HOUSTON (July 21, 2015)

Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center has been recognized by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA) for its excellent care of patients experiencing stroke and heart attack.

“Being honored for providing high-quality and safe patient care is the best recognition a hospital can get, especially when it comes from a well-regarded authority like the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association,” said Paul O’Sullivan, CEO of Memorial Hermann Memorial City.

The hospital recently received AHA/ASA’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award, which recognizes its commitment and success in implementing excellent care for stroke patients according to evidence-based guidelines. Memorial Hermann Memorial City was one of only 14 facilities recognized in the Houston/Gulf Coast region between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015.

To receive the award, the hospital achieved a score of 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Achievement measures for two or more consecutive 12-month periods. Additionally, it achieved 75 percent or higher compliance on at least five of eight Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality measures. Measures include aggressive use of medications like tPA as well as antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, DVT prophylaxis, cholesterol reducing drugs and smoking cessation, all aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.

“Stroke is the leading cause of long term disability and the 5th leading cause of death in Houston and the United States. Memorial Hermann Memorial City is a critical part of an ongoing region-wide rapid response program for the urgent treatment of acute stroke victims,” said John Ownby, M.D., Medical Director of the Stroke program at Memorial Hermann Memorial City. “For the people of our community, know signs of stroke, and that every second counts in our effort to help patients and their families.”

In addition, Memorial Hermann Memorial City achieved the 2015 Mission: Lifeline® Bronze Plus Receiving Center award recognizing its prompt, evidence-based treatment for patients suffering from the most deadly type of heart attack, ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI).

Each year in the United States, approximately 250,000 people have a STEMI 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 by performing an angioplasty, a non-surgical procedure that opens the blocked vessel, and placing a stent in the coronary artery.

“Treatment within 90 minutes of the onset of chest pain is the optimal treatment for STEMI patients,” said Vivien Swaren, RN, MSN/ED, CPAN, Chest Pain Coordinator at Memorial Hermann Heart & Vascular Institute at Memorial Hermann Memorial City. “The longer the vessel stays blocked, the higher the chance of damage being done to the heart muscle, which is why we use the phrase “time equals muscle.”

The American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program’s goal is to reduce system barriers to prompt treatment for heart attacks, beginning with the 9-1-1 call and continuing through hospital treatment, so patients consistently receive treatment within the recommended time frame of 90 minutes as established by AHA/ASA.

“Memorial Hermann Memorial City 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 nationally respected clinical guidelines,” added O’Sullivan.

Memorial Hermann Memorial City earned the award by meeting specific criteria and standards of performance for the quick and appropriate treatment of STEMI patients by providing emergency procedures to re-establish blood flow to blocked arteries when needed. Eligible hospitals must adhere to these measures at a set level for a designated period to receive the award.

For more information on stroke and heart care at Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center, visit http://www.memorialhermann.org/locations/memorial-city/ or call 713.242.3000.