CUMBERLAND — Western Maryland Health System recently received both the Mission: LifelineŽ NSTEMI Gold Quality Achievement Award and the Gold Receiving Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association for the treatment of patients who suffer severe heart attacks.

CUMBERLAND — Western Maryland Health System recently received both the Mission: Lifeline® NSTEMI Gold Quality Achievement Award and the Gold Receiving Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association for the treatment of patients who suffer severe heart attacks.
    The American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program’s goal is to reduce system barriers that prevent prompt treatment for heart attacks, beginning with the 9-1-1 call, to EMS transport and continuing through hospital treatment and discharge. The initiative provides tools, training and other resources to support heart attack care following protocols from the most recent, evidence-based treatment guidelines.  
    Every year, more than 250,000 people experience an ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), the deadliest type of heart attack, caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment. To prevent death, it’s critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, either by mechanically opening the blocked vessel or by providing clot-busting medication.
   WMHS earned these awards by meeting specific criteria and standards of performance for the quick and appropriate treatment of NSTEMI heart attack patients by providing emergency procedures to re-establish blood flow to blocked arteries when needed.
    “We are very proud to be recognized by the American Heart Association for the excellent care we provide to our heart attack patients here at Western Maryland Health System,” said Christopher Haas, D.O., chairman of Internal Medicine and Medical Director of Cardiology at WMHS.
    “It truly is a team effort that requires excellence from multiple services, including our first responders, emergency department, nursing staff, hospitalist service, data collectors, administration, and, of course, the entire Cardiology Department. We review and discuss our processes for every emergency heart attack that comes through our door, and we fine tune even the smallest of details in order to ensure our patients receive top-notch care that meets or exceeds national standards. To have the American Heart Association recognize all of our hard work is humbling, truly an honor and very much appreciated.”
    “We commend Western Maryland Health System for this award in recognition for following evidence-based guidelines for timely heart attack treatment,” said Tim Henry, M.D., chair of the Mission: Lifeline Acute Coronary Syndrome Subcommittee. “We applaud the significant institutional commitment to their critical role in the system of care for quickly and appropriately treating heart attack patients.”