POLSON — Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Polson, Montana was recognized with the Cardiac Recognition Award at the Montana Hospital Association’s annual virtual meeting in early October. The Cardiac Recognition Award is sponsored by the Cardiovascular Health Program within the state health department. The Recognition Award singles out Critical Access Hospitals who demonstrate that they have the infrastructure and commitment to provide high quality care for patients with acute coronary syndrome, which includes heart attack. Receiving the Cardiac Recognition confirms Providence St. Joseph Medical Center meets high standards related to the utilization of evidence-based cardiac order-sets and protocols, provides laboratory services 24/7, has a well thought out transfer protocol and has administrative commitment to treating heart attack patients. 

This is the 10th year that the Cardiac Recognition Award was presented, and Providence St. Joseph Medical Center is one of 21 Critical Access Hospitals to qualify for the award. Requirements for the recognition include tracking and reporting key cardiac outcomes, using outcomes data to initiate quality improvement activities and coordinating regular healthcare provider cardiac trainings.

Heart disease is a leading cause of death in both the Montana and the United States. Last year, over 3,000 Montanans died from the impact of heart disease. Symptom recognition and timely, high quality treatment are important factors in reducing death from heart attack. 

Know the signs and symptoms of heart attack:

* Discomfort in the chest that does not go away after a short period of time

* Discomfort in the arm, shoulder, jaw or upper back

* Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort

* Breaking out into a cold sweat, unexplained nausea, dizziness, palpitations or fatigue

Know what to do if you or someone you know experience heart attack symptoms:

* Call 9-1-1 immediately

For more information about heart disease, please visit: www.heart.org

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