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Grant will Enhance Heart Attack Care in Rural Iowa

Mar 02, 2015 04:53PM ● By MED Magazine

The American Heart Association, Midwest Affiliate, has received a $4.6 million grant award from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust to enhance systems of care, save lives, and improve outcomes for heart attack patients in rural Iowa through a program called Mission: Lifeline

"This initiative represents a significant investment in Iowa's healthcare system, especially in our rural areas," said Dr. Patricia Quinlisk, Medical Director for Iowa Department of Public Health.

Mission: Lifeline is designed to help identify the gaps that lead to slower and less effective patient care and closes those gaps through change in protocols, processes and equipment. It will be implemented over three years in collaboration with Iowa's health systems, hospital networks, EMS providers, and the State of Iowa's Department of Public Health, including the Division of Acute Disease Prevention, Emergency Response, and Environmental Health and the Bureau of Emergency and Trauma Services and other funders.

“This program provides the roadmap for enhanced cardiac care in rural Iowa with training, equipment and by providing a standard of care previously offered only in urban areas,” said Brian Jacobsen, Siouxland Paramedics Operation Director. “Evidence has shown that when EMS partners with hospitals to reduce door to device times, lives are saved.”

In collaboration with stakeholders representing hospitals, individual ambulance services and the state of Iowa, 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 and/or transfer of patients; and a public education campaign on heart attack signs and symptoms and the need to activate the 9-1-1 system. Targeted funding will be provided to assist hospitals and ambulance services in acquiring essential ECG equipment and training.

According to statistics provided by the Iowa Department of Health, cardiovascular diseases (including stroke) are the leading cause of death in Iowa. The Helmsley Charitable Trust and the AHA launched Mission: Lifeline in South Dakota in 2010. Since then five other states have implemented the program including North Dakota, Wyoming, Minnesota, Nebraska and Montana.