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Sparrow's vision of being recognized as a national leader in quality and Patient experience is being achieved daily through the hard work of our Caregivers. National and state honors awarded to Sparrow in the past year highlight our constant effort to improve Patient care. Sparrow is the first health system in Michigan to be selected as a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network. Sparrow Hospital recently received the prestigious 2012 Quality Leadership Award from the Michigan Quality Council. Those honors are in addition to Nurse Magnet status, being named a top-performing health system by Thomson Reuters, and individual program awards for Physicians Health Plan, the Sparrow Michigan Athletic Club, and clinical care, such as stroke.

Mary Lou Mitchell, National Recognition

Mary Lou Mitchell's passion for stroke care was borne out of her father's debilitating stroke in 1981. Her career has been centered around educating people about causes, prevention, knowledge—"They always know what a stroke does, but not what it is."

Mitchell, R.N., M.S.N., is a Stroke Clinical Nurse Specialist in Sparrow's Stroke Center. The Center is building a national reputation thanks to the efforts of Caregivers such as Mitchell and numerous others.

Sparrow is the region's only accredited Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission. It has been recognized as one of the top hospitals in the nation for its quick use of a clot-busting drug, or tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), that can mean the difference between life and death for Patients. The Stroke Center also recently received the "Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award in Stroke" from the American Stroke Association.

The honors mean the Stroke Center is performing exemplary care, Mitchell says. That's gratifying but the real reward is in the hands-on care of Patients, she says.

"When a Patient comes in with paralysis and they go home with minimal or no difficulty, that's something to be proud of."