The American Heart Assocation has recognized the Oconee Medical Center with a Lifeline EMS Silver Award. The award recognizes the hospital for its commitment and success in treating patients who suffer the heart attack known as STEMI (ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction.) Each year, almost 300,000 people experience a STEMI, a type of heart attack caused by a complete blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment. To prevent death, it is critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible—either by surgically opening the blocked vessel or by giving clot-busting medication. Health care agencies that receive the award demonstrate at least 75% compliance for each required achievement measure for an entire year, and treat at least eight STEMI patients for the year.