BEMIDJI -- Sanford Health of Northern Minnesota's Bemidji Medical Center was honored by the American College of Cardiology recently.

According to a release, the facility earned an award from the ACC because of its work with a chest pain registry system. The Bemidji Medical Center is one of 212 hospitals nationwide to receive the honor.

The award recognizes the medical center's commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care for heart attack patients. It also signifies that the facility has reached an aggressive goal of treating patients to standard levels of care outlined by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association clinical guidelines and recommendations.

To receive the award, Sanford's facility performed at the highest level for the specific measurements in 2019 and 2020.

"Sanford Bemidji Medical Center has established itself as a leader in setting the national standard for improving quality of care in patients with acute myocardial infarction," said Dr. Michael Kontos, chair of the National Cardiovascular Data Chest Pain Registry Steering Subcommittee. "By meeting the award requirements set forth in the registry, Sanford Bemidji Medical Center has demonstrated a commitment to providing reliable, comprehensive treatment for heart attack patients based on current clinical guideline recommendations."

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"We are immensely honored with receiving the platinum award," said Susan Jarvis, CEO and president of Sanford Health of Northern Minnesota. "This recognition is a direct reflection of the outstanding work of our cardiovascular and Bemidji Medical Center teams all coming together to improve heart care for our region and local community."

To continue providing quality care, Sanford is planning a new heart and vascular facility to be built next year on its campus in north Bemidji.