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Hospital first in state to receive critical heart- and stroke-related designations

STEMI STROKE cert graphicTeton Valley Hospital this month became first critical access hospital in the state of Idaho to receive STEMI II and Stroke III designations.

In addition to its recent Trauma level recognition, the new designations continue to demonstrate how Teton Valley Health Care is supporting the valley by providing the highest level of care, locally.

These emergency-care levels are determined through a rigorous audit and testing process led by the State of Idaho Time Sensitive Emergency Council (TSE).

“I personally wanted to congratulate you and your facility since Teton Valley Hospital is the first CAH in Idaho to have earned all 3 TSE designations,” said Christian Surjan, program manager of Idaho’s TSEC, which is a department of the Idaho Health and Welfare’s Bureaus of EMS & Preparedness department.

Level II STEMI (ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction) capability documents that Teton Valley Hospital‘s cardiac team is appropriately trained and certified in recognizing and treating acute coronary syndromes. The hospital also provides diagnostic testing to diagnose myocardial infarction and can dispense medications 24/7 as recommended by American Heart Association. TVH also follows protocols as agreed upon with our referral center, Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center (EIRMC), a Trauma-level II medical facility in Idaho Falls.

STEMI patients can receive the initial medication, treatment and stabilization for a heart attack onsite at TVH. Swift intervention reduces the destruction of heart muscle. After initial treatment and stabilization, patients are then transferred to EIRMC to determine the extent of cardiac damage, coronary artery involvement and possible further intervention in the form of percutaneous coronary intervention PCI (balloon angioplasty) or coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), both of which require a cardiac surgeon.

Level III Stroke designation means that TVH offers a stroke team 24/7 trained in stroke diagnosis and treatment, and has a neurologist or physician available to assist in diagnosis (in-person and via University of Utah Health Care Telestroke services). TVH also has the correct diagnostic equipment, and utilizes protocols and procedures to support treatment of ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes.

For stroke patients, TVHC can provide the initial diagnosis within a very rapid time frame through a CT (computerized tomography) scan with subsequent ability to provide the clot-busting medication for ischemic strokes. The patient would then need to be transferred to EIRMC for Neurology ICU and any further interventions.

“For heart attacks, time is muscle,” said TVHC CEO Keith Gnagey. “For stroke recovery, time is brain. Coming to Teton Valley Hospital can reduce the permanent damage that a stroke or heart attack can cause. As a rural hospital, it’s essential that we can provide the correct care in the shortest amount of time, which is why our staff has been certified to render this lifesaving care for many years. By undergoing the certification process and ongoing quality reporting to TSE, we can further assure our community that they have round the clock care for these types of medical emergencies.”

For more information about these specific designations at TVH, contact Ann Loyola at (208) 354-6301. For information on Teton Valley Health Care providers and services visit

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