Sioux Falls, SD – Dr. Tom Stys, an interventional cardiologist with Sanford Heart Hospital in Sioux Falls, has been appointed to the American Heart Association’s Mission : Lifeline Advisory Working Group, a national board that provides strategic direction and oversight on the Association’s Mission : Lifeline Initiative.
Dr. Stys was appointed to this role for a two-year term. In addition to serving on the Mission : Lifeline Working Group, Dr. Stys also is a member of the American Heart Association Midwest Affiliate Board of Directors.
“As an interventional cardiologist with expertise and experience in providing quality, timely care for heart attack patients in a rural state, Dr. Stys brings an important perspective to the Mission: Lifeline Advisory Working Group,” said Kevin Harker, executive vice president of the Midwest Affiliate. “He understands the geographic challenges providers and patients face in South Dakota, and will represent them well in this national volunteer group. His involvement and leadership will have a great impact on our lifesaving mission.”
The American Heart Association’s Mission : Lifeline program seeks to save lives by closing gaps in the systems of STEMI care. The most deadly form of heart attack, STEMI, short for ST elevation myocardial infarction, affects 400,000 Americans annually and is caused by the sudden, total blockage of a coronary artery. Unless the blockage is eliminated quickly, the patient’s health and life are at serious risk.
“Heart disease is the number one killer of South Dakotans,” said Dr. Stys. “With 824,000 people spread over more than 75,000 square miles, our state faces a unique challenge in rural heart attack care. I am honored to provide perspective to this important working group to help save lives.”
The Mission : Lifeline project in South Dakota would not have been possible without an $8.4 million three-year grant from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, which was awarded to the American Heart Association in April 2010 to implement a STEMI system of care across South Dakota. South Dakota ranks nationally as one of the top ten states with the highest STEMI death rate. Through Mission : Lifeline, the American Heart Association will ensure that healthcare systems are able to deliver prompt and appropriate care to STEMI patients during the critical time period following their heart attack.
For more information on Mission : Lifeline or the American Heart Association’s mission in South Dakota, please visit www.heart.org/southdakota or call Chrissy Spoo at 605-360-2542.