Press Release

Elmhurst Clinic receives Heart of Chicago Award

For Immediate Release, August 22, 2006
Kyle Bauer, 630-993-5702

ELMHURST - The Elmhurst Clinic was selected as the recipient of the Heart of Chicago Award from the American Heart Association (AHA) and Pfizer Inc. The Heart of Chicago Award recognizes healthcare providers who are working diligently to not only treat cardiovascular disease (CVD), but also to prevent it. A panel of cardiologist judges selected the Elmhurst Clinic's entry based on global perspective, practical application, innovation and commitment. Both current practices and creative ideas for preventing CVD are considered.

"The American Heart Association is pleased to recognize The Elmhurst Clinic for its dedication to our mission to fight cardiovascular disease in Metro Chicago," said Andrew Rauh, M.D., a Cardiologist with Midwest Heart Specialists and president of the AHA's Metro Chicago Board of Directors. "Community partners like the Elmhurst Clinic are saving lives everyday, moving us closer to reaching our goal of reducing heart disease, stroke and risk by 25 percent by 2010."

The Coumadin Clinic, clinical diabetes management, implementation of the electronic medical record and National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) certification were highlighted by John Benages, M.D., chief medical officer of the Elmhurst Clinic, in the entry letter. The Coumadin Clinic provides fast, centralized care to patients taking blood-thinning drugs, including some cardiac and diabetes patients. A large number of the Clinic's patients have diabetes, which puts them at a high risk for CVD. Telephone calls reminding patients to have tests performed is one way that Clinic physicians are proactively monitoring diabetes patients. Electronic medical records also help improve CVD prevention by making it easier for managers to perform quality and outcome studies. Further, eight physicians were reviewed and the Clinic received NCQA certification in the areas of diabetes and heart attack/stroke prevention.

Heart of Chicago's objective is not only to build the awareness of prevention and treatment of CVD at the early stages but also to build a process that can be easily adopted by physicians. The ultimate goal is to lower the number of heart attacks and strokes seen in the area by reaching patients before they have an episode. On a much larger scale, Heart of Chicago hopes that through the partnerships of area physicians, cardiologists, the AHA and Pfizer, a model will be developed that will create a movement to improve the heart health of patients in other regions.

Dr. Benages will accept the award on behalf of the Elmhurst Clinic at the AHA's national meeting this fall in Chicago. The Clinic also will be recognized at upcoming AHA fundraising functions through 2007.

Founded in 1926, Elmhurst Memorial Hospital today is Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare, a comprehensive health system with multiple locations and services designed to enhance the health of the communities and customers we serve. With 427 licensed beds, Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare and its staff of more than 3,500 employees and 550 physicians are committed to excellence in medical and surgical care, behavioral health, cardiology, emergency care, maternity, neurosurgery, oncology, orthopedics and pediatrics. For more information about Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare, please call our physician referral line at (630) 782-7878, or visit our online physician referral service.

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