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Published on August 19, 2014

Saint Mary’s Hospital Honored with American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline Silver Plus Award for Cardiac Care

WATERBURY, Conn. (August 15, 2014) — Saint Mary’s Hospital has received the Mission: Lifeline® Silver Plus Receiving Quality Achievement Award. This award recognizes Saint Mary’s Hospital for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association for the treatment of patients who suffer severe heart attacks.

Each year in the United States, approximately 250,000 people have a STEMI, or ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction, the most severe form of heart attack. A STEMI is caused by a complete blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment. To prevent death, it’s critical to immediately restore blood flow, either by surgically opening the blocked vessel or by giving clot-busting medication.

The American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program helps hospitals, emergency medical services and communities improve response times so people who suffer from STEMI receive prompt, appropriate treatment. The program’s goal is to streamline systems of care to quickly get heart attack patients from the first 911 call to hospital treatment.

“Saint Mary’s Hospital is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our patients who suffer heart attacks, and the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program is helping us accomplish that goal through internationally respected clinical guidelines,” said Paul F. Kelly, MD, Chief of Cardiology and Medical Director, Cardiac Services, for Saint Mary’s Hospital. “We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in cardiac care, and I am very proud of our team.”

“We commend Saint Mary’s Hospital for this achievement award, which reflects a significant institutional commitment to improve the quality of care for their heart attack patients,” said A. Gray Ellrodt, MD, Chair of the Mission: Lifeline committee and Chief of Medicine at the Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, Mass. “All too many heart attack patients in the United States still fail to receive appropriate treatment for their life-threatening condition within the recommended timeframes. We must all continue this important work to streamline and coordinate regional systems of care to save lives and prevent complications.”

Saint Mary’s Hospital earned the award by meeting specific criteria and standars of performance for the quick and appropriate treatment of STEMI patients to open the blocked artery. Before patients are discharged, they are started on aggressive risk reduction therapies such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, aspirin, ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers, and they receive smoking cessation counseling if needed. Eligible hospitals must adhere to these measures at a set level for a designated period to receive the awards.

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