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Team members at MMC smiled proudly while displaying the Cardiac Recognition Award received by Marias Medical Center during the Montana Hospital Association’s annual meeting held in Billings on Sept. 19. Pictured with the award, from back left, are Cindy Frydenlund, Shawna Krause, Jody Heryford, Tim Coe,

Bridget Blevins and Dr. Biccum; front row, from left, Kristen Russell, Tressa Keller, Pam Gillette, Anna Davila, Amber Massey, Crystal Rattler and Dr. Lewis.

Marias Medical Center was recognized with the Cardiac Recognition Award at the Montana Hospital Association’s annual meeting in Billings on Sept. 19. The Cardiac Recognition Award is sponsored by the Cardiovascular Health Program within the state health department. 

The recognition award singles out Critical Access Hospitals that demonstrate they have the infrastructure and commitment to provide high quality care for patients with acute coronary syndrome, which includes heart attack.  

“We are proud of the ongoing commitment to excellence that this Cardiac Recognition Award affirms,” said MMC CEO William Kiefer. “This is one of many examples where our providers and staff work to create a healthcare environment capable of saving lives and preventing negative health outcomes for our patients and community.” 

Receiving the Cardiac Recognition confirms Marias Medical Center meets high standards related to the utilization of evidence-based, cardiac order-sets and protocols, provides laboratory services 24/7, has a well thought out transfer protocol and has administrative commitment to treating heart attack patients.  

This is the ninth year that the Cardiac Recognition Award was presented and Marias Medical Center is one of 21 Critical Access Hospitals to qualify for the award. Requirements for the recognition include tracking and reporting key cardiac outcomes, using outcomes data to initiate quality improvement activities and coordinating regular healthcare provider cardiac trainings.

“All our staff who work in the ER contributed to Marias Medical Center qualifying for this award,” said Bridget Blevins, Director of Cardiopulmonary Services. “It is great to be recognized for our high quality care and dedication to our cardiac patients.” –

Heart disease is a leading cause of death in both the Montana and the United States.  Last year, over 3,000 Montanans died from the impact of heart disease.  Symptom recognition and timely, high quality treatment are important factors in reducing death from heart attack.    

Know the signs and symptoms of heart attack:

Discomfort in the chest that does not go away after a short period of time.

Discomfort in the arm, shoulder, jaw or upper back.

Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.

Breaking out into a cold sweat, unexplained nausea, dizziness, palpitations or fatigue.

Know what to do if you or someone you know experience heart attack symptoms, call 9-1-1 immediately.

For more information about heart disease, please visit www.heart.org.

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