Newswise — ORLANDO, Fla. (March 2, 2018) — The American College of Cardiology has recognized Orlando Health hospitals for their demonstrated expertise and commitment in treating patients with chest pain. Orlando Health Orlando Regional Medical Center, Orlando Health Dr. P. Phillips Hospital, Orlando Health – Health Central Hospital, and Orlando Health South Lake Hospital were awarded Chest Pain Center Accreditation with Primary PCI and Orlando Health South Seminole Hospital was awarded Chest Pain Center Accreditation recently based on rigorous onsite evaluation of the staff’s ability to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack.

Chest Pain Centers at Orlando Health provide specialized care from a dedicated team to patients to efficiently identify problems and determine most appropriate care when heart attack symptoms strike.

“We want patients to have the answers they need for peace of mind,” said Alisha Stokes, RN, BSN, PCCN, CCCC, corporate chest pain center coordinator, Orlando Health Heart Institute. “If a patient isn’t having a heart attack, it’s important to know everything is okay. If a patient is having a heart attack, it is critical to receive treatment as soon as possible for the best outcomes. Achieving accreditation demonstrates our ongoing commitment to bringing together expertise, technology, and best practices to provide excellent patient care.” 

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.

Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is also known as coronary angioplasty. It is a non-surgical procedure that opens narrowed or blocked coronary arteries with a balloon to relieve symptoms of heart disease or reduce heart damage during or after a heart attack. For patients at South Seminole Hospital needing PCI, Orlando Health’s Air Care Team is available for immediate transfer to the downtown campus for additional care.

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. In addition, they have formal agreements with other facilities that regularly refer heart attack patients to their facility for primary PCI.

“Orlando Health has demonstrated its commitment to providing Central Florida with excellent heart care,” said Phillip D. Levy, MD, FACC, chair of the ACC Accreditation Management Board. “ACC Accreditation Services is proud to award Orlando Health with Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI Accreditation and Chest Pain Center Accreditation.”

Hospitals receiving Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI and Chest Pain Center Accreditation from the ACC must take part in a multi-faceted clinical process that involves: completing a gap analysis; examining variances of care, developing an action plan; a rigorous onsite review; and monitoring for sustained success. Improved methods and strategies of caring for patients include streamlining processes, implementing of guidelines and standards, and adopting best practices in the care of patients experiencing the signs and symptoms of a heart attack. Facilities that achieve accreditation meet or exceed an array of stringent criteria and have organized a team of doctors, nurses, clinicians, and other administrative staff that earnestly support the efforts leading to better patient education and improved patient outcomes. 

Community outreach is another important component to the Chest Pain Centers at Orlando Health, and accreditation. Chest Pain Center team members participate in community events as guest speakers, discussing topics including heart health, heart attack warning signs, and heart disease signs and symptoms; and as trainers, providing hands-only CPR education and other tools for resuscitation attempts.

“We want to help remove heart disease from the pedestal as the nation’s No. 1 cause of death,” said Stokes. “Heart disease can be prevented. We want to raise community awareness about heart healthy lifestyle choices, and provide tools needed to respond to help save lives.” 

The ACC and American Heart Association are collaborating to offer U.S. hospitals access to a comprehensive suite of co-branded cardiac accreditation services designed to optimize patient outcomes and improve hospital financial performance. These services are focused on all aspects of cardiac care, including emergency treatment of heart attacks.

About Orlando Health

Orlando Health is a $3.8 billion not-for-profit healthcare organization and a community-based network of hospitals, physician practices and outpatient care centers across Central Florida. The organization is home to the area’s only Level One Trauma Centers for adults and pediatrics, and is a statutory teaching hospital system that offers both specialty and community hospitals. More than 3,000 physicians have privileges across the system, which is also one of the area’s largest employers with more than 23,000 employees who serve nearly 155,000 inpatients, more than 3 million outpatients, and more than 10,000 international patients each year. Additionally, Orlando Health provides more than $345 million in support of community health needs. More information can be found at

About the American College of Cardiology

The American College of Cardiology is the professional home for the entire cardiovascular care team. The mission of the College and its more than 52,000 members is to transform cardiovascular care and to improve heart health. The ACC leads in the formation of health policy, standards and guidelines. The College operates national registries to measure and improve care, offers cardiovascular accreditation to hospitals and institutions, provides professional medical education, disseminates cardiovascular research and bestows credentials upon cardiovascular specialists who meet stringent qualifications.


For more information about ACC Accreditation Services, visit, or call toll-free 1-877-271-4176.