SGMC Stroke Program Receives Top Award

September 2, 2020

The Stroke Program at South Georgia Medical Center was recognized, yet again, for excellence in stroke treatment. The hospital was just awarded the 2020 Get with the Guidelines- Stroke GOLD PLUS award from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association for the seventh consecutive year.

The award recognizes SGMC’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines.

Additionally, SGMC received the Association’s Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll award. To qualify for this recognition, SGMC met quality measures developed with more than 90% compliance for 12 consecutive months for its “Overall Diabetes Cardiovascular Initiative Composite Score.”

SGMC is also the only hospital in South Georgia with an Advanced Certification as a Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission.

Georgia is in the center of what is called the “stroke belt,” the region in the southeastern United States with an unusually high incidence of stroke. Because of this, SGMC committed nearly a decade ago to make stroke care a priority. The hospital welcomed Dr. Brian Dawson, a stroke neurologist, in 2011 to launch and develop an enhanced patient care protocol known as Code Stroke. 

SGMC began participating in the Get with the Guidelines program in 2012, receiving Bronze the first year, Silver Plus the next year, and Gold Plus recognition every year since.

“From the consistent hard work of many remarkable professionals over the years, SGMC has developed and maintained one of the best stroke programs in South Georgia. We are grateful for the opportunity to serve as the region’s Joint Commission Accredited Primary Stroke Center,” said Dr. Brian Dawson, Chief Medical Officer.

According to Dawson, through an enhanced partnership with community neurologists Drs. Mahmood Eisa, Bipin Patel, Hernan Posas, and Vipul Parek, and neurosurgeons Drs. Kimberly Mackey and Hitham Khalil, SGMC intends to keep taking neurological care to the next level.

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of adult 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.

For more information on stroke treatment and capabilities at SGMC, visit