Mission: Lifeline Health Agencies' Role

Updated:Mar 2,2011

The American Heart Association recognizes that health agencies can make a bigger impact collectively than separately.
Organizations with a common goal of reducing mortality and morbidity for STEMI heart attack victims are promoting the Mission: Lifeline initiative. Together, this coalition has a louder voice and wider reach to raise awareness of the need for STEMI systems.

Timely access to percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) should not be just for those STEMI victims who live in highly populated areas, but primary PCI should be available throughout the nation for every person in need of this critical care.

Numerous groups in support of the Mission: Lifeline initiative are working toward influencing decision makers to promote landmark legislation and public policies regarding STEMI care. Their efforts include advocating 12-lead electrocardiograms (ECGs) in ambulances and related training to emergency medical service (EMS) providers. These elements are crucial to the prompt diagnosis and implementation of treatment for patients when every minute counts.

In addition to reaching out to legislators and policymakers, these groups are also raising public awareness of the need for timely STEMI care. This is important for two reasons. First, they educate people about the symptoms of heart attack and the need to act quickly following symptom onset, equipping individuals with the information they need to safeguard their own lives. Second, organizations multiply their effectiveness when they recruit private citizens to become advocates for Mission: Lifeline. When constituents rally for a cause, legislators listen, and this cause can save lives.