Bristol Regional, Holston Valley Recognized By American
Heart Association For Heart Care
Superior cardiovascular care from the Wellmont CVA Heart Institute, which bolsters quality of
life for the region’s patients, is achieving special recognition from the
American Heart Association for prompt and effective heart attack treatment.
Bristol Regional Medical Center earned the Gold award in
the Mission: Lifeline program administered by the national organization. The
hospital is the only one in Tennessee and Virginia to attain this remarkable
status, reinforcing the quality of care it delivers at the Alpha Natural
Resources Center for Interventional Cardiology.
“This is an incredible honor for the dedicated and
compassionate physicians, nurses, first responders and other caregivers who
take great pride in improving the lives of our patients,” said Dr. Pierre
Istfan, an interventional cardiologist with the heart institute and medical
director of the cardiac catheterization lab at Bristol Regional. “This award
will continue to assure our patients that they are in superior hands when they
come to Bristol Regional and need urgent life-saving care.”
Holston Valley Medical Center received the Silver award,
demonstrating again that the heart institute is the go-to organization for the
best cardiovascular care in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.
“We have excellent processes in place that enable us to
provide the best care possible to our patients,” said Dr. Herb Ladley, another
interventional cardiologist with the heart institute, who practices at Holston
Valley. “It is part of a relentless pursuit of excellence on everyone’s part at
Holston Valley to achieve the best outcomes for patients.”
The heart institute celebrated the honors the two hospitals
achieved at a ceremony Tuesday, Sept. 10, at MeadowView Conference Resort &
Convention Center. At the event, the two hospitals received their awards from
the American Heart Association, and physicians noted that their commitment to
continuous improvement would continue.
Bristol Regional collected the Gold award for compiling a composite
score of 85 percent or greater on Mission: Lifeline quality achievement
indicators for heart attack patients for two consecutive calendar years.
Holston Valley received the Silver award for meeting this standard for one
“It’s no accident Bristol Regional and Holston Valley
continue to capture the attention of national organizations that evaluate
quality of care,” said Dr. Jerry Blackwell, a medical doctor and the heart
institute’s president. “You will never see our physicians and other medical
professionals resting on their laurels because they know they can still improve
to make the outcome even better for the patient.”
One of the keys to successful treatment of heart attack
patients is the Level One Heart Attack Network. This heart institute
program is a coordinated effort between caregivers at the scene, the emergency
department and the cardiac catheterization lab at the hospital.
This program empowers medical professionals in the field to
perform electrocardiograms on a patient and transmit the test to the emergency
department for evaluation. This enables a physician in the emergency department
to confirm a heart attack during patient transport, so the cardiac
catheterization lab can be mobilized to work on a patient as he or she arrives.
This innovative system has enabled Bristol Regional and
Holston Valley to be able to restore blood flow in a clogged artery in as
little as 15 minutes. Dr. Istfan and Dr. Ladley, both medical doctors who serve
as medical directors for the heart attack network at their respective
hospitals, said external caregivers play an integral role in helping Bristol
Regional and Holston Valley treat patients so efficiently and effectively.
Dr. Ladley’s dedication to the heart attack network led to
his recent receipt of a regional award for a physician making an outstanding
contribution to emergency medical services in Virginia.
“People may sometimes wonder whether they need to get in
their car and head to a large city for high-caliber heart care,” Dr. Blackwell
said. “But when they review the rigorous standards everyone associated with the
Level One Heart Attack Network utilizes, the answer is obvious. They can stay
right at home and receive as good, if not better, care at Bristol Regional or
Holston Valley and from emergency personnel in the field.”