Since 2012, an evaluation team from the RUPRI Center has been involved in qualitative program evaluation of the American Heart Association’s “Mission: Lifeline” programs through funding from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.
Mission: Lifeline strives to develop statewide systems of care for heart attack patients, especially those experiencing the most deadly type, ST-elevation myocardial infarctions (STEMIs). In March 2016, the team concluded its four-state series of program evaluations. It was contracted first to evaluate Mission: Lifeline in South Dakota, then in North Dakota, Wyoming, and rural Minnesota. Each team effort involved onsite visits to the states and scores of telephone calls and interviews with hospital and Emergency Medical Services representatives as well as other stakeholders throughout each state.
“Each Mission: Lifeline state program had its own characteristics, and we could see progressive changes in each subsequent state,” says Marcia Ward, CPH professor of health management and policy and principal investigator for the four projects. “It was rewarding to see positive outcomes, especially in rural communities that were generously provided equipment and education by The Helmsley Charitable Trust. By virtue of Mission: Lifeline’s efforts to systemize heart health care statewide and collaboration at all levels of care, lives were being saved.”