Published on September 18, 2018

Nash UNC Health Care Earns 4th National Heart Care Recognition This Year

American College of Cardiology Awards Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI Accreditation

ROCKY MOUNT, North Carolina (September 19, 2018) — The American College of Cardiology (ACC) has recognized Nash UNC Health Care with the Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI Accreditation for its expertise and commitment in providing care and treatment to patients with chest pain.

More than 730,000 Americans suffer a heart attack each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the most common symptom for both men and women is chest pain or discomfort.

“This accreditation is certainly rewarding for our staff, especially those in the Emergency Department and Heart Center who have worked so diligently, but we want to make sure our community members know what this means for them,” said Dr. L. Lee Isley, president & CEO of Nash UNC Health Care. “This is national recognition that our hospital is offering excellent cardiovascular care and treatment.”

Isley also points out the collaborative effort this recognition represents.

“While Nash UNC receives the award, this is a team effort involving many partners,” he said. “Many of our patients are cared for and transported by Nash County Emergency Medical Services, who play an important, time-sensitive role in identifying and transporting heart attack patients to the Emergency Department. Additionally, the growing partnership between UNC Cardiology, Nash UNC, and Boice-Willis Cardiology allows us to provide world-class heart care to patients right here in our community.”

Dr. Michael Yeung, interventional cardiologist and medical director for the Nash Heart Center notes the process for accreditation.

“Nash went through a rigorous evaluation process to ensure that we offer the highest quality of cardiovascular care to patients coming in with chest pain. Being accredited means that we meet the same high standards of care as the best hospitals in the North Carolina area by the American College of Cardiology,” he said.

Sarah Heenan, executive director for the Nash Heart Center explains that the ACC Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI Accreditation comes on top of several other recently earned cardiovascular gold performance awards from the American Heart Association and ACC’s ACTION Registry.

“With continual addition of specialized doctors, the scope of services offered by the Nash Heart Center has expanded dramatically, to include balloon angioplasty, percutaneous stent placement, and most recently, support services for cardiac valve replacement,” said Heenan. “We continue to add services and grow our Heart program to improve the scope of heart care available in this community. We want to deliver comprehensive cardiac care to our patients in the area.”

What is Primary PCI Accreditation?

Percutaneous Coronary Intervention, or PCI, is a nonsurgical procedure that improves flow of blood to a patient’s heart, opening a narrowed or blocked coronary artery. PCI utilizes cardiac catheterization, the insertion of a thin, flexible tube into the patient’s arm or groin, and an injection of contrast dye. With the use of sophisticated technology, the interventional cardiologist is able to see and treat coronary blockages, relieving symptoms of heart disease or reducing heart damage during or after a heart attack.

“Hospitals that have earned ACC Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI Accreditation have proven exceptional competency in treating patients with heart attack symptoms and have primary PCI available 24/7 every day of the year. As required to meet the criteria of the accreditation designation, they have streamlined their systems from admission to evaluation to diagnosis and treatment all the way through to appropriate post-discharge care and recommendations and assistance in patient lifestyle changes,” said Phillip D. Levy, MD, FACC, chair of the ACC Accreditation Management Board.

For more information on heart health and care, visit

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