Press Releases & Announcements

Western Connecticut Health Network Affiliates - EMS Receives American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline EMS Recognition Award

Tuesday, May 27, 2014 - Danbury, CT

Mission: Lifeline Recognition

Western Connecticut Health Network Affiliates - Emergency Medical Services has received the American Heart Association's Mission: Lifeline EMS Silver Award, currently the highest level recognition offered by the American Hospital Association, that recognizes its commitment and success in implementing specific quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who suffer a severe heart attack known as a STEMI (ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction).

Every year, almost 300,000 people experience a STEMI, a type of heart attack caused by a complete blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment. To prevent significant heart damage and possible death, it is critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, either by performing a cardiac catheterization to place a stent to open the blocked vessel or by giving clot-busting medication.

Unfortunately, a significant number of patients don't receive prompt reperfusion therapy, which is critical in restoring blood flow. Mission: Lifeline seeks to save lives by closing the gaps that separate STEMI patients from timely access to appropriate treatments. Mission: Lifeline's new EMS recognition program recognizes those emergency responders for their efforts in improving STEMI systems of care and improving the quality of life for these patients.

Emergency Medical Service providers are vital to the success of Mission: Lifeline. EMS agencies provide education in STEMI identification and access to 12-lead electrocardiogram machines and follow protocols derived from American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology guidelines. The correct tools and training allow EMS providers to rapidly identify the patient with STEMI, promptly notify the medical center and trigger an earlier response from the appropriate hospital personnel.

Agencies that receive the Mission: Lifeline Silver award have demonstrated at least 75 percent compliance for each required achievement measure for the entire year, and treat at least eight STEMI patients for the year. In 2013, more than sixty patients with STEMI were transported to Danbury Hospital by the regional EMS providers.

"We commend Western Connecticut Health Network Affiliates - Emergency Medical Services for this achievement award, which reflects a significant commitment to improve the quality of care for heart attack patients," said A. Gray Ellrodt, MD, Chair of the Mission: Lifeline committee and Chief of Medicine at the Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, Mass. "All too many heart attack patients in the United States still fail to receive appropriate treatment for their life-threatening condition within the recommended timeframes. We must all continue this important work to streamline and coordinate regional systems of care to save lives and prevent complications."

"Western Connecticut Health Network Affiliates - Emergency Medical Services is dedicated to making our unit among the best in the country, and the American Heart Association's Mission: Lifeline program is helping us accomplish that by implementing processes for improving STEMI systems of care with the goal of improving the quality of care for all STEMI patients," said John M. Murphy, M.D., President and CEO of Western Connecticut Health Network. "We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in emergency medical care for STEMI patients."

About WCHN Affiliates - Emergency Medical Services

Western Connecticut Health Network Affiliates - Emergency Medical Services serves to improve the health and well-being of the community that often requires a focus on the needs of individuals and families where they live and work - outside of the health care facilities that make up WCHN. In fact, the health of the community is often dependent upon what happens before and after a patient uses the hospital or one of the many WCHN locations for outpatient care.

For more than 20 years, WCHN has provided contracted Emergency Medical Services (EMS) - including emergency medical treatment and transportation - in collaboration with Danbury Hospital and New Milford Hospital - for people and municipalities throughout the region. Using state-of-the-art vehicles, advanced pre-hospital procedures and supplies, and highly trained personnel, our primary focus is responding to 9-1-1 medical emergencies. WCHN Affiliates - Emergency Medical Services also provide public education and medical training, activities for injury and illness prevention, and emergency preparedness for the City of Danbury.

About Mission: Lifeline

The American Heart Association's Mission: Lifeline program helps hospitals and emergency medical services develop systems of care that follow proven standards and procedures for STEMI patients. The program works by mobilizing teams across the continuum of care to implement American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology clinical treatment guidelines.

About Western Connecticut Health Network

Western Connecticut Health Network is the region's premier, patient-centered health care organization serving residents of Western Connecticut and adjacent New York. With this recent affiliation, the organization is now anchored by three nationally recognized hospitals, Danbury Hospital, New Milford Hospital and Norwalk Hospital, as well as their affiliated organizations. In addition to the three hospitals, the continuum of care offered includes numerous medical practices and sub-specialties across the region, home health care services, a nationally renowned biomedical research institute, the Western Connecticut Health Network Foundation, the Norwalk Hospital Foundation and other affiliates. For more information, visit Share your comments with us at; and/or