WHEELING -- Wheeling Hospital's commitment to excellence in cardiac care has been recognized by being reaccredited as a Mission: Lifeline Heart Attack Receiving Center for its treatment of the most severe type of heart attack.

The accreditation program sponsored by the American Heart Association (AHA) and the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC) recognizes centers that meet or exceed quality of care measures for people experiencing the most severe type of heart attack, ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), in which blood flow is completely blocked to a portion of the heart.

Wheeling Hospital underwent numerous on-site reviews by accreditation specialists from the SCPC. Key areas in which the hospital demonstrated exceptional quality of care to receive accreditation include:

° Community outreach and education.

° EMS outreach and education.

° Meeting or exceeding performing balloon angioplasty within the required time from the moment a heart attack patient enters the hospital until the procedure is performed.

° Insuring administration of proper medications and treatments throughout the continuum of care.

As a result, Wheeling Hospital will display the American Heart Association Mission: Lifeline ° Heart Attack Receiving Center Accreditation certification mark.

"Wheeling Hospital is thoroughly committed to providing our patients the highest quality cardiac care centered on current scientific research," said hospital CEO Ron Violi. "The American Heart Association's Mission: Lifeline° Heart Attack Receiving Center Accreditation has highlighted our accomplishments and will improve the overall treatment and care for our patients."

Tish Holden, coordinator of Quality Management at Wheeling Hospital and Mission: Lifeline regional coordinator, and Susie Fullerton, RN, Chest Pain Center coordinator, are responsible for maintaining the data that is submitted to AHA, which, in turn, analyzes it and makes its reaccreditation determination.

Through its accreditation program, the AHA hopes to significantly reduce cardiac death by teaching the public to recognize and react to early symptoms of a heart attack, reduce the time it takes to receive lifesaving treatment and increase the accuracy and effectiveness of treatment administered.