MemorialCare Earns National Recognition for Efforts to Improve Cardiovascular, Diabetes and Stroke Treatment

The American Heart Association, American Stroke Association and American Medical Association present multiple awards for implementation of quality care for primary and specialty care patients.
Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 4:36 PM EDT

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif., Oct. 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- MemorialCare has received three American Heart Association and American Stroke Association Gold Plus Achievement Awards for implementing quality improvement measures that ensure cardiovascular and stroke patients receive efficient and coordinated care, ultimately leading to more lives saved, shorter recovery times and fewer returns to the hospital. MemorialCare has also received four American Heart Association outpatient program awards in recognition for their commitment to reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke through improving type 2 diabetes and blood pressure management.

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MemorialCare logo

Nearly half of all adults in the U.S. have experienced some form of cardiovascular disease – including heart attack, stroke and heart failure. For patients with conditions that are severe enough to be transported or admitted to a hospital, time is critical.

The American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines programs help reduce barriers to prompt treatment for cardiovascular events. As a participant in Get With The Guidelines programs, MemorialCare Long Beach Medical Center and MemorialCare Saddleback Medical Center applied for the award recognitions by demonstrating how their organization has committed to improving quality care for patients.

This year, MemorialCare's northernmost hospital based in Los Angeles County, Long Beach Medical Center, received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Get With The Guidelines® - Stroke GOLD PLUS with Honor Roll Elite and Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll Achievement Award and the Get With The Guidelines® - Heart Failure GOLD PLUS with Honor Roll and Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll Achievement Award.

"As healthcare professionals, our mission is to always strive to offer the best care, and do the very best for our patients," said Ike Mmeje, chief operating officer, Long Beach Medical Center. "Awards such as these are a reminder of our patient-centric values and connection to our purpose."

In addition, MemorialCare's southernmost hospital in South Orange County, Saddleback Medical Center, received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Get With The Guidelines® - Stroke GOLD PLUS with Honor Roll Elite and Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll Achievement Award.

"It is a privilege to receive this award from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association and it reflects the hard work and dedication that our clinical staff provides every day to our patients in an effort to strive for excellent cardiovascular care," said Catherine Shitara, chief operating officer, Saddleback Medical Center.  "The Get with the Guidelines programs help put proven knowledge and guidelines to work on a daily basis to improve outcomes for cardiovascular and stroke patients."

Saddleback Medical Center has been at award level since 2013 and Gold Plus since 2014. Long Beach Medical Center has been at award level since 2008, Gold since 2009 and Gold Plus since 2010.

"We are pleased to recognize MemorialCare's Long Beach Medical Center and Saddleback Medical Center for their commitment to cardiovascular care," said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., national chairperson of the American Heart Association's Quality Oversight Committee and Executive Vice Chair of Neurology, Director of Acute Stroke Services, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts. "Research has shown that hospitals adhering to clinical measures through the American Heart Association's quality improvement programs often see fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates."

MemorialCare's affiliated medical groups, Greater Newport Physicians and MemorialCare Medical Group also received the Target: Type 2 Diabetes℠ Gold and the Target: BP™ Silver recognitions from the American Heart Association and the American Medical Association (AMA). Greater Newport Physicians and MemorialCare Medical Group have been at award level since 2020.

"We're honored to be recognized by the American Heart Association and American Medical Association for our ongoing dedication to help patients who choose us for cardiac care," said Mark Schafer, M.D. Chief Executive Officer, MemorialCare Medical Foundation. "These achievements are a testament to the unparalleled level of quality care and services that we strive to provide to our patients every day."

"Addressing blood pressure management is key for better cardiovascular health – and critical today since heart disease and strokes continue to be a leading cause of death for Americans," James Langabeer, Ph.D., FAHA, volunteer expert for the American Heart Association and Professor and Vice Chair of Emergency Medicine with McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). "We are pleased to recognize MemorialCare for their commitment to managing the risk factors for patients around critical risk factors like high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes."

About MemorialCare:
MemorialCare, a pioneer in evidence-based medicine and high-value health care, has over 225 care locations; top hospitals—Long Beach Medical Center, Miller Children's & Women's Hospital Long Beach, Orange Coast Medical Center and Saddleback Medical Center; award-winning MemorialCare Medical Group and Greater Newport Physicians; MemorialCare Research Programs, MemorialCare Select Health Plan and numerous convenient, cost-effective outpatient surgery, medical imaging, physical therapy, breast health, dialysis, urgent care and comprehensive primary care and specialty care health centers throughout Southern California. MemorialCare's many honors include Best U.S. Health Care Systems, Best Places to Work, Top Performing Medical Groups, selection by readers and editors of eight newspapers as Best Hospitals and Best Medical Groups; and Magnet recognition for all its hospitals—the highest honor for nursing excellence. For more information, visit

About Get With The Guidelines
Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's hospital-based quality improvement program that provides hospitals with the latest research-based guidelines. Developed with the goal of saving lives and hastening recovery, Get With The Guidelines has touched the lives of more than 9 million patients since 2001. For more information, visit

About Target: BP
Target: BP is a national collaboration between the AHA and the AMA aimed at reducing the number of Americans who suffer from heart attacks and strokes each year by urging physician practices, health systems and patients to prioritize BP control. The initiative aims to help health care organizations improve blood pressure control rates through use of AMA MAP BP™ evidence-based protocol, and recognizes organizations committed to improving blood pressure control.

About Target: Type 2 Diabetes SM
The American Heart Association, the world's leading voluntary organization dedicated to building longer, healthier lives, created the Target: Type 2 Diabetes™ initiative as a part of the Know Diabetes by Heart™ effort to raise awareness and understanding of the link between diabetes and cardiovascular disease among patients, caregivers and health care professionals as well as empower patients and care givers to better manage risk factors.

The Target: Type 2 Diabetes program supports physicians and care teams by offering access to the latest research, tools and resources to provide the latest cardiovascular and type 2 diabetes management and treatment guidelines.

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SOURCE MemorialCare Health System

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