W.W. Caruth, Jr. Foundation Awards $3.5 Million to Improve Heart Attack Care

The W.W. Caruth, Jr. Foundation of the Communities Foundation of Texas has announced a two-year, $3.5 million grant to the South-Central Affiliate of the American Heart Association to improve heart attack survival rates in northern Texas.

Working closely with Dallas County's seventeen hospitals and twenty-three emergency medical services providers, AHA will work to reduce the time it takes for heart attack patients to receive lifesaving treatment. To that end, AHA will convene EMS and hospital emergency providers to discuss regional standardization of emergency heart attack treatment and transport protocols, report and share patient care and quality improvement data, increase professional education standards, and eliminate equipment gaps so all EMS providers can identify suspected heart attack patients in the field and transmit to the hospital for expedited treatment and transport. The grant also will support the county's first in-depth analysis of total heart attack patient care and system-level performance.

"The goal of the Caruth-funded project is to ensure that anyone in the county who suffers a heart attack receives optimal treatment as quickly as medically possible upon experiencing the first symptom and dialing 9-1-1," said John Warner, a cardiologist and president of the AHA's Dallas Division. "Treating the heart attack within the first hour of symptom onset requires a coordinated effort between all hospitals, ambulances and emergency departments, and this project offers us the opportunity to optimize these relationships in Dallas County."