Okaloosa earns National Association of Counties Achievement Award

health STEMI

Okaloosa County has been recognized for successfully starting the STEMI program. From left are Kevin Burton, Emergency Medical Services coordinator, and Mitch Mongell, CEO, Fort Walton Beach Medical Center; Al Herndon, Okaloosa County EMS division chief; Jeff McInnis, Fort Walton Beach Medical Center board president; and Dino Villani, Okaloosa County Public Safety director.

Special to the News Bulletin
Published: Tuesday, August 20, 2013 at 05:12 PM.


FORT WALTON BEACH — Okaloosa County’s Emergency Medical Services Division of Public Safety and the Fort Walton Beach Medical Center developed the STEMI program to transmit electrocardiograms immediately to the emergency room.

The system, which provides an early warning to save patients under cardiac arrest, has received widespread attention.

The National Association of Counties granted Okaloosa County the 2013 Achievement Award in recognition of the program and "hard work yielding positive results for Okaloosa County," as stated in the letter.

"This is another great example where we have worked with others in the community to increase public safety for our residents," stated Chairman Don Amunds, Okaloosa County Commissioner. "Fort Walton Beach Medical Center reached out to us as a routine transporter of cardiac patients, which resulted in dramatic patient improvement and successful outcomes, due in large part to the team commitment for better patient care," stated Public Safety Director Dino Villani.

Since STEMI's inception, three other hospitals, two in Okaloosa, began using it.


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