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Sunstar Paramedics honored by American Heart Association

January 3rd, 2018 |

Sunstar Paramedics recognized for improving quality of care for severe heart attack patients

LARGO, Fla. (Jan. 03, 2018) – Sunstar Paramedics recently received the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® EMS Gold Plus Award for implementing life-saving practices for patients who experience severe heart attacks.

Sunstar Paramedics, along with Pinellas County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and 18 local fire agencies, was honored for its efforts to improve the systems of care for patients with acute coronary syndrome, including both ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) and non-ST-elevation acute coronary syndrome (NSTE-ACS) heart attacks.

Every year, more than 250,000 people experience STEMI heart attacks, which are the most-deadly type of heart attack caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart. This type of heart attack requires timely treatment, and EMS providers play a vital role as they perform 12-lead ECGs, which measure the electrical activity of the heart and can help determine if a heart attack has occurred.

Healthcare providers’ actions during the first few hours of a heart attack determine the patient’s level of benefit from intervention and treatment. Sunstar Paramedics worked with its partners to enhance collaboration with hospital providers while treating high-risk patients, thereby enhancing the quality of care for STEMI patients.

“This high honor from the American Heart Association recognizes the high-quality care our paramedics and EMTs provide to Pinellas County residents and our strong partnerships within our area,” said John Peterson, chief administrative officer of Sunstar Paramedics.

The 2017 Mission: Lifeline EMS Gold Plus Award recipients were evaluated based on criteria relating to the care of STEMI patients. Those that received the award demonstrated at least 75 percent compliance for each required achievement measure for two consecutive years, achieved a silver or gold award in the previous year, and treated at least 8 STEMI patients in 2016. Sunstar Paramedics treated 893 declared STEMI patients in 2016.

Mission: Lifeline is a coordinated, proactive system of care that turns first responders, hospitals and other healthcare providers into a team that uses proven guidelines and best practices to treat cardiac patients. The goal is to save lives by closing the gaps in STEMI patient care and providing innovative tools and measures to improve the speed and quality of care.

About 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