Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Sanford Health among nation's top performing hospitals for treatment of heart attack patients

Award recognizes sustained, high-level performance in quality of care



BEMIDJI - Sanford Health in Bemidji received the American College of Cardiology’s NCDR Chest Pain - MI Registry Gold Performance Achievement Award for 2022.

Sanford Bemidji Medical Center in Bemidji is one of only 81 hospitals nationwide to receive the honor. Sanford hospitals in Fargo, Sioux Falls and Bismarck were also honored.

“Our cardiovascular team is honored to receive recognition for the third year in a row from the American College of Cardiology,” shared Dr. Gregory Schuchard, interventional cardiologist and head of cardiology at Sanford Bemidji Medical Center. “This achievement is a direct reflection of the continued hard work and diligence of our cardiovascular and Bemidji Medical Center teams to improve care for our community.” Sanford Bemidji Medical Center was awarded the NCDR Chest Pain – MI Registry Platinum Performance Achievement Award in 2021 and the NCDR Chest Pain – MI Registry Silver Performance Achievement Award in 2020.

The performance achievement awards recognize Sanford Health’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care for heart attack patients and signifies that Sanford Health has reached an aggressive goal of treating these patients to standard levels of care as outlined by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association clinical guidelines and recommendations.

To receive this award, Sanford Health demonstrated sustained achievement in the Chest Pain ̶ MI Registry for two consecutive years (2020 and 2021), and performed at the highest level for specific performance measures. Full participation in the registry engages hospitals in a robust quality improvement process using data to drive improvements in adherence to guideline recommendations and overall quality of care provided to heart attack patients.

“When it comes to treating heart attacks, every second counts,” said Nate Blessen, system executive director of cardiovascular services. “We take pride in putting the latest technology in the hands of top cardiology experts at Sanford Health, and this recognition confirms our continued investment in producing exceptional care.”

Chest Pain ̶ MI Registry empowers health care provider teams to consistently treat heart attack patients according to the most current, science-based guidelines and establishes a national standard for understanding and improving the quality, safety and outcomes of care provided for patients with coronary artery disease, specifically high-risk heart attack patients.

“It is an honor to award Sanford Bemidji Medical Center with the Gold Performance Award for their valuable national leadership and dedication to meeting comprehensive performance measures in patient care,” said Michael C. Kontos, MD, FACC, chair of the NCDR Chest Pain – MI Registry Steering Subcommittee, and cardiologist at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center. “The receipt of this award indicates that Sanford Health remains committed to providing top quality, guideline-driven care for heart attack patients. Their success ensures patients are receiving the highest quality cardiovascular care.” The Centers for Disease Control estimates that over 800,000 Americans suffer a heart attack each year

About Sanford Health

Sanford Health, the largest rural health system in the United States, is dedicated to transforming the health care experience and providing access to world-class health care in America’s heartland. Headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the organization serves more than one million patients and 220,000 health plan members across 250,000 square miles. The integrated health system has 47 medical centers, 2,800 Sanford physicians and advanced practice providers, 170 clinical investigators and research scientists, more than 200 Good Samaritan Society senior care locations and world clinics in 8 countries around the globe. Learn more about Sanford Health's commitment to shaping the future of rural health care across the lifespan at or Sanford Health News.

The American College of Cardiology envisions a world where innovation and knowledge optimize cardiovascular care and outcomes. As the professional home for the entire cardiovascular care team, the mission of the College and its more than 56,000 members is to transform cardiovascular care and to improve heart health. The ACC bestows credentials upon cardiovascular professionals who meet stringent qualifications and leads in the formation of health policy, standards and guidelines. The College also provides professional medical education, disseminates cardiovascular research through its world-renowned JACC Journals, operates national registries to measure and improve care, and offers cardiovascular accreditation to hospitals and institutions. For more, visit


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