RAPID CITY, S.D. – Monument Health has been recognized by the American College of Cardiology.

Monument Health Heart and Vascular Institute (HVI) has received the American College of Cardiology NCDR Chest Pain-MI Registry Platinum Performance Achievement Award, the organization announced on Monday, Aug. 24.

This is the eighth consecutive year that Monument Health received this award. It one of only 140 hospitals nationwide to receive the honor this year.

The award recognizes Monument Health’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care for heart attack patients, according to the news release. It also signifies it has reached an aggressive goal of treating these patients to standard levels of care as outlined by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association clinical guidelines and recommendations.

Monument Health’s HVI Medical Director Dr. Joseph Tuma said in a statement: "This award is a tribute to the hard work and dedication of the physicians and caregivers who strive every day to provide our patients with the best cardiac care available, not only in our region but in the entire country."

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To receive this award, the Heart and Vascular Institute performed at the highest possible level for specific performance measures in the treatment of patients with coronary artery disease who suffer a heart attack.

Full participation in the Chest Pain-MI Registry engages hospitals in a robust quality improvement process using data to drive improvements in adherence to guideline recommendations and overall quality of care provided to heart attack patients.

The Center for Disease Control estimates that almost 700,000 Americans suffer a heart attack each year. A heart attack occurs when a blood clot in a coronary artery partially or completely blocks blood flow to the heart muscle.

Treatment guidelines include administering aspirin upon arrival and discharge, timely restoration of blood flow to the blocked artery, smoking cessation counseling and cardiac rehabilitation, among others.

"As a Platinum Performance Award recipient," said Dr. Michael C. Kontos, chair of the NCDR Chest Pain–MI Registry Steering Subcommittee, "Monument Health has established itself as a leader in setting the national standard for improving quality of care in patients with acute myocardial infarction."