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SJCH Earns American Heart Association's Mission: Lifeline Award for Heart Attack Care

Awards & Recognition The Chest Pain Center at San Joaquin Community Hospital (SJCH) has qualified to be Kern County’s first and only recipient of the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline Bronze Performance Achievement Award.

The award recognizes SJCH’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care for heart attack patients that effectively improves the survival and care of STEMI (ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction) patients. Every year, almost 400,000 people experience the STEMI type of heart attack.

Unfortunately, a significant number don’t receive prompt reperfusion therapy, which is critical in restoring blood flow. Mission: Lifeline seeks to save lives by closing the gaps that separate STEMI patients from timely access to appropriate treatments. The program focuses on improving the system of care for these patients and, at the same time, improving care for all heart attack patients.

Hospitals involved in Mission: Lifeline strive to improve care in both acute treatment measures and discharge measures. Systems of care are developed that close the gap of timely access to appropriate, life-saving treatments. Before they are discharged, appropriate patients are started on aggressive risk reduction therapies such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, aspirin, ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers in the hospital and receive smoking cessation counseling.
Hospitals that receive the Mission: Lifeline Bronze Performance Achievement Award have Demonstrated that for 90 consecutive days, at least 85 percent of eligible STEMI patients (without contraindications) are treated within specific time frames upon entering the hospital and discharged following the American Heart Association’s recommended treatment guidelines.

“SJCH is dedicated to making our cardiac unit among the best in the country, and the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program is helping us accomplish that by making it easier for our professionals to improve the outcomes of our cardiac patients,” said Stella Williams, RN and SJCH Chest Pain Center coordinator. “We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in cardiac care.”

About SJCH’s Chest Pain Center:
SJCH’s Chest Pain Center received full Cycle II accreditation with Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) from the Chest Pain Accreditation Review Committee in June 2009. The accreditation expires in June 2012. With the addition of the Nationally Accredited Chest Pain Center, SJCH becomes the first hospital between Los Angeles and San Francisco to house both a Nationally Accredited Chest Pain Center and Nationally Certified Stroke Center.

The Chest Pain Center’s protocol-driven and systematic approach to patient management allows physicians to reduce time to treatment during the critical early stages of a heart attack, when treatments are most effective, and to better monitor patients when it is not clear whether they are having a coronary event. Such observation helps ensure that a patient is neither sent home too early nor needlessly admitted.

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 clinical treatment guidelines. For more information, visit and