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SJCH Receives American Stroke Association’s Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award for 5th Consecutive Year

Awards & Recognition

SJCH Receiving AwardBAKERSFIELD—May 15, 2015 — Nearly eight years ago, San Joaquin Community Hospital (SJCH) became the first Kern County facility to be certified as a Primary Stroke Center, bringing high quality stroke care to the local community. On May 15, the hospital held a press conference to announce that the area’s most experienced stroke team had received the American Stroke Association’s Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award for the 5th consecutive year. 

To receive this award, SJCH had to meet specific performance standards for stroke care – which are based on the American Stroke Association’s clinical best practices – for eight consecutive quarters. 

These quality measures are designed to help hospital teams provide the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. They focus on appropriate use of guideline-based care for, including aggressive use of medications such as clot-busting drugs, preventive action for deep vein thrombosis, and smoking cessation counseling.
“My favorite part about this award is that it truly represents our entire organization,” said President and CEO Doug Duffield. “Almost every employee in our hospital – whether they work in the Emergency Room, ICU or in one of our outpatient service areas – plays a role in providing our patients with extraordinary stroke care. This latest community first is just further validation that we’re fulfilling our commitment of giving the citizens of Bakersfield and Kern County the high level of health care they deserve and continuing to be the local leader for stroke care.” 

In fact, since SJCH became a stroke center in 2007, the local death rate for stroke has continued to plummet, going from 55.6 deaths/100,000 population in 2006 to 40.6 deaths/100,000 population in 2012. 

“I Wouldn’t Go Anywhere Else”
Also at the press event was Terrance Minnoy, a local stroke survivor that was recently treated at 
SJCH. On February 9, Minnoy – a Bakersfield resident – was in Los Angeles for a quick work trip. After a long day, he decided to meet up with a friend for dinner at a nearby mall. As they casually cruised through the stores, he was suddenly stopped in his tracks by an instantaneous vision problem. 

“I realized pretty quickly that my vision wasn’t normal,” he said. “I just tried to ignore it and figured I would sleep it off.” 

But the next day wasn’t better. At this point, Minnoy decided he needed to get back to Bakersfield as quickly as possible to see his eye doctor. He made the trip back home without incident and went straight to the optometrist’s office.  

“The doctor did a full exam and told me that my eyes were structurally fine,” Minnoy said. “He said it might be a problem with my brain and suggested that I get a CT scan or MRI in the next couple of days.” 

That night, while watching TV, he realized that something was terribly wrong. 

“Tingles went through my entire body, the room began spinning and I quickly realized that I couldn’t stand up out of bed. By now, I figured I was having a stroke,” Minnoy said. “I ended up on the floor, trying to crawl over to my phone – but I wasn’t able to get there.”

Providentially – that’s how Minnoy describes it in retrospect – his 26-year-old son had recently moved back in with him. He didn’t know if he was home, but managed to yell for him three times. On the third cry, his son burst into the room and quickly called 9-1-1.

“Right when the paramedics arrived at my house they told me they were taking me to [SJCH],” Minnoy said. “It didn’t surprise me because I knew [SJCH] had a great reputation for stroke care. From the moment I got there, the care was seamless – I was incredibly impressed.”

“Over the years, we’ve been fortunate enough to receive some great awards and recognitions,” Duffield said. “But for me, these achievements take on even greater meaning when we realize that our work has a powerful effect on the patients and families we serve. I’m really proud to be part of an organization that is committed to making a positive difference for those that entrust us with the lives of their friends, family members and loved ones.”

As for Minnoy, he’s forever grateful to end up at SJCH. 

“When I realized I was having a stroke, the first thing I did was pray,” Terrance said. “It’s no coincidence that I ended up at San Joaquin Community Hospital – that place was a Godsend for me. I would recommend [SJCH] for all health care needs…stroke, heart attack, broken leg, it doesn’t matter. I wouldn’t go anywhere else.”  

A History of Community Firsts
Since becoming a Certified Primary Stroke Center in 2007, SJCH has led the way in local stroke care, achieving a number of significant community firsts, including: 

  • 2007 – The first hospital in Kern County to be Certified as a Primary Stroke Center
  • 2007 – The first hospital to have a 64-slice CT scanner
  • 2009 – The first hospital between Los Angeles and San Francisco to have a Certified Stroke Center and Accredited Chest Pain Center under the same roof
  • 2014 – The first hospital to provide tele-neurology to Delano Regional Medical Center and Ridgecrest Regional Hospital
  • 2015 – The first hospital in Kern County to receive the American Stroke Association’s Gold Plus Award for five consecutive years.

Learn more about the SJCH Stroke Center and read Terrance Minnoy’s full story by visiting