UF Health Jacksonville First in Florida to Receive Top Chest Pain Center Accreditation

Hospital honored for most advanced cardiac care in region

UF Health Jacksonville has been awarded the top recognition for heart disease care, becoming the only hospital in Florida to receive accreditation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care as a designated Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI and Resuscitation.

Only 24 health care facilities in the United States have received this specific accreditation from the society. The honor was awarded to UF Health Jacksonville following a two-year process that is considered one of the most rigorous in health care.

“This is yet another example of why UF Health Jacksonville is considered Northeast Florida’s top destination when it comes to saving lives,” said Russ Armistead, CEO of UF Health Jacksonville. “We are the only Level I trauma center in the region and we are home to one of the leading stroke care programs in the country. Now, on top of those accomplishments, we have been recognized as the top center in the community for cardiac care.”

The accreditation highlights the tremendous health care provided by organizations throughout northeast Florida, and specifically UF Health’s continued collaboration with the city of Jacksonville to bring the most advanced treatment available to its residents.

“I am delighted to learn of this remarkable achievement earned by UF Health,” said Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry. “This recognition demonstrates that our city is home to leading health centers committed to providing quality services and resources to citizens.”

Chest pain centers with primary PCI, or percutaneous coronary intervention, and resuscitation are considered the most prepared among health care facilities. Primary PCI means centers have the means to perform emergency angioplasty, a life-saving intervention performed during a heart attack in which a stent is inserted into an artery to increase blood flow to the heart. To receive the primary PCI and resuscitation designation, hospitals are also required to:

  • Have staff on duty or just minutes from the facility to treat patients with the most serious heart attacks;

  • Be equipped with a robust hypothermia program for follow-up treatment;

  • Maintain a “no-diversion policy” for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients; and

  • Have a separate Multidisciplinary Resuscitation Committee with representatives from EMS, emergency medicine, nursing, surgery and administration.

“Our critical care team is honored to receive this designation. It is proof that all of the effort put into treating the sickest patients is recognized by top health care organizations throughout the country,” said Andy Godwin, M.D., chair of emergency medicine at UF Health Jacksonville. “Our mission is to save lives, and we do it every day with much of the work beginning in emergency medicine. When someone comes through our doors, they should know they will receive care from the most highly skilled professionals in this community.”

UF Health Jacksonville is also an accredited Magnet organization, and the highly skilled nursing team plays an important role in providing the latest, best practices throughout the organization, including being part of the multidisciplinary emergency critical care team. In addition, the hospital has been and continues to be a leader in teaching and promoting hands-only CPR, recognized by the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care as key to increased patient survival. Thus far, nearly 30,000 residents of northeast Florida have been taught the potentially life-saving procedure.

Heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the United States, with 600,000 people dying annually from heart disease. More than 5 million people visit hospitals every year with chest pain. The goal of the society is to significantly reduce the mortality rate through education by teaching people how to recognize the symptoms of a possible heart attack, reduce the time it takes to receive treatment, and increase the accuracy and effectiveness of treatment.

“I can’t put into words how proud I am of our entire staff, in this case specifically, the critical care team,” Armistead said. “The process of applying and receiving chest pain center accreditation is a rigorous one but it is certainly worth it.”

About UF Health Jacksonville:

UF Health Jacksonville is a private, not-for-profit hospital affiliated with the University of Florida Health Science Center campuses in Jacksonville and Gainesville. In Jacksonville, UF Health includes faculty, residents and fellows within the UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville, who team up with outstanding caregivers and other employees to provide state-of-the-art services to residents throughout Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia. This academic medical center’s mission is to heal, comfort, educate and discover in an environment where exemplary medical care is complemented by outstanding service.

About the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care:

The Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care is an international nonprofit organization that focuses on transforming cardiovascular care by assisting facilities in their effort to create cardiovascular centers of excellence that deliver quality, cost and patient satisfaction. As the only cross-specialty organization, SCPC provides the support needed for individual hospitals and hospital systems to effectively reduce variations of care and bridge existing gaps in treatment by providing the tools, education and support necessary to improve patient outcomes.