More than five million Americans visit hospitals each year with chest pain. When you think you might be experiencing a heart attack, you want to be sure the emergency department personnel and physicians that examine, diagnose and treat you are considered the very best at what they do. That’s why being an accredited Chest Pain Center is important. Carondelet Health Network’s three Tucson hospitals have just received recertification as accredited Chest Pain Centers. Not only were these the first three hospitals in Southern Arizona to be certified as Chest Pain Centers from the Society of Chest Pain Centers (SCPC), they are now the first to receive Cycle 3 Recertification.

Hospitals that receive SCPC accreditation have been recognized for displaying a higher level of expertise in dealing with patients who are experiencing potential symptoms of a heart attack. Carondelet St. Joseph’s Hospital, Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital and Carondelet Heart & Vascular Institute all achieved such recognition following on-site surveys the last week in June.

“Our associates, clinicians and physician partners are fully committed to providing the highest quality of care to our patients and this community,” says Odette Bolano, RN, MHA, FACHE, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Carondelet Health Network. “We are extremely honored to once again be receiving these accreditations at all three Carondelet hospitals. It takes the teamwork of highly dedicated doctors, nurses and support staff, working in conjunction with community partners such as paramedics and EMS providers to manage emergent cardiac care. This achievement demonstrates their commitment to success in providing the best possible heart care available in Southern Arizona today.”

To become an accredited chest pain center and to retain certification, hospitals participate in a thorough evaluation by SCPC testing the professional staff’s capabilities in reducing time from the onset of heart attack symptoms through diagnosis and treatment, streamlining of care, implementation of best practices to ensure the highest quality of care and the capability to make sure the patient is properly monitored so they are not sent home too quickly.
“We maintain a very structured and systematic approach for all of our heart patients seeking care at the emergency departments of St. Josephs, St. Mary’s, and Carondelet Heart & Vascular Institute," says Carol Erenberger, Cardiovascular Service Line Executive. "All three hospitals have Chest Pain Centers, each meeting the increasingly challenging key components of accreditation established by the Society of Chest Pain Centers so that we can better serve our community and region.”

Carondelet Health Network’s three Tucson area hospitals are also designated as Cardiac Arrest Centers by the Arizona Department of Health Services, but the impact of their cardiac care capabilities can be felt in Nogales, Ariz. as well. “Designation as a Chest Pain Center aids patients who present with cardiac concerns at Holy Cross Hospital also,” notes Erenberger. “Collaboratively these hospitals have established a rapid transfer plan to get heart attack victims to a chest pain center that can open heart arteries quickly and safely. So, while Holy Cross does not have interventional capabilities on site, they have immediate access to best practices in cardiac care and the ability to provide rapid transfer and treatment that helps to preserve heart muscle and save lives.”

Heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the United States; 600,000 people die annually of heart disease. The Society of Chest Pain Centers (SCPC) is an international nonprofit healthcare organization committed to leading the fight to eliminate heart disease as the number one cause of death worldwide. The Society is a recognized leader in assisting medical facilities to improve and streamline their clinical processes, adopt best practices, and implement new ideas to ensure the highest quality of care for patients suffering with ACS, heart failure, atrial fibrillation and other related coronary diseases.

To learn more about Carondelet Health Network, go to www.carondelet.org.

About Carondelet Health Network
Located in Tucson, Arizona, Carondelet Health Network is a Catholic, nonprofit healthcare system dedicated to responding to the healthcare needs of Southern Arizonans. With a Mission to Heal, Carondelet was founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet 130 years ago. Carondelet Health Network facilities include St. Mary's Hospital, St. Joseph's Hospital, Carondelet Heart & Vascular Institute and Carondelet Neurological Institute on the campus of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tucson, and Carondelet Holy Cross Hospital in Nogales, Arizona. Other Carondelet services include nearly 20 Carondelet Medical Group primary care locations and Carondelet Specialist Group specialty care practices, an ambulatory surgery center, several outpatient imaging centers, Carondelet Hospice & Palliative Care and Carondelet Foundation. Carondelet Health Network is a ministry of Ascension Health, the nation's largest Catholic, non-profit health care system. In Fiscal Year 2010, Carondelet provided nearly $50 million (8.3 percent of its net revenue) in Community Benefit to improve community health and increase access. More information about Carondelet Health Network is available at
www.carondelet.org.

About the Society of Chest Pain Centers
Established in 1998, SCPC is a patient-centric nonprofit international organization focused on improving care for patients with heart disease. Central to SCPC’s mission is the question, “What is right for the patient?” In response, SCPC promotes protocol-based medicine, often delivered through a chest pain center model, to address the diagnosis and treatment of acute coronary syndrome and heart failure and to promote the adoption of process improvement science by healthcare providers. To best fulfill this mission, SCPC provides accreditation and education to facilities striving for optimum cardiac care. SCPC is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. For more information on SCPC and accreditation opportunities, visit
www.scpcp.org, or call toll free 1-877-271-4176.