Hospitals Recognized for Heart Disease and Stroke Care
Online, Interactive Map Makes it Easier to Find Award-Winning Hospitals Near You

DALLAS, July 13, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Finding the right hospital for treating heart disease and stroke just got easier, thanks to a new online tool from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

The interactive map lets you search by city or zip code for hospitals recognized by the organization's quality achievement awards program. Hospitals receiving these awards are among the best in the nation in following treatment guidelines proven to increase survival rates and reduce readmission rates for heart attack, heart failure and stroke patients.

The hospital map is just one tool found on a new website (www.heart.org/myhealthcare) with information and resources to help heart disease and stroke patients and their families learn more about living with these conditions.

"This website has a tremendous collection of resources for you to learn more about living with cardiovascular disease and stroke. The map is especially helpful in finding high quality medical care in your area. Equipped with these tools, you can make more informed decisions about your healthcare — before you need it," said Gregg C. Fonarow, M.D, chairman of American Heart Association Hospital Accreditation Science Committee and professor of cardiovascular medicine of the University of California, Los Angeles. "But it's important to note that discussing hospital options with your doctor should be an ongoing conversation — the map isn't intended for making emergency medical decisions if you're actually having a heart attack or stroke."

Fonarow said if you or someone you're with has heart attack or stroke symptoms, call 9-1-1 immediately.

"Emergency medical services (EMS) personnel are trained to know how to provide urgent treatment and know which hospitals have the resources to best treat heart attack and stroke," he said. "By calling 9-1-1, you're activating an exceptional system of healthcare providers that gets you the right treatment in the quickest time possible – it can save your life."

Hospitals on the map have received an achievement award from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, or received certification or accreditation through the association's programs with The Joint Commission or the Society for Chest Pain Centers. Achievement awards are given for care in heart failure, stroke and cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Certification is given for primary stroke centers and advanced heart failure care, while accreditation is given for heart attack care to either STEMI receiving hospitals or STEMI referring hospitals.

The map launches in conjunction with the U.S. News & World Report's "Best Hospitals" annual issue, which features an ad listing the more than 1,000 unique hospitals to receive American Heart Association/American Stroke Association achievement awards this year.

For more information on the American Heart Association's hospital accreditation and certification programs, visit www.heart.org/myhospital. To learn more about the association's suite of quality improvement programs, visit www.heart.org/quality.

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association receives funding mostly from individuals. Foundations and corporations donate as well, and fund specific programs and events. Strict policies are enforced to prevent these relationships from influencing the association's science content. Financial information for the American Heart Association, including a list of contributions from pharmaceutical companies and device manufacturers, is available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

The American Heart Association logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=9940

Additional resources available on the right column of this link:

http://newsroom.heart.org/pr/aha/_prv-hospitals-recognized-for-heart-236505.aspx

CONTACT:

Cathy Lewis – (214) 706-1324; cathy.lewis@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: (800) AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

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