Mission: Lifeline

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Mission: Lifeline

UnityPoint Health - Allen Hospital has been awarded a $105,200 grant as part of Mission: Lifeline, an American Heart Association community-based initiative aimed at improving the system of care for heart attack patients throughout rural Iowa.

Each year, hundreds of thousands of Americans have the most serious type of heart attack known as an ST-elevated myocardial infarction, or STEMI, in which blood flow is completely blocked to a portion of the heart. Unless the blockage is eliminated quickly, the patient's life is at serious risk. Currently, around two-thirds of STEMI patients fail to receive the best available treatments to restore blood flow. Mission: Lifeline seeks to save lives by closing the gaps that separate STEMI patients from timely access to appropriate treatments.

Hospitals involved in Mission: Lifeline are part of a system that ensures STEMI patients get the right care they need, as quickly as possible. Mission: Lifeline focuses on improving the system of care for these patients and, at the same time, improving care for all heart attack patients in Iowa.

"The reach of cardiac emergency hospitals is expanding and treatment times have been optimized with the tools, education, and resources of Mission: Lifeline," said Paula Geise, executive director of cardiovascular services. "The result is access to the most advanced STEMI care for all patients in Iowa, regardless of location."

In collaboration with stakeholders representing hospitals, individual ambulance services and regional EMS Medical Directors, the project will enhance many critical elements of an optimal STEMI system of care: a system-wide data tool for quality measurement and improvement; ongoing medical provider training and STEMI education; coordination of protocols for rural EMS and hospital personnel; regional plans for rapid transport of patients; and a public education campaign on heart attack symptoms and the need to call 9-1-1. Funding focused on enhancing rural systems is being awarded for hospitals and ambulance services to enhance 12 L ECG equipment and training.

The program is made possible by $6.1 million in funding, including a $4.6 million grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. To learn more about Allen Hospital heart care, visit www.unitypoint.org/waterloo/heart-care