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Parkwest Medical Center Recognized for Outstanding Stroke and Heart Care

Stroke team outside
Members of Parkwest Medical Center’s Stroke Team.

Each year the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association recognize hospitals’ achievements in providing excellent care for patients experiencing stroke and heart events. The  AHA/ASA’s Get With The Guidelines® and Mission: Lifeline® Quality Achievement Awards are  granted according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines and scientific evidence
related to these events.

Parkwest's Heart team
Members of Parkwest Medical Center’s Cardiology Team.

Parkwest Medical Center recently received four quality achievement awards:  two in the area of stroke treatment and two in the area of cardiac care. The awards recognize  Parkwest’s commitment to ensuring stroke and heart patients receive the most appropriate  treatment in accordance with national guidelines.

With a Stroke, Every Minute Counts

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association notes that stroke is the fifth highest cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone in
the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds, and nearly 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent  stroke each year. Parkwest Medical Center is designated as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center,  which means the hospital has a dedicated stroke-focused team with qualified medical professionals and staff trained in stroke care. The hospital staff provides individualized care to meet the  needs of stroke patients, and can often stabilize and successfully treat patients with tPA as  well as facilitate the need for emergent endovas- cular therapy if needed. tPA is a clot-busting medicine and the only agent approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to  treat ischemic stroke.

Parkwest recently received the Association’s Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Silver Plus with  Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus Award. To qualify for this recognition, hospitals must meet
quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with tPA.

silver plus award

Parkwest also received the Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Target: Type 2 Diabetes  Honor Roll Award. To qualify for this recognition, hospitals must demonstrate 12 consecutive months of more than 90 percent compliance with established quality measures for the “Overall Diabetes Cardiovascular Initiative Composite Score.”

Parkwest Medical Center earned these recognitions by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and
treatment of stroke patients for a designated period. The measures include evaluation of the proper use of medications and other stroke treatments aligned with the most up-to-date, evidence-based  guidelines. The overall goal is speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients.

Tennille Creekmore, stroke coordinator, says, “This award is validation of the excellent  care that our stroke patients are provided every day. We are happy to share this award with the public and want them to know  we will continue to strive for excellence in the care that we provide.”

Lead with the Heart

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. 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.

Parkwest received the Get with the Guidelines® CAD/ Mission: Lifeline® STEMI Gold  Receiving Plus Award for timely treatment of heart attack patients through emergency procedures to re-establish blood flow to blocked arteries. In addition, Parkwest  received the Mission: Lifeline® NSTEMI Gold Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who suffer  from heart attacks.

GOLD NStemi Award

The American Heart Association created the Mission: Lifeline® program to support heart attack care using protocols from the most recent evidence-based treatment guide- lines. The goal of this initiative is prompt  treatment for heart attacks, beginning with calling 911, followed by EMS transport and continuing through
hospital treatment and discharge.

“This recognition means we are providing top-notch care to those in our community who are  experiencing a serious cardiac event,” said Christine Hoffman, Parkwest’s cath lab manager. “Our  skilled physicians and team of experts put their hearts in their work, and are honored to assist  the community in saving lives. We are ready to serve the needs of our patients in their time of  crisis and always put our patients first by providing excellent care and striving for optimal outcomes.”

Gold Plus award

“Achievement of these performance standards con- firms that we are on track in upholding the  highest standard of care for stroke and cardiovascular patients,” said Neil Heatherly, chief  administrative officer at Parkwest Medical Center. “It inspires us to continue refining our  processes in order to offer our community the best stroke and cardiovascular care available. Our  clinicians are held to the highest standards of patient care and quality. We continue to meet  and exceed those standards and are extraordinarily proud of our team.”

With elite cardiologists and specialty trained staff, excel- lent cardiac catheterization  facilities and surgery suites, and superior cardiac rehabilitation programs, Parkwest  consistently has been named a top-performing heart hospital for cardiac services. For more  information visit

What is a Stroke?

A stroke occurs when the blood flow to an area of the brain is interrupted by a blocked or broken  blood vessel. When a stroke occurs, it kills brain cells in the immediate area.

When the brain cells die, they release chemicals that set off a chain reaction that endangers brain cells in a larger surrounding area of brain tissue. Without prompt medical treatment, this larger area will also die. When brain cells die, the abilities that area of the brain controls are lost or impaired. The degree of recovery depends on the amount of brain cell death. If you are experiencing stroke like symptoms, please call 911 immediately.

Signs of  Heart Attack

A heart attack, also called a myocardial infarction, happens when a part of the heart muscle  doesn’t get enough blood. The more time that passes without treatment to restore blood flow, the
greater the damage to the heart muscle. Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the main cause of heart  attack. A less common cause
is a severe spasm, or sudden contraction, of a coronary artery that can stop blood flow to the  heart muscle.

Common heart attack signs and symptoms include:

  • Chest pain or discomfort, also felt as pressure, tightness, or a squeezing or aching sensation in your chest or arms that may spread to your neck, jaw or back
  • Feeling weak, light-headed or faint, sudden dizziness
  • Nausea, indigestion, heartburn or abdominal pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold sweat

If you or a loved one experiences these symptoms, time is critical. Call 911 immediately.

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