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Central Texas Medical Center: News

CTMC Receives American Heart Association's Mission: Lifeline Recognition for Heart Attack Care

SAN MARCOS, TX — Central Texas Medical Center (CTMC) is among 225 hospitals nationwide who were recently recognized for achievement in using evidence-based guidelines to provide the best possible care to patients through the American Heart Association / American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® and Mission: Lifeline® programs. The honored hospitals are featured in a special advertisement in US News & World Report, published online at, and in the publication’s ―Best Hospitals Guidebook, available in print this August.


CTMC qualified for the Mission: Lifeline Bronze Quality Achievement recognition, meaning the hospital has demonstrated for 90 consecutive days that at least 85 percent of eligible ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) patients (without contraindications) are treated within specific time frames upon entering the hospital and discharged following the American Heart Association’s recommended treatment guidelines.


“Published scientific studies are providing us with more and more evidence that Get With the Guidelines works,” said Kent Ferguson, board chairman for the American Heart Association’s Capital Area Division. “Patients are getting the care they need when they need it, resulting in improved outcomes. We salute the local hospitals chosen by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association to be honored in US News & World Report.”


The recognition acknowledges CTMC’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care for heart attack patients that effectively improves the survival and care of STEMI patients. Every year, almost 250,000 people experience the STEMI type of heart attack. Unfortunately, a significant number don't receive prompt reperfusion therapy, which is critical in restoring blood flow. Mission: Lifeline seeks to save lives by closing the gaps that separate STEMI patients from timely access to appropriate treatments. Mission: Lifeline is focusing on improving the system of care for these patients and at the same time improving care for all heart attack patients.


“Central Texas Medical Center is dedicated to making our cardiac unit among the best in the country, and the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program is helping us accomplish that by making it easier for our professionals to improve the outcomes of our cardiac patients,” said CTMC CEO/President Sam Huenergardt. “We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in cardiac care.”


In recent years, CTMC has taken steps to provide a higher level of cardiac care with an ongoing expansion of its specialty cardiac services. A certified Chest Pain Center was implemented at the hospital in 2011, and a new Interventional Cardiac Catheterization Lab is slated to open later this summer. The hospital is also pursuing certification as a primary stroke center in a further effort to meet the higher-level needs of area residents who would otherwise have to travel to Austin or San Antonio to receive the interventional stroke care.


Hospitals involved in Mission: Lifeline strive to improve care in both acute treatment measures and discharge measures. Systems of care are developed that close the gap of timely access to appropriate, life-saving treatments. Before they are discharged, appropriate patients are started on aggressive risk reduction therapies such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, aspirin, ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers in the hospital and receive smoking cessation counseling.


About CTMC
The hospital, which originated in 1923 as Hays County Soldiers, Sailors and Marines Memorial Hospital, was restructured in 1960. The present facility was opened at its current Wonder World Drive location in 1983. The CTMC staff of more than 700 employees works with more than 220 active and consulting physicians to provide quality services to patients and their families. In addition, over 200 community members and interns from area educational institutions volunteer their services to the hospital. In 2010 and again in 2011,  CTMC was named The Best Hospital in Hays County.  In addition, CTMC added a certified Chest Pain Center to its ER capabilities in 2011. In 2012, CTMC became the first operating room along the IH-35 corridor between Austin and San Antonio to be equipped with a da Vinci robotic-assisted surgery suite.


CTMC is a member of the Adventist Health System (AHS), a not-for-profit healthcare organization that emphasizes Christ at the center of care. Founded in 1973, AHS  has quickly grown to become the largest not-for-profit Protestant healthcare provider in the nation. Today, AHS  supports 43 hospitals and employs 55,000 individuals. AHS hospitals are comprised of 7,700 licensed beds, providing care for 4 million patients each year in inpatient, outpatient and emergency room visits.


About Mission: Lifeline

The American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program helps hospitals and emergency medical services develop systems of care that follow proven standards and procedures for STEMI patients. The program works by mobilizing teams across the continuum of care to implement American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology clinical treatment guidelines.  For more information, visit and




Central Texas Medical Center
1301 Wonder World Drive
San Marcos, TX 78666