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For Immediate Release June 16, 2016


Kevin Cservek:

Glen Burnie, MD — University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center (UM BWMC) has received the Mission: Lifeline® Gold 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. In order to receive the Gold award level, organizations must meet specific criteria for at least two consecutive calendar years. UM BWMC has received the Mission Lifeline award since its inception in 2010 starting with a Bronze award from 2010 to 2012. UMBWMC received Silver in 2013 and Gold from 2014 to present.

Each year in the United States, approximately 250,000 people have a STEMI, or ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction, 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 a STEMI receive prompt, appropriate treatment. The program’s goal is to streamline systems of care to quickly get heart attack patients from the first 9-1-1 call to hospital treatment.

“University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our patients who suffer a heart attack, and the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program is helping us accomplish that goal through internationally respected clinical guidelines,” said interventional cardiologist Samuel Yoon, M.D., medical director of the cardiac catheterization laboratory at UM BWMC and clinical assistant professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in cardiac care, and I am very proud of our team.”

With over 100,000 visits per year to its Emergency Department, UM BWMC sees a significant number of patients who present with chest pain symptoms. The ability to quickly identify those with a STEMI and restore blood flow is critical.

“We commend University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center 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.”

University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center earned the award by meeting specific criteria and standards 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.