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BUFFALO, NEW YORK; November 17, 2006 - Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) is one of 118 hospitals in the United States being recognized at Scientific Sessions 2006 by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Get With the Guidelines SM (GWTG) program. The recognition event honoring the performance achievement in cardiac and stroke patient care of Erie County Medical Center was held on November 13 in Chicago. Additional recognition detailing the accomplishments of the hospital can be seen in the December issue of the publication Circulation.

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's GWTG program is a quality-improvement program that helps hospitals insure that patients consistently receive cardiac and stroke care in accordance with the most up-to-date guidelines and recommendations.

GWTG has three modules to help hospitals use evidence-based guidelines to treat patients with coronary artery disease, stroke and/or heart failure. Hospitals that continually meet or exceed the nationally accepted standards, or guidelines, improve their quality patient care by turning guidelines into lifelines.

Upon meeting criteria specific to each module, hospitals are recognized for performance achievement if at least 85 percent of their cardiac or stroke patients (without contraindications) are treated and discharged according to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's guidelines and recommendations. The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association recognizes Erie County Medical Center's commitment and success in performance achievement.

"GWTG is about saving lives, so the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association wanted to recognize Erie County Medical Center's contribution to quality care at the largest meeting of cardiac professionals. The Erie County Medical Center has implemented and maintained the appropriate standards of protocol in cardiac for patients," said Gregg C. Fonarow, M.D., American Heart Association volunteer chairman for the national GWTG Steering Committee. "We are proud of Erie County Medical Center's efforts for implementing these lifesaving treatments and want to highlight their accomplishments."

"Erie County Medical Center is dedicated to making our patient care for heart patients among the best in the country, and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's GWTG program is helping us accomplish that by making it easier for our professionals to improve the quality of care and long-term outcomes of our cardiac patients," said Jacqueline Blackley, VP Cardiovascular Services.

The ECMC Corporation includes an advanced academic medical center (ECMC) with 550 inpatient beds and 156 skilled nursing home beds, on- and off-campus health centers, over 40 outpatient specialty care clinics, and the Erie County Home, a 586-bed skilled nursing facility. ECMC is the regional center for trauma, burn care, rehabilitation, and a major teaching facility for the State University of New York at Buffalo. Most ECMC physicians are dedicated faculty members of the University. Exceptional patient care and customer service make ECMC Western New York's Hospital of Choice.

Get With The GuidelinesSM (GWTG) is the American Heart Association/ American Stroke Association's hospital-based program designed to ensure that patients are consistently treated and discharged according to evidence-based guidelines for coronary artery disease, heart failure, and stroke. This quality improvement program empowers healthcare teams to save lives and reduce healthcare costs through helping hospitals follow evidence-based guidelines and recommendations for treating coronary artery disease, heart failure, and stroke. Experience has shown that 80,000 lives could be saved annually if the coronary artery disease (GWTG-CAD) module alone of Get With The GuidelinesSM were implemented nationwide. GWTG was the first hospital-based program to receive the prestigious Innovation in Prevention Award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2004. Currently more than 1270 hospitals use one or more GWTG modules. GWTG-CAD is supported by an unrestricted educational grant from the Merck/Schering-Plough Pharmaceutical Partnership and GWTG- Heart Failure is supported by an unrestricted grant from Glaxo Smith Kline, Inc.

For more information, visit americanheart.org/getwiththeguidelines.


Thomas Quatroche (716-898-5503) -or- Joe Cirillo (716-898-4300)

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