Sanford received the Bronze award in 2008, the Silver award in 2009, culminating with the Gold award in 2010. Additionally, in 2010, Sanford Medical Center became only the second hospital in the state to be awarded disease-specific certification as a primary stroke center from the Joint Commission.

According to the American Stroke Association, stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and a leading cause of serious, long-term disability. On average someone suffers a stroke every 45 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every three minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

About Sanford Health

Sanford Health is an integrated health system headquartered in Fargo, ND and Sioux Falls, SD and consists of two long-standing organizations that merged in 2009. Sanford is now the largest, rural, not-for-profit healthcare system in the nation with a presence in 111 communities in eight states. In addition, Sanford Health is in the process of developing international clinics in Belize and Ireland.

Sanford Health includes 31 hospitals, 111 clinic locations and more than 800 physicians in 70 specialty areas of medicine. With more than 18,000 employees, Sanford Health is the largest employer in North and South Dakota. The system is experiencing dynamic growth and development in conjunction with Denny Sanford's $400 million gift in 2007, the largest gift ever to a healthcare organization in America. This gift is making possible the implementation of the several initiatives including global children's clinics, multiple research centers and finding a cure for type 1 diabetes.

For more information, visit

Andrea Voorhees | Sanford Media Strategist  | Fargo Region
701-200-6080  |