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MRH to get American Heart Association Mission: Lifeline® award

| Date Posted: 8/1/2011

PINEHURST – FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital has qualified for the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® Bronze Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care for heart attack patients that effectively improves the care and survival of STEMI (ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction) patients.

American Heart Association representatives will be at Moore Regional in October to present the award during a meeting of the hospital’s Leadership Council.

Every year, almost 250,000 people experience the STEMI type of heart attack in which the coronary artery is completely blocked off by a blood clot and virtually all of the heart muscle being supplied by the affected artery begins to die as a result.

According to the American Heart Association, a significant number of these patients don’t get prompt reperfusion therapy, which is critical in restoring blood flow to the heart. As a Mission: Lifeline-recognized hospital, Moore Regional has worked to improve care in acute treatment as well as discharge measures by developing timely systems of care that begin with the paramedics who transport STEMI-identified patients to the closest hospital with an appropriate treatment program and continue into the Emergency Department, Cath Lab and, if necessary, operating room.

Before they are discharged from the hospital, appropriate patients at Moore Regional are also started on aggressive risk reduction therapies such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, aspirin, ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers. They also receive tobacco-cessation counseling.

“We are able to coordinate care for the worst heart attack patients from the moment 911 is called until that blockage is identified and opened up in the Cath Lab,” says Matthew Harmody, M.D., medical director for FirstHealth’s Regional EMS System and an emergency physician at Moore Regional Hospital.

“We have multiple health care providers – Telecommunications, paramedics, ED physicians and nurses, cardiologists and the Cath Lab staff – coordinating care in a rapid fashion with communication being extremely important,” he adds. “As soon as EMS arrives on the scene, an EKG and a single phone call put that whole process in motion, whether it’s in the middle of the day or 4 in the morning.”

Hospitals that receive the Mission: Lifeline Bronze Performance Achievement Award have demonstrated for 90 consecutive days that at least 85 percent of eligible STEMI patients are treated within specific time frames upon entering the hospital and discharged following the American Heart Association’s recommended treatment guidelines at Moore Regional. Thirty to 50 STEMI patients are treated at Moore Regional every quarter.
Gloria Paul, R.N., is the nurse clinician in Moore Regional’s Clinical Practice department who coordinates the hospital’s RACE (Reperfusion of Acute MI in Carolina Emergency Departments) program.

“This award is the result of the tremendous dedication and hard work of many individuals,” she says. “Multidisciplinary teamwork among a number of agencies and departments is required to provide the best possible care to all cardiac patients and especially the STEMI patients. This award shows that FirstHealth has demonstrated excellence in STEMI care. It is appropriate that this award comes so soon after the opening of the Reid Heart Center, where patients get state-of-the-art care in a beautiful setting.”

Two FirstHealth-affiliated cardiologists attribute the award to the support of hospital leadership and donors as well as to the staff providing care, pointing out that Moore Regional has a long history of high-level cardiac care.

“I would like to congratulate the Board of Directors of FirstHealth which has challenged us to be the best, then provided us with the necessary tools to succeed,” says Peter L. Duffy, M.D., of Pinehurst Cardiologist Consultants. We appreciate the contribution of Walter and Betty Reid and the FirstHealth Foundation in providing a facility in the Reid Heart Center that rivals any in the world for its physical beauty and accommodation for patients and their families. Only through the strong leadership of our hospital board and administration have we been able to be recognized as being one of the best hospitals in the country for providing cardiac care.

“This is not an individual award, but is shared by each and every person – staff, administration, volunteers, support personnel, physicians, first-responders, EMS personnel, and Cath Lab nurses and technicians – who strive to provide the highest quality of care for their patients each and every day.”

“Twenty years ago, the idea of immediate, direct opening of acutely blocked arteries causing the worst kind of heart attacks was a bold one,” says Joseph L. Parrish, M.D., of Pinehurst Medical Clinic. “At FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital, we started offering this service 24/7 in 1992, well ahead of the national curve. Many small and large advances have occurred since. Yesterday’s cutting edge is now routine. In recent years, the national focus has been on more rapid delivery of this lifesaving service and extending it to remote communities. This award is one measure of quality among many that are important. It signifies that within 90 minutes of hospital arrival, 85 percent of patients are evaluated, have their heart attack diagnosed, resources mobilized, have diagnostic heart catheterization completed, and an interventional cardiac procedure begun, re-establishing blood flow to the heart, limiting further heart damage, and improving survival. This remarkable achievement reflects long commitment and dedication by the combined emergency and cardiac teams at FirstHealth Moore Regional. We are proud to be recognized by the American Heart Association in this way.”

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 clinical treatment guidelines. For more information, visit and For more information on the heart services that are available at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital, visit

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