Published on July 02, 2018

Nash UNC Health Care Earns Top National Recognition for Quality Achievement in Heart and Stroke Care

Nash Heart Center Award

Nash UNC Health Care has recently been recognized by several prestigious national medical groups for high quality treatment of heart attack and stroke.

Nash UNC was one of only 37 hospitals nationwide to receive The American College of Cardiology (ACC)’s ACTION Registry Gold Performance Achievement Award for 2018.  This award recognizes commitment to and success in implementing a higher standard of care for heart attack patients as outlined by ACC’s clinical guidelines and recommendations.

The American Heart Association (AHA) also presented gold awards to Nash UNC for Mission: Lifeline® Receiving STEMI and Mission: Lifeline® NSTEMI, which recognize the hospital’s sustained adherence to stringent AHA guidelines and performance measures for the treatment of heart attack and pre-heart attack patients. 

Sarah Heenan, executive director of the Nash Heart Center explains how patients benefit from these standards of care. 

“Patients suffering a heart attack can enter the hospital with excruciating chest pain from a STEMI. After evaluation, cardiac catheterization and stent placement, patients experience almost immediate relief,” she said.  “It’s even more incredible that many of these patients are able to go home in just a few days.”

Since opening in 2014, the Nash Heart Center continues to increase the scope of interventional services available for patients, including balloon angioplasty, stent placement, and a dedicated heart valve clinic, which opened in February 2018, where patients can be evaluated for treatment of complex heart valve disease.

The gold awards are especially meaningful to Dr. Michael Yeung, an interventional cardiologist with UNC Cardiology at Nash, and the physician leader for the Nash Heart Center.

“Two years ago, we found that there was a large unmet need in this area in terms of heart attacks that had to be transported to the nearest major hospital, which is a delay of at least one or two very critical hours,” said Yeung.  “Thanks to the support of Nash UNC Health Care’s board of commissioners, we set out to change that with the creation of the Nash Heart Center and stronger relationships with UNC and our partners at Nash County EMS.  We are also very pleased to work closely with Boice Willis cardiologist Dr. Sudhir Prasada, who has been instrumental in the success of this program. These awards prove that we as a team are taking excellent care of very sick heart patients right here in Rocky Mount.”

Yeung notes that he is excited for continued expansion of the services offered to patients in this area.

“We continue to invest in the heart program here at Nash, and are looking forward to expanding our offerings with the Heart Valve Clinic, Heart Failure Clinic and Electrophysiology Clinic,” he said.  “Our goal is to work collaboratively with all of our partners to improve and deliver comprehensive cardiac care in this region.”  

Also of note are the hospital’s accomplishments for stroke care.

In addition to receiving the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association recognized Nash UNC Health Care with a Get With The Guidelines®– Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award and placement on the Target: Stroke Honor Roll.

The Get with the Guidelines award is earned by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period. The Target: Stroke Honor Roll recognizes that Nash UNC met quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke.

“Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and of adult disability in our country, and North Carolina has one of the highest stroke death rates in the nation,” said Mary K. Baker, stroke program coordinator at Nash UNC Health Care.  “The sooner patients get treated, the better their outcomes.  Knowing that a stroke patient loses 1.9 million neurons each minute treatment is delayed, our staff aggressively strives for excellence in the treatment of these patients.”

For more information on heart and stroke treatments at Nash UNC Health Care, visit their website,

News Media Contact

Kenyon "K.J." Askew, Jr., Public Relations and Marketing Specialist, at 252-962-8766 or by email.

If calling after hours, please dial the main hospital line at 252-962-8000 and ask to speak with the nursing supervisor on duty and identify yourself as a member of the news media. He or she will be able to assist you.

Follow Nash UNC Health Care