Heart heroes: Mississippi hospitals win big with American Heart Association

Published 4:35 pm Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Two leading hospitals close to Oxford and Lafayette County, the North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo and the Baptist Memorial Hospital DeSoto in Southaven have gained prominent recognition from the American Heart Association for their outstanding commitment to enhancing cardiovascular care.

These establishments are among the 2,671 health care and emergency response organizations, an increase from last year, acknowledged for implementing evidence-based, efficient and coordinated care. While 18 hospitals across Mississippi received such accolades, these two, in particular, serve the region neighboring Oxford and Lafayette County.

The American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines® and Mission: Lifeline® programs laud hospitals that exhibit “dedication to elevating care quality and diminishing delays in treatment, contributing to greater survival rates and faster recoveries. These recognitions span various cardiovascular conditions, with awards varying from gold plus to bronze based on specific criteria met.”

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Dr. Joseph Wu, the volunteer president of the American Heart Association and a renowned faculty member at Stanford University, emphasized the significance of following contemporary, research-driven standards. “These programs help hospitals ensure each of their patients has the best chance of survival and the highest quality of life possible,” Wu said.

North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo received the following:

  • Target: Stroke™ Honor Roll Elite for swiftly treating 85 percent or more of their eligible stroke patients within an hour
  • Get With The Guidelines: Gold Plus Achievement for two consecutive years of high adherence to stroke-related measures
  • Get With The Guidelines: Silver Achievement for a year of commendable performance in resuscitation

Baptist Memorial Hospital DeSoto was honored with the following:

  • Get With The Guidelines: Gold Plus Achievement for two successive years of strict adherence to stroke guidelines.
  • Target: Type 2 Diabetes™ Honor Roll for illustrating a year-long adherence to diabetes cardiovascular care standards.

Heart disease and stroke remain leading causes of death in the U.S., with a cardiovascular event occurring every 40 seconds. The American Heart Association’s continuous effort “ensures that hospitals, irrespective of their location, meet rigorous standards, enabling patients to experience longer, healthier lives. In 2020, fatalities due to cardiovascular disease peaked since 2003, with communities of color disproportionately affected. The recognition not only underscores the value of keeping high standards in health care, but also reinforces the American Heart Association’s two-decade-long mission of providing equitable, research-based care to heart and stroke patients across the nation.”