Cook County Health received two major awards from the American Heart Association – the Mission: Lifeline® STEMI Receiving Center Gold Award and the Get With The Guidelines® Heart Failure Silver Award with Target Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll. Both awards signify the health system’s efficient and effective high quality of care for both heart attack and heart failure patients.

“Ensuring speedy, state-of-the-art heart care is at the core of Cook County Health’s cardiology services,” said Dr. Rami Doukky, chair of cardiology for Cook County Health. “For many of our heart patients, their first point of contact of heart care is when they have suffered a cardiac event, and we want to ensure they go on to live healthy, productive lives.”

Each year, more than 250,000 people experience a 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 is critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, either by mechanically opening the blocked vessel or by providing clot-busting medication.

The American Heart Association’s Missing Lifeline program’s goal is to reduce system barriers to prompt treatment for heart attacks following protocols from the most recent evidence-based treatment guidelines.

The second award is the Get With The Guidelines Heart Failure initiative, which recognizes a hospital’s commitment to ensuring heart failure patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines found in the latest scientific evidence.

The goal is speeding recovery and reducing hospital readmissions for heart failure patients. To be awarded with the additional Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll, Cook County Health had to meet quality measures developed with more than 90 percent of compliance for 12 consecutive months.

“As COVID-19 continues to plague our communities, now more than ever, heart care is essential,” Dr. Doukky said. “Patients with pre-existing heart conditions are at an increased risk of complications from the virus, so it imperative that our patients take the best care of their hearts, and the cardiology team at Cook County Health is here to do that.”

Elizabeth Pedersen, Communications Manager