American Heart Association recognizes UTHSCT for meeting coronary artery disease guidelines; AHA honors Sandra Fly

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler has been recognized for its care of patients with coronary artery disease by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With the Guidelines” program.

In addition, Sandra Fly, RN, director of Quality Services at UTHSCT and a certified professional in health care quality, has received a Distinguished Service Award from the South Central Affiliate of the AHA.

UTHSCT is one of just 14 hospitals in Texas and 184 hospitals in the nation to receive the Silver Award from the AHA/ASA in coronary artery disease.

Get With the Guidelines is a quality-improvement program that helps hospitals ensure that patients with coronary artery disease, heart failure, and stroke consistently receive care that meets the latest guidelines and recommendations.

“This award is a result of UTHSCT’s commitment to providing excellent patient care. We follow these important guidelines to make sure our patients receive the best care,” UTHSCT President Dr. Kirk A. Calhoun said.

To qualify for recognition, hospitals must treat and discharge at least 85 percent of their cardiac or stroke patients – for an entire year – using the latest AHA/ASA guidelines.

Each hospital is evaluated using criteria based on medical data showing the best way to treat these conditions. According to the AHA, 80,000 lives could be saved each year if the guidelines for coronary artery disease patients were implemented nationwide.

UTHSCT also received a Bronze Award from the AHA/ASA for 90 days of 85 percent or better compliance in the management of heart failure.

“The Health Science Center is dedicated to ensuring that patients with heart disease receive the safest and most current evidence-based care. The American Heart Association and Get With the Guidelines is helping us accomplish that goal,” Fly said.

In addition to the honors garnered by UTHSCT, Margie Hughes, RN, quality improvement director for AHA’s South Central Affiliate, presented Fly with the Distinguished Service Award.

The prestigious award recognizes volunteers who have contributed toward achieving the AHA’s goal of decreasing death and disability from heart disease and stroke by 25 percent by 2010.

“I nominated Sandy Fly because she and her team at UTHSCT have been so helpful to me in reaching out to other hospitals in the Tyler area. She and her team have contributed countless hours of work during the past two years. I congratulate Sandy and her team and thank them from my heart,” Hughes said.

“This award is given to major volunteers, and it really is a huge honor. I’ve only seen one other given away, and that was two years ago,” she said.

Besides being recognized for her contributions, an AHA research grant was named in honor of Fly, Hughes said.

The entire South Central Affiliate – which includes the states of Texas, Arkansas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma – gives out just 10 or so of these awards each year.

Fly said, “It is an honor to receive such an award. It’s especially exciting to have a research grant named in my honor. Research is such an important piece of the future of health care.

“However, it’s important to realize that this award really goes to everyone who has worked to improve the heart care outcomes of our patients,” she said.

NOTICE: Protected health information is subject to electronic disclosure.