RIVERDALE — Southern Regional Medical Center has received the Mission: Lifeline Regional STEMI Trailblazer Achievement Award as a part of the Greater Metro Atlanta Region from the American Heart Association. The award is presented for implementing specific quality improvement measures at a regional level as outlined by the association for treating patients who suffer severe heart attacks. This is the first year the association has recognized regional achievement as part of its awards program for quality patient care.

Earlier this year, the hospital earned two Gold Awards for heart attack and stroke care from the AHA.

“We are honored that our STEMI team is being recognized as part of this Regional Trailblazer Achievement Award,” said Charlotte W. Dupré, president and CEO of Southern Regional Medical Center. “It is a testament to our partnership with local EMS and the collaborative commitment to high-quality care that we provide our heart attack patients.”

The American Heart Association Mission: Lifeline program’s goal is to reduce system barriers to prompt treatment for heart attacks, beginning with the 9-1-1 call, to EMS transport and continuing through hospital treatment and discharge. The initiative provides tools, training and other resources to support heart attack care following protocols from the most recent evidence-based treatment guidelines and encourages EMS, STEMI Receiving Centers, STEMI Referring Hospitals and other key stakeholders coming together to implement the “optimal” STEMI System of Care.

“Receiving yet another award for our cardiac care, shows how truly committed Southern Regional is to meeting and exceeding the standards for delivering the best possible outcomes for our heart patients,” said Dr. Vikram Mandadi, Southern Regional Medical Center’s chief medical officer and interventional cardiologist.

“These regions receiving the Mission: Lifeline Regional Trailblazer award are pioneers in STEMI Systems of Care implementation and are leading the way in care coordination, use of evidence-based care guidelines and coming together to assure a high-quality functioning STEMI System of Care.” said Alice Jacobs, professor of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine and chair, GWTG-CAD Systems of Care Advisory Work Group.

Every year, more than 250,000 people experience an ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), the deadliest 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, either by mechanically opening the blocked vessel or by providing clot-busting medication.

Education reporter Heather Middleton joined the Clayton News and Henry Herald in 2002.

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