Huntsville Emergency Medical Services, Inc. (HEMSI) announced its recent national award from the American Heart Association (AHA) – the 2016 Silver EMS Mission Lifeline Award for implementing quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks. The Board of Directors and HEMSI CEO Jon Howell also recognized representatives from Huntsville and Crestwood Hospitals and cardiac specialists for their collaborative role in supporting EMS cardiac care efforts.
According to the AHA, more than 250,000 people each year 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 opening the blocked vessel mechanically or by providing clot-busting medication.
The Mission Lifeline program rewards EMS organizations that follow advanced protocols derived from American Heart Association/ American College of Cardiology guidelines. The cutting-edge tools, training, and practices allow EMS providers to rapidly identify suspected heart attack patients, promptly notify the medical center, and trigger an early response from the awaiting hospital personnel.
In a written statement from the AHA, Mission: Lifeline Advisory Working Group Chair James Jollis, M.D. said, “EMTs and paramedics play a vital part in the system of care for those who have heart attacks. Since they often are the first medical point of contact, they can shave precious minutes of life-saving treatment time by activating the emergency response system that alerts hospitals. We applaud HEMSI for achieving this award that shows it meets evidence-based guidelines in the treatment of people who have severe heart attacks.”
HEMSI CEO Jon Howell said, “HEMSI is dedicated to making our service among the best in the country, and the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program is helping us accomplish that by implementing processes for improving systems of care with the goal of improving the quality of care for all acute coronary syndrome patients. We also thank Huntsville and Crestwood Hospitals and their cardiac care specialists for their partnership and support in providing excellent care for all cardiac patients.”
Employees celebrated the really cool award with popsicles on a very hot day.