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The Methodist DeBakey Heart Center receives American Heart Association achievement award

Houston, TX - 6/28/2007

The Methodist DeBakey Heart Center is the first hospital in Texas to receive the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines–Coronary Artery Disease (GWTG-CAD) Sustained Performance Achievement Award, the organization’s highest level of GWTG recognition. The award recognizes Methodist’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of cardiac care that improves treatment of patients hospitalized with coronary artery disease.

To receive the award, Methodist consistently complied for 24 or more months with the requirements in the GWTG–CAD program. Under the GWTG–CAD program, patients are started on aggressive risk reduction therapies such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, aspirin, ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers in the hospital and receive smoking cessation and weight management counseling and referrals for cardiac rehabilitation before they are discharged. Hospitals that receive the award have demonstrated that during 24 or more consecutive months at least 85 percent of its eligible coronary patients (without contraindications) are discharged following the American Heart Association’s recommended treatments.

“The American Heart Association applauds the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center for its success in implementing the appropriate standards of care and protocols to reduce the number of recurrent events in coronary patients,” said Gray Ellrodt, M.D., the American Heart Association volunteer chairman for the national Get With The GuidelinesSM. “Methodist is well above the national average in terms of implementing these life-saving treatments.”

Projections have shown that implementation of cardiovascular disease secondary prevention guidelines nationwide, as promoted in the GWTG–CAD program, could result in saving more than 80,000 lives each year.

“Methodist is dedicated to making our cardiac unit among the best in the country, and the American Heart Association’s Get With The GuidelinesSM program is helping us accomplish that by making it easier for our professionals to improve the long-term outcomes of our cardiac patients,” said Dr. Al Raizner, interventional cardiologist at Methodist. “We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in cardiac care.”

According to the American Heart Association, more than 450,000 people suffer recurrent heart attacks each year. Statistics also show that within one year of an attack, 25 percent of men and 38 percent of women will die. Within six years after a heart attack, about 22 percent of men and 46 percent of women will be disabled with heart failure.