Great River Medical Center receives $105,250 American Heart Association grant

Great River Medical Center has received a $105,250 American Heart Association grant to support its participation in Mission: Lifeline, the association’s community-based initiative aimed at improving the system of care for heart attack patients throughout rural Iowa.

About 30 percent of heart attacks are the most serious type – ST-elevated myocardial infarction, or STEMI, in which blood flow is completely blocked to part of the heart. Unless the blockage is eliminated quickly, patients’ lives are at serious risk. Mission: Lifeline seeks to save lives by closing the gaps that separate heart attack patients from timely access to appropriate treatments.

Great River Medical Center will use the grant to enhance wireless technology for receiving patients’ heart rhythms transmitted before patients arrive at the hospital by ambulance. The American Heart Association will award the grant over three years.

Great River Medical Center is one of 13 hospitals participating in Mission: Lifeline. Abdullah Alwahdani, M.D., director of cardiology at Great River Health Systems, is one of three chairmen of the Mission: Lifeline task force.

“We are grateful to the American Heart Association and the Helmsley Charitable Trust for this grant,” Dr. Alwahdani said. “We will now have the opportunity to identify a heart attack faster, and provide lifesaving treatments before significant damage, or even death occurs. Mission: Lifeline has expanded the reach of hospitals that perform angioplasty and stenting, like Great River Medical Center, and its tools, education and resources are improving treatment times. The result is access to the most-advanced heart attack care for patients in Iowa, regardless of location.”

Mission: Lifeline will enhance many critical elements of STEMI care, including

  • Coordinating protocols for rural emergency medical services and hospital providers
  • Developing regional plans for rapid patient transport
  • Educating the public about heart attack symptoms and the need to call 9-1-1
  • Ongoing medical provider training
  • Participating in a systemwide data tool for quality measurement and improvement

A $4.6 million grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust supports the $6.1 million Mission: Lifeline project.