Texarkana patients who are concerned about heart health and chest pain care can rest easy knowing that Christus St. Michael Health System is fully accredited.

The American College of Cardiology (ACC) has recognized CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System for its demonstrated expertise and commitment in treating patients with chest pain. CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System was awarded Chest Pain Center Accreditation with Primary PCI recently based on rigorous onsite evaluation of the staff’s ability to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 730,000 Americans suffer a heart attack each year. The most common symptom of a heart attack for both men and women is chest pain or discomfort. However, women are more likely to have atypical symptoms. Other heart attack symptoms include, but are not limited to, tingling or discomfort in one or both arms, back, shoulder, neck or jaw, shortness of breath, cold sweat, unusual tiredness, heartburn-like feeling, nausea or vomiting, sudden dizziness and fainting.

“Earning this recognition from the ACC is a tremendous honor and achievement for health care in this region,” said Jason Rounds, FACHE, CHFP, President of CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System. “The accreditation demonstrates the ongoing efforts and passion our physicians, advanced practice providers, nursing teams and other clinical services comprising our heart care team contribute to ensuring our patients receive the highest levels of faith-based care when they visit our facilities.”

Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is also known as coronary angioplasty. It is a non-surgical procedure that opens narrowed or blocked coronary arteries to relieve symptoms of heart disease or reduce heart damage during or after a heart attack.

Hospitals that have earned ACC Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI Accreditation have proven to be exceptionally capable when treating patients with heart attack symptoms and have primary PCI available 24-hours-a-day, every day of the year. Also, patients receive this treatment sooner at accredited hospitals like CHRISTUS St. Michael who have streamlined their systems from admission to evaluation to diagnosis and treatment, all the way through to post-discharge care – even providing recommendations and assistance in patient lifestyle changes. And because they meet these nationally recognized standards of care, CHRISTUS St. Michael has formal agreements with other facilities that regularly refer heart attack patients to their facility for primary PCI.

“CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System has demonstrated its commitment to providing the Texarkana region with excellent heart care,” said Phillip D. Levy, MD, FACC, chair of the ACC Accreditation Management Board. “ACC Accreditation Services is proud to award CHRISTUS St. Michael with Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI Accreditation.”

Hospitals receiving Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI Accreditation from the ACC must take part in a multi-part clinical review process that involves in-depth analysis, developing an action plan and an extensive onsite review and follow-up monitoring. Through this demanding evaluation, CHRISTUS St. Michael has continued to streamline processes, implement improved guidelines and standards, and adopt best practices in caring for heart attack patients.

Facilities that achieve accreditation meet or exceed an array of demanding criteria and have organized a team of doctors, nurses, clinicians and other administrative staff that support the efforts leading to better patient education and improved patient outcomes.

“The ACC represents the highest goals of clinical excellence, continuing education and constant improvement in heart care,” said Louise Thornell, PhD, MsBA, RN, NE-B, VP/Chief Nursing Officer. “With this accreditation from the ACC, we have yet again demonstrated to our patients and to the people of this region that CHRISTUS Health and CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System are leaders in heart care.”

Photo above: Pictured from left are representatives of the heart care team at CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System who contribute to demonstrated expertise and commitment in treating patients with chest pain: Nicole Fant, MSN, RN, SCRN, RN Program Manager-Chest Pain; Renae Temples, RN, Cath Lab Clinical Nurse Specialist; Justin Saporito, M.D., Medical Director-Cath Lab and Chest Pain Program; Louise Thornell, PhD, MsBA, RN, NE-B, VP/Chief Nursing Officer; Carla Trissel, RN, Emergency Department; and Jason Harris, M.D., Emergency Services Medical Director.