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For Immediate Release

For more information, contact:
Gloria O'Connell, 612-863-4801


Abbott Northwestern Hospital first in Minnesota to be designated as an Accredited Chest Pain Center

MINNEAPOLIS 10/06/2008--The Society of Chest Pain Centers has designated Abbott Northwestern Hospital as Minnesota's first Accredited Chest Pain Center. The accreditation recognizes the collaboration and commitment of the Minneapolis Heart Institute®, Abbott Northwestern's Emergency Department, emergency medical services (EMS) personnel and other medical personnel dedicated to rigorous and peer reviewed processes proven to reduce mortality and morbidity from heart disease.

Emergency Department at Abbott Northwestern Hospital

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"Heart disease is the leading cause of death in our country," said Kevin Graham, MD, FACC, president of the Minneapolis Heart Institute® at Abbott Northwestern. "This accreditation demonstrates our commitment to emergency cardiac care and the collaboration that exists at Abbott Northwestern between our cardiologists, the Emergency Department, other areas of the hospital and emergency medical personnel."

In 2003, the Minneapolis Heart Institute® pioneered the Level One Heart Attack program which has now become the state and national model for treating heart attacks The Chest Pain Accreditation recognizes the extension of these leading-edge processes to all types of chest pain, not just documented heart attacks. The accreditation is further recognition of the daily seamless collaboration of the Minneapolis Heart Institute®, Abbott Northwestern Emergency Department personnel and EMS professionals to deliver state-of-the-art, evidence-based emergency cardiac services in a time-critical manner.

"Chest pain is one of the most common complaints of patients presenting to the Emergency Department," explained Chris Kapsner, MD, medical director, Abbott Northwestern's Emergency Department. "It's critical to quickly determine if patients with chest pain are suffering from an acute heart attack, precursors to a heart attack or non-cardiac chest pain and to deliver the most appropriate therapy in a timely manner. Standardization of protocols across the diagnostic and treatment continuum, starting when a patient is first evaluated by EMS personnel in the field, is critical to optimum outcomes."

"This accreditation is a clear outside stamp of approval for Abbott Northwestern's deep and longstanding commitment to cardiac excellence," said David Page, MS, NREMT-P, a senior paramedic with Allina Health Emergency Medical Services with 25 years of experience. "When I bring a patient to Abbott Northwestern, I know that they will get the best state-of-the art care and I also know that EMS is an equal partner in that care. The partnership with EMS in care, research and education creates a smooth working relationship that ensures a team approach to world-class care."

To receive the Chest Pain Accreditation, the Society of Chest Pain Centers reviews a hospital's standards in emergency assessment of patients with acute coronary syndromes, functional facility design, personnel competencies and training, process improvement, organizational structure and its community outreach efforts.

Many heart attacks present with identifiable symptoms prior to serious damage. Standardization of diagnoses and treatments has been shown to lead to increased myocardial salvage and better short and long-term outcomes.

About the Society of Chest Pain Centers (SCPC)

The Society of Chest Pain Centers is a patient centric non-profit international professional organization focused upon improving care for patients with acute coronary syndromes and other related maladies. Established in 1998, the Society is dedicated to patient advocacy and focusing on ischemic heart disease.

Central to its mission is the question, "What is right for the patient?" In answer, the Society promotes protocol based medicine, often delivered through a Chest Pain Center model to address the diagnosis and treatment of acute coronary syndromes, heart failure, and to promote the adoption of process improvement science by healthcare providers.

To best fulfill this mission, the Society of Chest Pain Centers provides accreditation to facilities striving for optimum Chest Pain Center care. SCPC is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio.

About the Minneapolis Heart Institute® and Abbott Northwestern Hospital

The Minneapolis Heart Institute® is the largest integrated cardiovascular provider in Minnesota. Abbott Northwestern Hospital treats more heart attack and heart failure patients than any hospital in Minnesota and is part of Allina Hospitals & Clinics.

Allina Hospitals & Clinics is a not-for-profit health care system of hospitals, clinics and other patient care services that provides exceptional care to communities throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin and employs more than 22,000 people.

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