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Awards and Accreditations

BHS Again Leads Nation In American Heart Association Honors
January 18, 2008



PITTSFIELD, MA – Berkshire Medical Center has again been recognized by the American Heart Association for leading the nation in implementing evidence-based guidelines for patients with coronary artery disease, stroke and heart failure. Under the American Heart Association’s Get with the Guidelines program, BMC was recently honored with its seventh consecutive Performance Achievement award for outstanding performance in the care of patients with coronary artery disease. BMC is the only hospital in the nation so honored seven years running. BMC is also the only hospital in the United States to be honored with four consecutive Performance Achievement awards for outstanding care of stroke patients and three consecutive Performance Achievement awards for care of patients with heart failure.
“The care that our staff provides patients with coronary artery disease, stroke and heart failure is truly remarkable, as evidenced by this continuing national recognition from the American Heart Association,” said David E. Phelps, President of Berkshire Health Systems. “Across numerous disciplines and throughout our continuum of care, the doctors who make up our medical staff, the nurses who work throughout the Medical Center, our technologists, therapists and all other staff have made this recognition possible. They’re committed to providing the best care possible to our community.”
“Seven years ago, BMC was one of the first hospitals in the country to join this innovative program called Get With The Guidelines,” said Dr. Gray Ellrodt, Chairman of the Department of Medicine at BMC. “It was designed to dramatically improve outcomes for patients with cardiovascular disease. Heart attacks and stroke are the leading cause of death in Berkshire County and the United States. We wanted to insure that patients with cardiovascular disease receive state-of-the-art therapy 100% of the time – with no exceptions. Our focus was on the individual through a true team approach, our goal was to provide perfect care for each and every patient every time.”
BMC has won more national awards for excellence in cardiovascular care from the American Heart Association than any other hospital in the country and is the first hospital in the United States to have earned Gold Awards, the highest level of recognition, in all three categories – coronary artery disease, stroke and heart failure. According to Dr. Ellrodt, “Since launching these efforts at BMC, deaths from heart attacks, heart disease and stroke have decreased at a significantly faster rate in Berkshire County than the state or the country. How we achieved these results is an extraordinary success story.”
The American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines program is designed to increase the use of and adherence to the association’s acute care and secondary prevention guidelines for coronary artery disease, stroke and heart failure.

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