Section: Barnabas Health Heart Center News

Barnabas Health Heart Center at Clara Maass Medical Center Honored with Mission: Lifeline Quality Achievement Award


Barnabas Health Heart Center at Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville has received the Mission: Lifeline® Bronze Receiving Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association for the treatment of patients who suffer severe heart attacks. Pictured in the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at Clara Maass Medical Center are (left to right) Brenda Robattino, RN; Patricia Mattioli, RN; Debra Devries, RN; Mary Ellen Clyne, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, Clara Maass Medical Center; Elie Chakhtoura, MD, FACC, FSCAI, Medical Director, Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory, Clara Maass Medical Center; and Ronnie Castro, MSN, RN.

"Clara Maass Medical Center is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our patients who suffer a heart attack, and the American Heart Association's Mission: Lifeline program is helping us accomplish that goal through internationally respected clinical guidelines," said Dr. Clyne. "We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in cardiac care, and I am very proud of our team."

Each year in the United States, approximately 300,000 people have a STEMI, or ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction, caused by a complete blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment. To prevent death, it's critical to immediately restore blood flow, either by surgically opening the blocked vessel or by giving clot-busting medication.

The American Heart Association's Mission: Lifeline program helps hospitals, emergency medical services and communities improve response times so people who suffer from a STEMI get prompt, appropriate treatment. The program's goal is to streamline systems of care to quickly get heart attack patients from the first 9-1-1 call to hospital treatment.

"Clara Maass Medical Center earned the award by meeting specific criteria and standards of performance for the quick and appropriate treatment of STEMI patients to open the blocked artery," explained Dr. Chakhtoura. "Before patients are discharged, they are started on aggressive risk reduction therapies such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, aspirin, ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers, and they receive smoking cessation counseling if needed. Eligible hospitals must adhere to these measures at a set level for a designated period to receive the awards."

"We commend Clara Maass Medical Center for this achievement award, which reflects a significant institutional commitment to improve the quality of care for their 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."

For more information about Clara Maass Medical Center, visit

About Barnabas Health Heart Centers – Life is Better Heart Healthy

Barnabas Health's expansive network of cardiac services and facilities offers all the advantages of a single, multi-center program, with convenient access to consultation, testing, follow-up care and rehabilitation. Our award-winning Heart Centers are nationally recognized. We offer adult and pediatric cardiovascular programs throughout New Jersey. Our emergency department provides treatment and diagnosis of heart attack and other cardiac conditions. Barnabas Health's cardiac surgeons perform minimally invasive valve and bypass surgeries, and complex open-heart surgery. Our heart transplant program is the third largest in the nation.

Our Heart Centers act as a model for today's most progressive cardiac programs, bringing together an extensive team of experienced heart specialists with a full complement of clinical resources. Our patient-centered philosophy continues to guide our ambition to improve the heart health of New Jersey residents.

For more information and location details, visit

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 Foundation clinical treatment guidelines. For more information, visit and

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