St. David's HealthCare
October 05, 2021

Austin, TX—Several St. David’s HealthCare facilities are being recognized by the American Heart Association for providing quality care for patients who suffer severe heart attacks. St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center and St. David’s South Austin Medical Center each received the Mission: Lifeline® STEMI Gold Plus Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association for the treatment of STEMI heart attack patients.

St. David’s North Austin Medical Center received the Mission: Lifeline STEMI Gold Award. Additionally, St. David’s Medical Center, St. David’s North Austin Medical Center, St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center, St. David’s South Austin Medical Center and Heart Hospital of Austin were recognized with the Mission: Lifeline NSTEMI Gold Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association for the treatment of non-STEMI heart attack patients.

“When treating a heart attack, every minute is precious,” Kenneth Mitchell, M.D., chief medical officer for St. David’s HealthCare, said. “Achieving the rapid treatment goals for heart attack patients takes an incredible amount of coordination by our nurses and physicians, as well as regional EMS agencies. We are so proud of their accomplishments and their dedication to our patients.”

Every year, more than 250,000 people in the U.S. experience an ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), the deadliest type of heart attack. A STEMI is caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart, and it requires timely treatment. To prevent death, it’s critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, either by mechanically opening the blocked vessel or by providing clot-busting medication.

“When medical professionals apply the most up-to-date, evidence-based treatment guidelines, patient outcomes improve,” Joel Rice, executive director of the American Heart Association, said. “That's the simple truth behind the drive for continuous quality improvement. Our comprehensive suite of programs can help hospitals advance farther and faster in the quest for ever-better care.” 

The American Heart Association Mission: Lifeline program’s goal is to reduce barriers to prompt treatment for heart attacks, beginning with the 9-1-1 call, to EMS transport and continuing through hospital treatment and discharge. The initiative provides tools, training and other resources to support heart attack care following protocols from the most recent evidence-based treatment guidelines.

To learn more about the program and its recognition criteria, please visit the American Heart Association’s website.

St. David’s HealthCare

St. David’s HealthCare includes eight of the area’s leading hospitals and is one of the largest health systems in Texas. The organization has been recognized with a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award—the nation’s highest presidential honor for performance excellence. St. David’s HealthCare is the fourth-largest private employer in the Austin area, with more than 10,500 colleagues across 169 sites of care.

St. David’s HealthCare is a unique partnership between hospital management company HCA Healthcare and two local nonprofits—St. David’s Foundation and Georgetown Health Foundation. The proceeds from the operations of the hospitals fund the foundations, which, in turn, invest those dollars back into the community. Since the inception of St. David’s HealthCare in 1996, nearly $700 million has been given back to the community to improve the health and healthcare of Central Texans. 

Mission: Lifeline

The American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® program helps hospitals and emergency medical services develop systems of care that follow proven standards and procedures for acute coronary syndrome patients. The program works by mobilizing teams across the continuum of care to implement American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology clinical treatment guidelines. For more information, visit