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Geisinger Medical Center honored with Mission: Lifeline quality achievement award

CONTACT:  Mike Ferlazzo: 570-214-7410
June 5, 2014

DANVILLE, Pa. – Geisinger Medical Center (GMC) has received the Mission: Lifeline® Silver-Plus 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 helps hospitals, emergency medical services providers and communities improve response times so people who suffer ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction – or STEMI, a complete blockage of blood flow to the hear that requires timely treatment – 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.

Each year in the United States, approximately 250,000 people have a STEMI, the most common type of heart attack. To prevent death, it’s critical to immediately restore blood flow, either by surgically opening the blocked vessel or by giving clot-busting medication.

“GMC 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 James Blankenship, M.D., director of cardiology, GMC. “We strive for excellence in patient care and this is yet another instance of our peers across the country confirming our efforts while validating our journey to provide expert heathcare close to home.”

“We commend GMC 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, M.D., 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.
GMC 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.

About Geisinger
Geisinger Health System is an integrated health services organization widely recognized for its innovative use of the electronic health record, and the development of innovative care models such as ProvenHealth Navigator® and ProvenCare®. As one of the nation’s largest rural health services organizations, Geisinger serves more than 2.6 million residents throughout 44 counties in central and northeastern Pennsylvania. The physician-led system is comprised of more than 21,000 employees, including a 1,100-member multi-specialty group practice, eight hospital campuses, two research centers and a 467,000-member health plan, all of which leverage an estimated $7.4 billion positive impact on the Pennsylvania economy. The health system and the health plan have repeatedly garnered national accolades for integration, quality and service. In addition to fulfilling its patient care mission, Geisinger has a long-standing commitment to medical education, research and community service. For more information, visit, or follow the latest Geisinger news and more on Twitter and Facebook.

About Mission: Lifeline
The American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program helps hospitals and emergency medical services develop systems of care that follow proven standards and procedures for STEMI patients. The program works by mobilizing teams across the continuum of care to implement American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology Foundation clinical treatment guidelines. For more information, visit  and

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