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 Gold-Plus 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.

“Meeting the high standards of care set forth by the American Heart Association is truly a remarkable accomplishment, and I am proud of the outstanding cardiology team we have built at Cook County Health,” said Israel Rocha Jr, CEO for Cook County Health. “This dynamic team is led by collaborative and innovative physicians, advocating for and ensuring our patients get the highest quality of care possible.”

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 for 12 consecutive months.

“Treating patients who are suffering a heart attack is a matter of life and death,” said Dr. Rami Doukky, chair of cardiology for Cook County Health. “For many patients having a heart attack or another cardiac event, Cook County Health is the first point of care, and we want to ensure the best outcomes for our patients.”

Elizabeth Pedersen, Communications Manager