American Heart Association Presents Mission Lifeline Gold Award to NHRMC

September 27, 2013

On behalf of New Hanover Regional Medical Center and the Southeastern RACE Region, NHRMC President & CEO Jack Barto accepted the AHA Mission Lifeline Gold Award from the American Heart Association at the NHRMC Cardiovascular Symposium September 26.

The Mission Lifeline Gold Award recognized NHRMC as one of only 50 hospitals in the country to meet the award’s standards.

"This is the highest award given for STEMI care. The criteria to achieve Mission Lifeline Gold recognition are stringent, and your success is due to the daily efforts of all physicians and staff who take care of STEMI patients," said Keith T. Everett, Vice President of Quality and Systems Improvement for the Mid Atlantic Affiliate of the American Heart Association.

A STEMI occurs when a blood clot completely blocks an artery to the heart. To prevent death, it’s critical to immediately restore blood flow, either by surgically opening the blocked vessel or by giving clot-busting medication. NHRMC’s Code STEMI program works with paramedics and hospitals throughout the region to identify when someone is having a STEMI heart attack so the emergency and cardiac team can be readied at NHRMC and the patient can quickly get to intervention in the cardiac catheterization lab. Getting a patient with a heart attack to treatment quickly is a high priority because when a heart attack begins, it’s only a matter of time before permanent damage is done to the heart muscles. The national benchmark for getting STEMI patients to intervention is 90 minutes. The average time for a patient at NHRMC’s Heart Center to go from arrival at the hospital to intervention in our Catheterization Lab is 42 minutes.

“On behalf of NHRMC and all regional STEMI providers, we want to thank the American Heart Association for this award,” said Barto.

"Since 2008 when this program began at NHRMC, almost 2,000 patients from across the region have benefited from the STEMI protocol. STEMI patients need immediate life saving care, and the RACE & Code STEMI program ensures that these patients get the fastest care possible."