Sarasota Memorial Recognized as Role Model for Best Practices and Life-Saving Care

Sarasota Memorial Recognized as Role Model for Best Practices and Life-Saving Care

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

SARASOTA, Fla. (July 11, 2023) – Sarasota Memorial Hospital received top awards from the American Heart Association (AHA) for providing life-saving care to patients experiencing heart and stroke emergencies.

Part of its national “Get With The Guidelines” annual quality review, the AHA recognizes hospitals not only for following best practices, but for doing so consistently, year after year, ultimately leading to more lives saved, shorter recovery times and fewer readmissions to the hospital.

James Fiorica, MD, chief medical officer of Sarasota Memorial Health Care System, credits the hospital’s superior performance and patient outcomes to the expertise of clinicians, as well as the commitment of hospital leaders to research-based, high-quality care.James Fiorica, MD, Chief Medical Office of Sarasota Memorial Health Care System

“From the specialized doctors, nurses, and therapists at the bedside to our clinical managers, administrative leaders and the Hospital Board, our entire team is focused on making sure each patient benefits from the latest treatments and technologies available and reducing the risk of long-term damage from cardiovascular emergencies,” Dr. Fiorica said.

This year, Sarasota Memorial’s Sarasota and Venice campuses received awards with multiple honors for their dedication to best practices and life-saving care for cardiac arrest and stroke patients:

Stroke Gold Plus Award

The Gold Plus designation recognizes the SMH-Sarasota campus for demonstrating superior performance over multiple years, often exceeding AHA standards for accurate diagnosis, rapid response, evidence-based treatment and responsible follow-up care, education and rehabilitation for stroke patients. In addition to its Gold Plus designation, AHA gave the SMH-Sarasota two additional awards for fast-tracking specialized care to stroke patients:

  • The Stroke Honor Roll Elite recognizes SMH’s ability to deliver life-saving interventions within 60 minutes (door to needle time) for applicable stroke patients.
  • The Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll reflects additional safety measures Sarasota Memorial has in place to identify and manage potential complications of stroke patients with Type 2 diabetes.

Stroke Silver Plus Award

Sarasota Memorial Hospital – Venice, which opened in November 2021, received the Stroke Silver Plus Award, the highest level that can be achieved in a hospital’s first year of participation. Next year, SMH-Venice will be eligible for a Gold award.

Gold Resuscitation Adult Award

The AHA’s Gold Resuscitation Adult Award recognizes SMH-Sarasota for having the expert teams, technologies and protocols in place to deliver life-saving resuscitation care in under 2 minutes to patients over age 18 experiencing cardiac arrest while in the hospital. Hospitals with Gold designation receive extra honors for sustaining high performance over multiple years. Sarasota Memorial Hospital – Venice is not yet eligible for this designation.

Lorrie Liang, president of the Sarasota hospital campus, said the awards reflect the health system’s continuous efforts to implement best practices and protocols. “We are pleased to be recognized as a leader in stroke and heart care,” she said. “Our team works diligently to ensure the best care for all of our patients, and these awards validate that hard work.”

From the ground up, the Venice team prioritized building a facility and clinical team that would deliver high-quality care to the growing south county region, said Sharon Roush, president of the Venice hospital campus. “We are very proud to see the results of all that hard work. We thank our patients and families for entrusting us with their care.”

AHA plans to recognize Sarasota Memorial and other role model hospitals that received Get with the Guideline awards in the upcoming “Best Hospitals” edition of U.S. News and World Report.

About Sarasota Memorial Health Care System

Sarasota Memorial Health Care System, offering Southwest Florida’s greatest breadth and depth of care, provides services for more than 1 million patients each year across its 2 hospital campuses, free-standing ER, and network of outpatient care centers. The system’s 901-bed flagship facility, Sarasota Memorial Hospital-Sarasota, has been consistently recognized as one of the nation’s best acute-care hospitals, with superior patient outcomes and a complete continuum of care — from trauma, emergency and urgent care services to laboratory and diagnostic imaging, home health, skilled nursing and rehabilitation. Learn more at