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Published on August 10, 2015

American Heart Association Mission Lifeline Heart Attack Receiving Center

Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center Receives National Recognition for its Care of Heart Patients

Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center has received for the first time the prestigious American Heart Association (AHA) Mission: Lifeline® Heart Attack Receiving Center Accreditation. This designation recognizes hospitals that quickly and appropriately treat the most severe type of heart attack known as STEMI (ST-elevation myocardial infarction), and giving people a better than fighting chance of surviving.

Asante Rogue Regional has served as a regional STEMI receiving center for communities in nearly 5,000 square miles of Southern Oregon and Northern California since the program began 10 years ago. And now, with the AHA’s accreditation, the designation is official.

“We underwent numerous on-site reviews by accreditation specialists and provided a decade’s worth of supporting data that shows we have met or exceeded quality of care measures for people experiencing this type of extreme heart attack,” says cardiologist Brian Gross, MD, of Southern Oregon Cardiology and medical director of Asante’s heart program. “By following established protocols, our cardiac patients can be assured that we are doing everything possible to make sure they survive a heart attack.”

According to the AHA, each year hundreds of thousands of Americans experience STEMI heart attacks in which blood flow is completely blocked to a part of the heart. The length of time that a heart is starved of blood and oxygen can create permanent damage to the heart because heart muscle cells don’t regenerate.

“We are always looking at a performance measurement called ‘door to balloon time’ which means the moment the patient enters the hospital emergency room door to the moment that blood flow is restored to the heart,” says Dr. Gross. Asante Rogue Regional reports an average door to balloon time of 45.5 minutes, which is well below the national guideline of 90 minutes and considerably faster than the average hospital response of 58.9 minutes. “This speed is essential to avoid further damage to the heart muscle.”

To receive accreditation, Asante Rogue Regional partnered with emergency medical services and other hospitals in the region to ensure the rapid transportation of patients to its cardiac catheterization lab. “The goal is to get the patient to the right place in the shortest amount of time to receive definitive treatment,” says Mark Wareing, administrative supervisor at American Medical Response in Josephine County. “Early detection of heart attacks in the field, and rapid stabilization and transport helps minimize the severity of the heart attack and saves as much heart muscle as possible.”

Successful health outcomes for STEMI patients are the result of an extensive collaboration among eight participating hospitals and a dozen emergency medical service organizations. "Not only is this accreditation a tremendous honor, it is a testimony to what true teamwork can accomplish for the good of the community,” says Dr. Gross.

Asante Rogue Regional receives approximately 170 STEMI patients each year. In Oregon, Asante is one of six hospitals designated as an AHA Mission Lifeline STEMI receiving center.


  • Participating STEMI hospital partners:
    • Asante Ashland Community Hospital, Ashland, OR
    • Asante Three Rivers Medical Center, Grants Pass, OR
    • Curry General Hospital, Brookings, OR
    • Fairchild Medical Center, Yreka, CA
    • Lake District Hospital, Lakeview, OR
    • Mercy Medical Center, Mt. Shasta, CA
    • Sutter Coast Hospital, Crescent City, CA
  • Participating STEMI emergency medical services partners:
    • American Medical Response, Josephine County
    • Ashland Fire and Rescue
    • Applegate Valley Fire District
    • Cal-Ore Life Flight
    • Glendale Ambulance District
    • Jackson County Fire District #3
    • Jackson County Fire District #5
    • Medford Fire and Rescue o Mercy Flights
    • Mt. Shasta Ambulance Service
    • REACH Air Medical Services
    • Rogue River Fire District FireMed
  • To receive accreditation, Asante Rogue Regional demonstrated exceptional quality of care for STEMI patients presenting through four different routes:
    • Patients who called 911 and came directly to the hospital transported by EMS
    • Patients who walked in directly to the hospital’s emergency department without calling 911
    • Patients who were transferred from a different hospital to Asante Rogue Regional after a STEMI was diagnosed at the first location
    • Patients who developed their STEMI while already an inpatient at Asante Rogue Regional
  • Asante Rogue Regional demonstrated exceptional quality of care for STEMI patients throughout their hospital stay through their discharge, including in the emergency department, cardiac catheterization laboratory, and cardiac intensive care unit
  • Treatment options for a STEMI consist most often of percutaneous coronary intervention, which includes angioplasty and stenting. For very distant hospitals, clot-busting medications are administered prior to transfer. Occasionally a patient will also undergo coronary artery bypass graft surgery at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center.

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As the largest health care provider in nine counties, Asante provides comprehensive medical care to more than 600,000 people throughout southern Oregon and northern California. Our facilities include Asante Ashland Community Hospital in Ashland, Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford, Asante Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass, Asante Physician Partners and additional health care partnerships throughout the region.