Swedish Medical Center First In State For Joint Commission Award In Cardiovascular Services

Awarded in Multiple Coronary Specialties and Receives Mission: Lifeline Recognition by American Heart Association

(Englewood, Colorado) Swedish Medical Center
has been reaccredited by The Joint Commission for Cardiovascular Services and continues to be the only hospital in the state with accreditations in Advanced Heart Failure, Coronary Artery Bypass and Coronary Artery Disease. They have also received Mission: Lifeline Gold Level status recognition by the American Heart Association for the second year in a row. jointcommissionseal

“This achievement acknowledges the exceptional care our Cardiology team provides patients in the Denvermetro
area and beyond,” said Mary M. White, President and CEO of Swedish Medical Center. “Their dedication to quality healthcare deserves to be recognized.”

The Heart Center at Swedish Medical Center offers
comprehensive cardiac care for patients through
coordination of EMS responders, the Emergency
Department, and an experienced team of healthcare
professionals who ensure patients receive appropriate
and timely care for their condition.

“The Cardiovascular Services Team has worked hard
to provide the community with a comprehensive
program from chest pain to heart attacks to open
heart surgery and chronic illness such as heart failure.
We strive to provide the best possible experience
for our patients based on national standards,” says
Associate Chief Nursing Officer and Cardiac Services
Director Paula Grassmick.


Hospitals recognized by the American Heart Association for the Mission: Lifeline Gold award have demonstrated their ability to provide cardiac care at the highest level for patients with STEMI type heart attacks, the most life threatening heart attack, for at least two years. At a Gold Level hospital, all heart attack patients have rapid access, skillful and timely intervention and the highest level of on-going heart care treatment following the latest American Heart Association guidelines. Swedish’s median door-to-balloon times for cardiac alert patients are among the best in the region.

“This achievement is validation of the innovative care that we offer here at Swedish. Our cardiac team has worked very hard to bring the best care to our patients and The Joint Commission and AHA have seen that expertise and chosen to recognize us for it,” says Deborah O’Neill, Cardiovascular Nurse Practitioner.

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About Swedish Medical Center (www.SwedishHospital.com)
Swedish Medical Center in Englewood, Colorado, part of HealthONE, is a Level 1 Trauma Center and Joint-Commission-accredited Stroke, Cardiology and Cancer Center. Swedish has the highest quality care and the most advanced technologies and treatments in nearly every medical specialty and is an eight time winner of the National Research Corporation Consumer Choice Award and a Top 100 Hospital recognized by Reuters.
An acute care hospital with 368 licensed beds, Swedish is located in the south metro Denver area where it has been a proud member of the community for more than 100 years. Annually, Swedish cares for more than 200,000 patients with a team of 2,000 dedicated employees, 500 volunteers and more than 1,300 physicians.


How to Recognize Women’s Heart Attack Symptoms

It It is important to be able to recognize when you or someone near you is having a heart attack—this knowledge can even save a life. Learn how to recognize heart attack symptoms in women by watching this clip.

Women’s heart attack symptoms are a bit more subtle than men’s—the squeezing chest pains that many people expect from a heart attack may not be present. Shortness of breath, jaw pain, back pain, tingling, and flu-like symptoms may be present in women.

Call Denver’s Swedish Medical Center today at (303) 788-5000 to learn more about women’s healthcare. As a Level I Trauma Center, we are highly committed to providing the utmost of care to each and every patient who walks through our hospital doors.

Online Resources for Diabetes Management, Heart Attack and Your Overall Health

Learn more about diabetes management, heart attack and your overall health by visiting the resources below. For even more information about our recent blog topics, contact Swedish Medical Center by calling (303) 788-5000. Swedish Medical Center is an acute care hospital with 368 licensed beds and is located in the south metro Denver area in Englewood, CO, where we have been a proud member of the community for more than 100 years.

  • Healthy eating is essential for continued overall health and wellness. You can get some eating tips by reading this article from the CDC.
  • Do you have diabetes? If so, find some delicious snack recipes and ideas on the American Diabetes Association website.
  • There are many types of diabetes, including type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. Learn more about these by reading this article from WebMD.com.
  • If you do not already know the symptoms of heart attack, become more familiar with them by visiting the American Heart Association website.
  • This article from the American College of Emergency Physicians provides additional information regarding when you should consider seeking emergency medical treatment.

Swedish Medical Center Awarded Mission: Lifeline Recognition by American Heart Associaton

Gold Performance Award Winner

Swedish Medical Center has been recognized as a Gold Performance Mission: Lifeline award winner by the American Heart Association. The award recognizes our commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care for heart attack patients that effectively improves the survival and care of STEMI (ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction) patients. “This recognition attests to the efforts of the team to provide excellent, efficient, quality care to cardiac patients in the metro area,” says Paula Grassmick, Director of CV Services.

Every year, almost 250,000 people experience a STEMI type of heart attack which is the most life threatening type of heart attack. The faster the blocked artery causing the heart attack can be fixed, the smaller the amount of heart muscle will be damaged. With rapid access to emergency and hospital care, some heart attacks can be completely avoided. Mission: Lifeline seeks to save lives by closing the gaps that separate STEMI patients from timely access to appropriate treatments. Mission: Lifeline focuses on improving the system of care for these patients and at the same time improving care for all heart attack patients.

Hospitals awarded a level of Gold Performance have demonstrated their ability to provide cardiac care at the highest level for patients with STEMI type heart attacks for at least 2 years. At a Gold Level hospital, STEMI patients as well as all heart attack patients have rapid access, skillful and timely intervention and the highest level of on-going heart care treatment following the latest American Heart Association guidelines.

Hospitals involved in Mission: Lifeline strive to improve care in both acute-treatment measures and discharge measures. Systems of care are developed that close the gap of timely access to appropriate, life-saving treatments. “At Swedish Medical Center, time, skill and a dynamic multidisciplinary heart team equals stronger hearts and better outcomes,” says Dr. Ira Dauber, Swedish Interventional Cardiologist. Swedish is focused on process improvement, parallel processing, and interdisciplinary cooperation and coordination to successfully restore blood flow and minimize damage to the heart muscle, and improve patient outcomes.

A Look at How High Blood Pressure Affects the Body

“It is often called the “silent killer” because many people experience no symptoms with high blood pressure.”— Dr. Lee MacDonald, Swedish Interventional Cardiologist

High blood pressure, or hypertension, occurs when the pressure of blood against the walls of the arteries reaches an unhealthy level. In addition to increasing a person’s risk for heart disease and stroke, hypertension can lead to other serious medical conditions such as kidney disease, heart failure and blindness. If you are interested in seeking treatment for hypertension, visit Swedish Medical Center. Our hospital is home to one of the leading heart care centers in Denver.

The arteries are composed of muscle and semi-flexible tissue that allows for a certain amount of stretching when blood flows through. If these vessels are continuously stretched beyond their healthy limit by the forces of high blood pressure, a variety of issues can occur.

  • Vascular weakness: Continuous stress on the arteries eventually causes weaknesses to occur in certain parts of the vessels, making them more prone to tears. Aneurysms and strokes are both caused by ruptured vessels.
  • Vascular scarring: Overstretching can lead to micro-tears in the vessel wall that heal over and form patches of scar tissue. This scar tissue acts like a net by trapping blood cells, cholesterol, plaques and other debris that travel through the bloodstream. This leads to a narrowing of the arteries and possible blockage.
  • Increased stress on the heart: As the arteries get narrower and narrower, the heart must work harder to push blood to the rest of the body. This compounds the problem and further weakens the circulatory system.
  • Tissue and organ damage: When the arteries become blocked and narrowed, less blood is able to reach organs and peripheral tissues. Without enough of the oxygen and nutrients that are carried in blood, these tissues become damaged.

By keeping your blood pressure in the healthy range, you can help to reduce your risk for vascular injury and cardiovascular disease. “Getting your blood pressure checked is a simple and potentially lifesaving one minute test that everyone should have done on a routine basis,” explains Dr. Lee MacDonald.

If you have questions about maintaining healthy blood pressure and preventing heart disease, call the heart specialists of Swedish Medical Center today at (303) 788-5000.

Heart Care at Swedish

What makes The Heart Center at Swedish the right choice for your cardiac care?

As Seen on Denver’s 9News
Heart attack patient James Sanwick, 61, is rushed from the ambulance to the cardiac cath lab through Swedish’s new Cardiac AlertSM program.

Whether you have unexplained chest pain, need cardiac testing or are experiencing a heart attack, The Heart Center at Swedish Medical Center offers comprehensive cardiac care that includes coordination between the EMS responders, the Emergency Department, and the experienced team of healthcare professionals to ensure you receive appropriate care for your condition.

Chest Pain Program

  • Our progressive Chest Pain Program can be completed in under six hours and does not require patients to be admitted beyond the Emergency Department. At other hospitals, this process typically takes 18-24 hours and involves an overnight stay. Learn when to call 9-1-1 due to Chest Pain>>
  • Chest Pain Nurse Practitioners at Swedish are on staff more hours per day than any other facility in the Denver

Cardiac Alert

  • When EMS call a “Cardiac Alert” on the way to Swedish, patients are met on arrival by an Emergency Department physician
  • Two Cath Labs provide comprehensive emergent services
  • Advanced Electrophysiology lab performs AICD insertions, atrial fibrillation ablations and other complicated ablations
  • Swedish’s median door-to-balloon times for Cardiac Alert patients are one of the best in the region

Cardiac Thoracic Surgery

  • The Operating Room is available 24/7 for emergent heart and thoracic surgery
  • The CCU staff provides a designated team of nurses for open-heart surgery patients

The Heart Center Staff

  • Some of the most highly credentialed nurses in the state.
  • Use a multi-disciplinary approach to working with our cardiovascular surgeons to provide excellent care for our CV surgical patients resulting in positive outcomes with shorter lengths of stay than the national average.