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May 2, 2012

Shelley Lotenberg

Nassau University Medical Center Receives American Heart Association’s Silver Quality Achievement Award for Heart Failure
 EAST MEADOW, NY…..NUMC has received the Get With The Guidelines®–Heart Failure Silver Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association. The recognition signifies that the Nassau University Medical Center has reached an aggressive goal of treating heart failure patients with 85 percent compliance for one year to core standard levels of care as outlined by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology secondary prevention guidelines for heart failure patients.

“This is an important milestone for our hospital and is a testimony to the leadership of several departments coming together including cardiology, under the leadership of chairman, Sanjay Doddamani, MD, FACC, the hospitalist team under the direction of  Jose Mejia,. MD, and nursing, under the leadership of chief nursing officer, Kathy Skarka, EVP. We are among very few hospitals in the New York area to be a recipient of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Get With The Guidelines—Heart Failure Silver Performance Achievement Award,” stated Arthur A. Gianelli, President/CEO of the NuHealth System. “NUMC’s commitment to quality and ability to work as a team, dedicated to providing our patients with the most appropriate care, based on the latest clinical guidelines is resolute.”

             Get With The Guidelines is a quality improvement initiative that provides hospital staff with tools that follow proven evidence-based guidelines and procedures in caring for heart failure patients to prevent future hospitalizations. According to Get With The Guidelines–Heart Failure treatment guidelines, heart failure patients are started on aggressive risk-reduction therapies such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, aspirin, diuretics and anticoagulants in the hospital. They also receive alcohol/drug use and thyroid management counseling as well as referrals for cardiac rehabilitation before being discharged.

“The full implementation of national heart failure guideline recommended care is a critical step in preventing recurrent hospitalizations and prolonging the lives of heart failure patients,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., chair of the Get With The Guidelines National Steering Committee and director of the TeleStroke and Acute Stroke Services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Mass. “The goal of the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines program is to help hospitals like NUMC implement appropriate evidence-based care and protocols that will reduce disability and the number of deaths in these patients. Published scientific studies are providing us with more and more evidence that Get With The Guidelines works.  Patients are getting the right care they need when they need it.  That’s resulting in improved survival.”

“NUMC is dedicated to making our care for heart failure patients among the best in the country. We will continue in our efforts and build off the success of this award by continued implementation of the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines–Heart Failure program that allowed us to accomplish this goal,” said Sanjay Doddamani, MD, FACC, chairman of the cardiology department at the NuHealth System. Get With The Guidelines–Heart Failure helps NUMC’s staff develop and implement acute and secondary prevention guideline processes. “We consistently demonstrated over a one year period that the use of guideline-directed care, clinical tools, team work and enhanced communication can improve patient care and our outcomes. We are now striving for Gold by working to sustain this effort,” added Dr. Doddamani. 

Steven J. Walerstein, MD, FACP, executive vice president for medical affairs and medical director at the NuHealth System, congratulated the doctors, nurses and allied staff on this achievement: “In January 2011 we initiated Get With The Guidelines - Heart Failure and developed an action plan to launch and sustain this hospital based quality improvement program that helps hospitals follow evidence-based guidelines, recommendations and procedures in caring for heart failure patients. The implementation of the national heart failure guidelines recommended care is an important step in preventing recurrent hospitalizations and prolonging the lives of heart failure patients.”

According to the American Heart Association, about 5.7 million people suffer from heart failure.  Statistics also show that, each year, 670,000 new cases are diagnosed and more than 277,000 people will die of heart failure.

About NuHealth
NuHealth is a Long Island health care organization delivering essential medical care and disease and lifestyle management to everyone at every stage of life.  Also known as Nassau Health Care Corporation, NuHealth is a public benefit corporation managing the operations of Nassau University Medical Center, A. Holly Patterson Extended Care and a network of Family Health Centers that bring primary and specialty care out into the community.  By emphasizing wellness, cultural sensitivity and collaborative efforts with the North Shore-LIJ Health System, NuHealth is working to make good care more affordable and easier to access.
For more information about NuHealth or its Centers of Care, visit

About Get With The Guidelines
Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program that empowers healthcare teams to save lives and reduce healthcare costs by helping hospitals follow evidence-based guidelines and recommendations.  For more information, visit




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