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SJCH's Chest Pain Center and Stroke Centers Honored with Performance Awards From the American Heart and Stroke Association

Heart Health

This morning a press conference was held to officially recognize the significant achievements of The Stroke Center and Chest Pain Center at San Joaquin Community Hospital (SJCH) by the American Heart and American Stroke Associations.

Cori Kitchen, business development director of the American Heart Association, presented the awards. In attendance to accept the awards, along with their respective teams, were Michelle Hartshorn, Stroke Center Coordinator; and Stella Williams, Chest Pain Center Coordinator.

Awards Presented:

Stroke Center at SJCH

  • Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award: As a recipient of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award SJCH’s commitment and success is recognized, in implementing excellent care for stroke patients, improving patient care and outcomes. On average someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds. The goal of participating in Get With The Guidelines is to save lives.
  • “Recent studies show that patients treated in hospitals participating in the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke program receive a higher quality of care and may experience better outcomes,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., chair of the Get With The Guidelines National Steering Committee and director of the TeleStroke and Acute Stroke Services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Mass.
Chest Pain Center at SJCH
  • Silver Performance Achievement Award: The Accredited Chest Pain Center at San Joaquin Community Hospital (SJCH) has received the ACTION Registry – GWTG Silver Performance Achievement Award. This National Cardiovascular Data Registry award recognizes participating hospitals that have maintained a rate of 90% or better for four consecutive quarters.

    “SJCH is dedicated to making our cardiac unit among the best in the country, and this Silver Performance Achievement Award confirms that we continue to excel and to improve the outcomes of our cardiac patients,” said Stella Williams, SJCH’s Chest Pain Center coordinator.
  • Mission Lifeline Bronze Award: The Chest Pain Center at SJCH also received the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® Bronze Receiving Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes SJCH’s commitment and success in implementing a high standard of care for heart attack patients. As a “STEMI Receiving Hospital,” SJCH meets high standards of performance in quick and appropriate treatment of STEMI patients to open the blocked artery. Before they are discharged, patients 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. Hospitals must adhere to these guidelines-based measures at a set level for a designated period of time to be eligible for the achievement awards.
Stella Williams, Chest Pain Center coordinator at SJCH.

Williams received the American Heart Association Volunteer Appreciation Award at today’s press conference, which was a special surprise to her. Williams is a member of the Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing, the recently elected president of the Kern Division of the American Heart and Stroke Association board of directors, and is involved in leadership development programs. She has also been a true advocate for both Mission Lifeline and ACTION Registry – GWTG and received the Emergency Nurse of the Year Award in Kern County in 2008 and RN of the year in Community Health at San Joaquin Community Hospital in 2012.

“I have a true passion for my work and always want to do what is best for our patients and the heart health of our community.” Williams stated after receiving the award.

For more information on SJCH’s Chest Pain and Stroke centers, please visit our website at