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Essentia Health receives American Heart Association award

Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Brainerd entrance
Essentia Health-St Joseph's Medical Center shown here Thursday, May 21, 2020, in Brainerd. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch
Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

The American Heart Association recently awarded Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center with its Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award.

The award recognizes Essentia’s commitment to ensuring heart failure patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines founded in the latest scientific evidence. The goal is speeding recovery and reducing hospital readmissions for heart failure patients.

“Essentia Health is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our patients with heart failure by implementing the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure initiative,” Dr. Michael Rich, a cardiologist, said in a news release.

The award is earned by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of heart failure patients at a set level for a designated period, including evaluation of the proper use of medications and aggressive risk-reduction therapies. Before discharge, patients receive education on managing their heart failure and overall health, are scheduled for a follow-up visit, as well as other care transition interventions.

“Research has shown that hospitals adhering to clinical measures through the Get With The Guidelines quality improvement initiative can often see fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates,” Dr. Lee H. Schwamm, national chairperson of the Quality Oversight Committee, said in a statement.


According to the American Heart Association, more than 6.5 million adults in the United States are living with heart failure. Many heart failure patients can lead a full, enjoyable life when their condition is managed with proper medications or devices, and with healthy lifestyle changes.

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