Freeman Earns Gold and Gold Plus Status for Heart Care

American Heart Association Get with the Guidelines and Mission: Lifeline Dual Award Winner

(Joplin, MO) –  Freeman Health System has received national recognition for its commitment to providing high-quality cardiovascular care. Freeman has received three American Heart Association top achievement awards — one, Get With The Guidelines® award and two Mission: Lifeline® awards — for demonstrating commitment to following up-to-date, research-based guidelines for the treatment of heart disease and stroke, ultimately leading to more lives saved, shorter recovery times and fewer readmissions to the hospital.

“We’re proud of Freeman Heart & Vascular Institute for raising the bar on heart care with two gold-level awards from the American Heart Association,” said Paula F. Baker, Freeman President and Chief Executive Officer. “Year after year, our heart care team meets stringent standards to provide rapid, quality care when it matters most. Time is critical during a cardiac emergency, and our caregivers demonstrate their skill and compassion with sophisticated heart procedures time and time again.”

This year Freeman received these achievement awards:

  • 2022 Mission: Lifeline® STEMI (ST-elevation myocardial infarction) Receiving Center Gold Plus Achievement Award
  • 2022 Mission: Lifeline® NSTEMI (non-ST-elevation acute myocardial Infarction) Gold Quality Achievement Award
  • 2022 American Heart Association and American Stroke Association Get With The Guidelines® – Stroke Gold Plus with Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll Achievement Award

“At Freeman, we consistently strive for the best outcomes for the patients that present to our hospitals that present with coronary artery disease (CAD),” said Dr. Darwin Jeyaraj, Freeman interventional cardiologist. “We have an excellent team that provides exceptional care for a variety of cardiac and vascular problems. The awards that we have received now and in years past are an illustration of the hard work that the Freeman Heart & Vascular Institute team puts in each day.”

STEMI Receiving Centers earn Gold recognition for achieving 75% or higher compliance on all Mission: Lifeline STEMI Receiving Center quality achievement measures. Freeman’s achievement scores greatly exceeded that with 94% to 100% compliance in six distinct areas.

Additionally, time is a critical factor in caring for heart patients. Mission: Lifeline STEMI receiving centers achieve gold status if their door-to-device time is less than 120 minutes at least 50% of the time. Freeman’s score is 86.5%. STEMI Gold Plus status means Freeman met the requirements for two consecutive years.

Hospitals earn NSTEMI Gold recognition for also achieving at least two consecutive years interval with 65% or higher adherence to the dual antiplatelet therapy prescription at discharge and 85% or higher compliance on each of the other four quality measures. Again, Freeman scored high above what is required, with 95% t0 100% compliance in all five areas.

“We are pleased to recognize Freeman for its commitment to caring for those in their community who need cardiovascular care,” said John Warner, MD, FAHA, past president of the American Heart Association and executive vice president for health system affairs at UT Southwestern Medical Center, in Dallas. “Hospitals that follow the American Heart Association’s quality improvement protocols often see improved patient outcomes, fewer re-admissions, and lower mortality rates — a win for health care systems, families, and communities.”

Mission: Lifeline Receiving Hospital recognition is designed to showcase hospitals who provide 24/7 restoration of blood flow support for STEMIs. These facilities, like Freeman, coordinate with a network of referring hospitals and emergency medical services to provide guideline-directed STEMI and NSTEMI care for their community.

About Freeman Health System:

Locally owned, not-for-profit and nationally recognized, Freeman Health System includes Freeman Hospital West, Freeman Hospital East, Freeman Neosho Hospital and Ozark Center – the area’s largest provider of behavioral health services – as well as two urgent care clinics, dozens of physician clinics and a variety of specialty services. In 2020, Freeman earned dozens of individual awards for medical excellence and patient safety from CareChex®, a quality rating system that helps consumers evaluate healthcare providers. U.S. News & World Report named Freeman Health System the Best Hospital in Southwest Missouri for 2020. With more than 320 physicians on staff representing more than 80 specialties, Freeman provides cancer care, heart care, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopaedics, children’s services and women’s services. Additionally, Freeman is the only Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in a 70-mile radius. For more information, visit

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 Foundation clinical treatment guidelines.  For more information, visit

About Get With The Guidelines:

Get With the Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program that provides hospitals with the latest research-based guidelines. Developed with the goal of saving lives and hastening recovery, Get With The Guidelines has touched the lives of more than 12 million patients since 2001. For more information, visit


Lisa Olliges, Media Specialist
Freeman Health System

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