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Highmark Foundation Awards $120,000 to the American Heart Association
Date:2/10/2010

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Heart disease is the leading cause of death among Pennsylvanians, with 17,191 heart attack cases documented last year in Western Pennsylvania alone. The urgency to improve the timeliness and quality of care for cardiac patients is critical.

The Highmark Foundation recently awarded a $120,000 grant to the American Heart Association as one of the first funders of Mission Lifeline, an initiative to advance the systems of care for patients who have experienced the most severe form of heart attack –ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction or STEMI.  

The American College of Cardiology recommends that patients receive an angioplasty within 90 minutes of entering the hospital. There are still some facilities in Western Pennsylvania that do not meet this recommendation.

"Quality of care will not improve without a major emphasis on process improvement and systems change," said Donald Fischer, M.D., Highmark senior vice president and chief medical officer. "Our community has much to gain if we can facilitate the adoption of best practices for STEMI management."

The Highmark Foundation grant dollars will support two components of Mission Lifeline's initiatives as part of the greater effort to improve the care procedures for STEMI patients.

Funds will provide education and training for hospital quality improvement staff in hospitals located throughout 27 counties in Western Pennsylvania. This training will help establish the national standards for understanding and improving the quality, safety and outcomes of cardiac patients.  Emergency medical service technicians and first responders will also be trained to use equi
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SOURCE Highmark Inc.
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