SUMMERDALE - Recently, Medstar EMS and Medstar Air were awarded National Ambulance Awards for Heart Attack Care, while Medstar paramedic Brad Jernigan received WKRG-TV’s Smiles Behind the Shield …
SUMMERDALE - Recently, Medstar EMS and Medstar Air were awarded National Ambulance Awards for Heart Attack Care, while Medstar paramedic Brad Jernigan received WKRG-TV’s Smiles Behind the Shield recognition, the first Medstar team member to receive the award.
The awards won by Medstar EMS and Medstar Air were from the American Heart Association’s (AHA) national quality assurance program, Mission: Lifeline, which emphasizes care for patients suffering from ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI), a heart attack caused by a complete blockage of blood flow to the heart.
“Mission: Lifeline helps hospitals and emergency medical services develop systems of care that follow proven standards and procedures for acute coronary syndrome patients,” said Senior Regional Director at American Heart Association in Baldwin County Bridgett Dunn. Both Medstar and Medstar Air received the program’s Silver Award for their implementation of quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks. They are one of four in Alabama to receive the award. If both operations meet the standards for the Mission: Lifeline Silver Award in 2020, they will automatically receive the program’s Gold Award.
“The Mission: Lifeline initiative provides tools, training and other resources to support heart attack care following protocols from the most recent evidence-based treatment guidelines from the AHA,” said Dunn. “Mission: Lifeline EMS recognition program recognizes emergency medical services for their efforts in improving systems of care to rapidly identify suspected heart attack patients in order to promptly notify our local hospitals, South Baldwin Regional Medical Center and Thomas Hospital, and to trigger an early response from the awaiting hospital personnel.”
The awards were accepted by Chad Jones, Program Manager for Medstar Air Care 1 and Mike Sandell, Director of Operations at Medstar. Any agency that receives the award has complied with all of the program’s standards for at least 75 percent of STEMI patients during the previous calendar year, and have treated a stated minimum number of STEMI patients per year.
“This couldn’t be possible without the great EMTs and paramedics that we have here at Medstar within the county,” said Sandell. “It takes a great deal of effort to take care of cardiac patients, receiving them, and getting them where they need to be in a timely manner while providing good pre-hospital care, all before arriving to the hospital and getting more invasive treatment that’s needed. We applaud our employees for the great job that they all do, because without them none of this would be possible and life wouldn’t be safe out there.”
One such employee, Jernigan, was recognized during the award ceremony for receiving the Smile Behind the Shield award after being nominated by his co-workers at Medstar, other public safety agencies and area hospitals for excellence in interpersonal skills and medical skills.
“We’re very grateful for the great job that Brad does,” said Sandell. “He’s the calm behind the chaos, both in the office and in the field.”
According to his colleagues, Jernigan is able to stay calm in a situation no matter how stressful it might be, helping to calm the fears of patients, their family, and bystanders.