United States Department of Veterans Affairs

Bay Pines VA Healthcare System

Bay Pines VA receives AHA Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure Silver Quality Achievement Award

April 3, 2013

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BAY PINES, FL — The Bay Pines VA Healthcare System (VAHCS) has received the Get With The Guidelines®–Heart Failure Silver Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association. The recognition signifies that Bay Pines VAHCS has reached an aggressive goal of treating heart failure patients according to the guidelines of care recommended by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology.

Following Get With The Guidelines–Heart Failure treatment guidelines can improve the quality of care for heart failure patients, save lives and ultimately, reduce healthcare costs by lowering the recurrence of heart attacks. Heart failure patients are started on aggressive risk-reduction therapies if needed, including cholesterol-lowering drugs, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, aspirin, diuretics and anticoagulants while in the hospital. Before discharge, they also receive education on managing their heart failure and overall health, including lifestyle modifications and follow-up care. Hospitals must adhere to these measures at a set level for a designated period of time to be eligible for the achievement awards.

"Bay Pines is dedicated to making our care for heart failure patients among the best in the country. The American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines – Heart Failure program helps us to accomplish this goal," said Teresa Kumar, Associate Director for Patient Care and Nursing Services. "This recognition demonstrates that we are on the right track and we’re very proud of our team."

According to the American Heart Association, about 5.7 million people suffer from heart failure. Statistics also show that, each year, 670,000 new cases are diagnosed and more than 277,000 people will die of heart failure. However, many heart failure patients can lead a full, enjoyable life when their condition is managed with proper medications and devices and with healthy lifestyle changes.

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About the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System

The Bay Pines VAHCS is one of the nation's leading VA healthcare systems, employing more than 3,500 medical professionals and support staff dedicated to providing the very best care to Veterans residing in southwest Florida. The Bay Pines VA is accredited by The Joint Commission and the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. The healthcare system is also a three-time winner of the Robert W. Carey Circle of Excellence Award, the VA’s top honor for quality achievement. The healthcare system operates nine facilities to include the main medical center located in Bay Pines and outpatient clinics located in Bradenton, Cape Coral, Naples, Palm Harbor, Port Charlotte, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, and Sebring. Every year Bay Pines VAHCS treats nearly 100,000 Veterans while providing a full range of high quality medical, psychiatric, and extended care services in outpatient, inpatient, nursing home, and home care settings. For more information about the Bay Pines VAHCS, please visit www.baypines.va.gov.