UVA Earns Two National Awards for Quality Heart Attack Care

November 16 2019
UVA Medical Center

The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology have honored UVA Health with two national awards for meeting national standards for providing high-quality, prompt care for patients suffering heart attacks.

“Our multidisciplinary team begins preparing to care for heart attack patients even before they arrive to the hospital, then works with patients during their hospital stay and after they head home to assist them in their recovery,” said Lawrence Gimple, MD, director of clinical cardiology at the UVA Heart and Vascular Center. “I’m proud to be part of a team that is always available to provide the care our patients need.”

Local rescue squads and UVA have developed an alert system that notifies UVA care providers when a patient suffering a STEMI is en route to the medical center so that care providers are able to begin treatment as soon as a patient arrives. Located inside the Emergency Department, UVA’s Chest Pain Center allows patients who may be suffering a heart attack to receive prompt diagnosis and care from a team that includes cardiologists, emergency medicine physicians and pharmacists.

As part of their follow-up care, patients who suffered a heart attack are scheduled for a follow-up visit one week after they leave the hospital at the UVA Heart Attack Recovery Clinic. A cardiologist, exercise physiologist, pharmacist and dietitian work with patients on a plan for their recovery.

This coordinated care helps UVA’s team meet national standards for heart attack care, including:

  • Opening blocked arteries within 90 minutes for patients having a serious type of heart attack known as a ST-elevated myocardial infarction (STEMI).
  • Ensuring all recommended medications are prescribed when patients leave the hospital.
  • Referring patients to an outpatient heart rehabilitation program.
  • Testing patients’ heart function before they are discharged from the hospital.
  • Counseling patients on how to quit smoking.

“Our team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and every day of the year to provide well-coordinated, high-quality care for every patient suffering a heart attack,” said Pamela M. Sutton-Wallace, acting executive vice president for health affairs at UVA and chief executive officer of UVA Medical Center. “These awards highlight their commitment to helping every patient recover from a heart attack.”

The awards earned by UVA are the Mission: Lifeline Gold NSTEMI award from the American Heart Association and the NCDR Chest Pain – MI Registry Platinum Performance Achievement Award from the American College of Cardiology.


Eric Swensen
Public Information Officer
Phone: 434.924.5770