In December of 2013, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital was designated a STEMI (ST — Elevation Myocardial Infarction) Receiving Center (SRC) by the Los Angeles County EMS agency. Since then, members of the Henry Mayo SRC team have dedicated themselves to providing the Santa Clarita Valley the very best in heart care.
The primary treatment for a STEMI is to re-establish blood flow with a procedure called “Percutaneous Coronary Intervention” (PCI). This is a cardiac procedure whereby balloon angioplasty, stents, or suction devices are used to open blockages in the coronary artery, and the faster this treatment is delivered, the better the chances of survival and minimizing long-term damage to the heart muscle.
In 2020, Henry Mayo had an average “Door-to- PCI” time of 45 minutes, significantly faster than the national standard of 60 minutes. Door-to-PCI time is the time between when a patient arrives in the Emergency Department and the time that PCI is performed on the patient’s blocked artery to re-establish blood flow.
A fast door-to-PCI time is critical because “time is muscle,” meaning that the faster blood flow is restored, the less permanent damage is sustained to the heart. Achieving such rapid door-to PCI times in the midst of the pandemic underscores Henry Mayo’s commitment to providing top-notch care to the Santa Clarita Valley community.
The Henry Mayo STEMI team is led by Tamar Avakian, NP, Manager of Cardiovascular Services. Avakian has over 16 years’ experience as a member of STEMI teams. When she arrived at Henry Mayo in 2012, she leveraged that experience to help build Henry Mayo’s STEMI program.
A key factor in a successful STEMI program is strong collaboration between the Emergency Department staff, the Roberta G. Veloz Cardiac Cath Lab staff, and Emergency Medical Services paramedics, as well as a commitment to excellence by all team members. “We have a great team here at Henry Mayo,” Avakian said. “Collaboration and a shared commitment to excellence are critical. We’re fortunate to have people who are passionate about providing the absolute best care.”
Roger E. Seaver, Henry Mayo’s president and CEO, said, “Providing great heart care involves continually finding areas to improve and save time. Many people on our cardiac care team live in this community. They care deeply about taking care of their friends and neighbors.”
More information about the Roberta G. Veloz Cardiovascular Center, please visit Henrymayo.com/ heart.