Hedrick Medical Center Awarded for Efforts to Improve Rural Care for Coronary Artery Disease

Chillicothe, Mo. — People who live in rural communities live an average of three years fewer than urban counterparts and have a 40% higher likelihood of developing heart disease. Hedrick Medical Center is committed to changing that.

For efforts to optimize acute cardiac care and eliminate rural health care outcome disparities, Hedrick has received the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines® - Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) Rural Recognition Bronze award for ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI).

The American Heart Association, the world’s leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health for all, recognizes the importance of health care services provided to people living in rural areas by rural hospitals that play a vital role in initiation of timely evidence-based care. For that reason, all rural hospitals participating in Get With The Guidelines® - CAD are eligible to receive award recognition based on a unique methodology focused on suspected non ST-elevation acute coronary syndrome (NSTE-ACS) and/or STEMI performance metrics.

“We are proud that our team at Hedrick Medical Center is being recognized for the important work we do every day to improve the lives of people in north central Missouri who are affected by coronary artery disease, giving them the best chance of survival and the best possible quality of life,” said Catherine Hamilton, administrator at Hedrick Medical Center. “As a hospital in a rural community, we deal with characteristics such as extended distances from receiving hospitals with interventional cardiology services, transportation issues, and bed availability. We've made it a goal to make sure those hurdles do not affect the standard of care our patients receive. Residents in rural communities deserve high-quality emergency cardiac care. I'm proud of our team for their commitment to heart care excellence and this achievement.”

This award recognizes hospitals for their efforts toward care excellence for suspected non ST-elevation acute coronary syndrome care excellence. This is demonstrated by composite score compliance to seven guideline-directed care metrics for STEMI: early recognition of STEMI by electrocardiogram; timely initiation of inter-facility hospital transfer; initiation of a rapid reperfusion strategy by thrombolytic administration and/or primary percutaneous intervention; administration of appropriate antiplatelet and anticoagulant medications prior to transfer.

“Patients and health care professionals in north central Missouri face unique health care challenges and opportunities,” said Karen E. Joynt Maddox, M.D., MPH, volunteer expert for the American Heart Association, co-author on “Call to Action: Rural Health: A Presidential Advisory From the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association” and co-director of the Center for Health Economics and Policy at the Institute for Public Health at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. “Hedrick Medical Center has furthered this important work to improve care for all Americans, regardless of where they live.”