Tonawanda News — KENMORE — The American Heart/American Stroke Association presented Kenmore Mercy Hospital Thursday with two awards for improving health care for patients who suffer from congestive heart failure.
“This is the No. 1 condition that people come into this hospital for,” Dr. Edward Stehlik, the chairman of internal medicine, said. “And one in five end up coming back to the hospital every month ... that’s what makes this so important.”
The hospital received the Get With The Guidelines Heart Failure Silver Plus Achievement Award, and was also the only facility in the state to make it on the association’s Target: Heart Failure Honor Roll.
The awards come after the hospital revamped many of its heart care failure treatment procedures, which now concentrate on coordination between health care workers and as well as prevention. The measures are based on American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology guidelines that were recently issued as the result of new clinical and scientific evidence.
Jason Jankowiak, the Catholic Health vice president of the cardiovascular service line, said the hospital is making a concentrated effort to help patients after they are discharged, which reduces re-admissions and reduces mortality rates.
“This all started about two and a half years ago. We really wanted to a better job and we set out from that time to do so,” Jankowiak said. “Kenmore Mercy is leading the Catholic Health pack ... we can now use Kenmore as an example for the other hospitals in cardiology care.”
The hospital received the recognition for having 85 percent or more compliance with the AHA guidelines for at least 12 consecutive months. The AHA guidelines include include risk-reduction therapies, the presentation of lifestyle information and follow-up care after a patient’s discharge.
“I can tell you that Kenmore Mercy was well above the 85 percent mark for all of the guidelines,” Roseanne Hemmitt, of the American Heart/American Stroke Association’s local chapter, who presented the award, said.
Jankowiak stressed that the hospital still has more work to do.
“We are very mid-process, and there are many other efforts we can now make for these patients,” Jankowiak said.
Stehlik also pointed to the hospital’s future.
“This is not an end,” he said. “It is a step, but we have more to do. That is our mission and our passion.”Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000, ext. 4150, or follow her on Twitter @JessicaLBagley.