JOPLIN, Mo. – Mercy Hospital Joplin has received the Mission: Lifeline® Silver Receiving 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.

Every year, more than 250,000 people experience an ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), the most deadly type of heart attack caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment. To prevent death, it’s critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible by mechanically opening the blocked vessel or by providing clot-busting medication.

The American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline goal is to reduce system barriers to prompt treatment for heart attacks. Mercy Hospital Joplin 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.

“Mercy Hospital Joplin 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,” said Dr. William Craig, a board-certified interventional cardiologist and director of Cardiovascular and Imaging Services at Mercy. “We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in cardiac care, and I am very proud of our team.”

Receiving hospitals earn silver recognition for achieving 85 percent or higher composite adherence to all Mission: Lifeline STEMI Receiving Center quality achievement indicators for consecutive 12-month intervals and 75 percent or higher compliance on all Mission: Lifeline STEMI Receiving Center quality measures to improve the quality of care for STEMI patients.

“We commend Mercy Hospital Joplin for this achievement award, which reflects a significant institutional commitment to the highest quality of care for their heart attack patients,” said James G. Jollis, MD, chair of the Mission: Lifeline Advisory Working Group. “Achieving this award means the hospital has met specific reporting and achievement measures for the treatment of their patients who suffer heart attacks and we applaud them for their commitment to quality and timely care.”

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 heart.org.

Mercy Joplin includes Mercy Hospital Joplin, a new hospital with the latest technology, unprecedented “storm-hardened” features and 240 beds, as well as 82 clinic and outpatient locations and more than 100 physicians. It’s part of Mercy, named one of the top five large U.S. health systems in 2017 by Truven, an IBM Watson Health company, serves millions annually. Mercy includes 44 acute care and specialty (heart, children’s, orthopedic and rehab) hospitals, more than 700 physician practices and outpatient facilities, 40,000 co-workers and more than 2,000 Mercy Clinic physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.