On Wednesday morning, Porter Regional Hospital and the American Heart Association gathered to celebrate their partnership, Porter Regional Hospital’s Gold Plus Achievement, and discuss the newest updates to the American Heart Association’s blood pressure guidelines.
With an introduction from Diane Kemp, Vice President and Executive Director of the American Heart Association, the press conference kicked off with a few highlights from the previous few months.
“We’re excited to be here this morning at Porter Regional Hospital and we’re here to talk about some very important things from a past, present, and future standpoint, and the amazing things happening here at Porter,” said Kemp.
These amazing things included a Gold Plus Achievement by the hospital, and updates to the blood pressure guidelines. During the presentation, Dr. Daniel Linert, Co-chair of the Congestive Heart Failure Program for Porter Health Care System, and his team, were presented with a plaque from the American Heart Association for receiving a Gold Plus Achievement, which recognizes their compliance with the American Heart Association’s Get with the Guidelines criteria.
“We are the only hospital in Northwest Indiana to accomplish gold standards for heart failure,” explained Dr. Linert. “Achieving the Gold Plus level helps us illustrate that we are providing the best care with the best resources out there.”
The new blood pressure guidelines lowered the definition of high blood pressure, defining it as a systolic blood pressure measurement of 130 mm Hg or higher and a diastolic measurement of 80 or higher. While this does mean more people are classified as having high blood pressure, Dr. Jay Shah, Director of the Echocardiography Laboratory and Medical Director of Heart Valve Center at Porter Health Care System, pointed out the benefits of reaching people early.
“We know if we get to people earlier and we address blood pressure early, with lifestyle changes, we can dramatically reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke,” explained Dr. Shah. “What these guidelines do is really empower people and doctors here in Northwest Indiana.”
The presentation wrapped up with a few words from the new CEO of Porter Health Care System, Sean Dardeau. Though he’s only been with the hospital for about a month, he addressed the pride he feels as his team has accomplished such a major milestone for any hospital.
“This recognition is a reflection of the hard work this team does every day to improve cardiac care in Northwest Indiana. For a hospital this size to have the level of care and such comprehensive care available is impressive,” said Dardeau. “I want to thank our physicians for leading the charge. Thank you for the advancements you’re making not only in the profession, but also here in Northwest Indiana.
For Porter Regional Hospital and the American Heart Association, these new guidelines and constant advancements in cardiac care are a positive addition to Northwest Indiana. Through these efforts and those planned in the future, Porter Regional Hospital is sure to touch many more lives through capable, skilled care.