The American Heart Association has received a three-year, $4.6 million grant from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust to improve emergency medical response to heart attacks in rural Montana, the Billings Gazette reports.
The grant will support the launch in Montana of the Mission: Lifeline program, which is designed to provide timely access to treatment for ST-elevated myocardial infarctions, a life-threatening condition where blood flow is completely blocked to a portion of the heart. In 2012, nearly eighteen hundred people in the state were hospitalized with acute heart attacks, including 777 diagnosed with STEMI, the Gazette reports.
Grant funds will be used to equip ambulances in the state with mobile electrocardiograms and related equipment enabling the electronic transmission of heart test results to nearby hospitals. The grant also will support additional training for emergency medical service providers and hospital employees and will fund the development of protocols and policies for dealing with heart attacks.
The Heart Association Western States affiliate has pledged to raise an additional $833,000 for the program and provide $1.2 million in in-kind services.
"This is indeed a big day for the Big Sky state and a cause for celebration," said Montana governor Steve Bullock, who added that the grant represents a significant investment in the state's rural healthcare system. "[It] means more parents and grandparents who will be around for their families. More employees will be able to fully go back to work after a heart attack."