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This week the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services announced Missouri Time Critical Diagnosis STEMI Centers. St. Joseph and St. Mary’s Medical Centers were two of only 23 Missouri hospitals to make the list.STEMI is a common name for ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction, a serious heart attack in which one of the heart’s main arteries is blocked. Because of the risk of death and disability, patients experiencing a STEMI need quick care. The designation means St. Joseph and St. Mary’s have a consistently proven plan and record of dealing with almost every aspect of STEMI and provide a high level of care to a great number of patients experiencing trauma, stroke and heart attacks in which one of the heart’s major arteries is blocked.

Missouri hospitals can apply for the voluntary STEMI designation and the level reflects a range of hospital-based functions within the emergency medical care system, each playing a vital role in the system. Level 2 STEMI facilities provide many of the same resources for immediate care of heart attack patients as Level 1 STEMI centers.


“The STEMI teams at St. Joseph and St. Mary’s are extremely efficient and impressive,” said Krista Bay, Performance Improvement Manager at St. Mary’s Medical Center. “Individuals who receive treatment within specific time frames after symptoms begin are more likely to recover and less likely to have permanent disabilities. Getting help and getting it fast is the key to surviving this major medical emergency.”

Missouri’s Time Critical Diagnosis system is designed to coordinate emergency care provided by emergency responders and all medical facilities to send patients to the nearest qualified hospital. Having the resources of a Level 2 Center provides a life-saving service to a community can be especially important in a rural region.

In addition to being a Level II STEMI Center, St. Joseph and St. Mary’s Medical Centers are Level II Stroke and Level II Chest Pain Centers.