McLaren Flint Nationally Recognized for Proficiency in Stroke Care

Author: Sherry Farney

Like a heart attack, when it comes to stroke, minutes matter. The longer it takes to get the appropriate medical help, the more damage a stroke can have on the brain and whether someone lives or dies. According to the American Heart/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA), stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and the leading cause of adult disability in the United States. As Genesee County’s first Comprehensive Stroke Center, the highest level of accreditation awarded by the Joint Commission, McLaren Flint continuously strives to elevate its stroke care and community outreach.

The hospital is one of two Comprehensive Stroke Centers in the McLaren Health Care system, which has in place the statewide McLaren Stroke Network. McLaren Flint’s most recent recognition is the Get With The Guidelines® Stroke GOLD PLUS distinction from the AHA/ASA, an acknowledgment of its proficiency in its care for stroke patients by consistently achieving national quality measurements. This is the fourth consecutive year the hospital’s program has earned this distinction.

“We are fortunate to have the expertise and knowledge of many skilled clinical professionals, which directly results in a higher level of care for our patients and their best possible outcomes,” said Dr. Aniel Majjhoo, an interventional neurologist and medical director of the McLaren Stroke Network. “Adhering to the established guidelines puts our patients and providers in a position for success, and ultimately more treated patients being safely discharged home.”

Additionally, McLaren Flint was listed on the AHA/ASA’s Honor Roll Elite for its prompt use of alteplase, a medication to dissolve stroke-causing blood clots; its Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll, which recognizes the program for providing the latest evidence-based care to diabetic stroke patients, and its Target: Stroke Honor Roll Advanced Therapy, recognizing the program for its timeliness in which the stroke-causing blood clot is removed from eligible patients via an interventional procedure.

Distinction levels are determined based on programs’ compliance with the most up-to-date, evidence-based treatment guidelines set by the AHA/ASA to improve the care and clinical outcomes of stroke patients. The GOLD PLUS level — the highest achievable level — is earned by complying with these guidelines for a minimum of 24 consecutive months.

Two of the requirements for maintaining Comprehensive Stroke Center accreditation is that the hospital provides education and screenings to the community. That’s where Connie LaPoint, MSN, RN, SCRN, program coordinator for McLaren Flint’s neuro stroke services, takes the lead.

“We are currently working with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and other area hospitals to decrease the disparity of stroke awareness and care in Genesee County,” said LaPoint. “As community partners, we do free monthly screenings at the Genesee County Free Medical Center and education is also provided to those who participate. McLaren Flint also offers a monthly stroke support group for patients, families, and caregivers. We have some exciting new initiatives coming too.”

LaPoint also focuses on patient care management which includes contact with everyone who touches a stroke patient throughout the entire care process.

“The expectations of stroke care are very detailed with very little leeway,” added LaPoint. “Obtaining the highest level of Get With The Guidelines stroke recognition and the additional Target awards tells me that everyone on the team cares and is proud of the work they are doing. It’s a place I can say I want to take my own family for care.”

To learn more about the stroke program at McLaren Flint, visit