St. Mary’s receives ACC Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI Accreditation

Monday, August 29, 2022

SMMC provides necessary care, resources to patients with heart attack symptoms

 St. Mary’s Medical Center (SMMC), a member of Mountain Health Network (MHN), has once again been recognized by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) for its demonstrated expertise and commitment in treating patients with chest pain. SMMC was awarded Chest Pain Center Accreditation with Primary PCI based on rigorous onsite evaluation of the staff’s ability to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing 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 comply with standard Chest Pain Center protocols and are equipped with a hypothermia program for post-cardiac arrest treatment. These facilities also maintain a "No Diversion Policy" for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients.

“St. Mary’s Medical Center has demonstrated its commitment to providing the 23 counties in West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky that it serves with excellent heart care,” said Deepak L. Bhatt, MD, MPH, FACC, chair of the ACC Accreditation Management Board. “ACC Accreditation Services is proud to award St. Mary’s with Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI Accreditation.”

Hospitals receiving Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI from the ACC must take part in a multi-faceted clinical process that involves completing a gap analysis, examining variances of care and 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. “Our team is committed to providing advanced medicine and compassionate care to our patients with heart issues,” said Melissa Mielcarek, MSHA, MBA, executive director of the St. Mary’s Cardiovascular Center of Excellence. “We thank the ACC for their recognition of that commitment and our dedication to provide highly reliable health care to all we serve.”

St. Mary’s Regional Heart Institute was named a MHN Center of Excellence in October 2019. To be named a MHN Center of Excellence, the clinical area must be recognized by the medical community, the public and accrediting bodies as providing the most expert and highest level of compassionate and innovative 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, discomfort that radiates to the 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 or stent to relieve symptoms of heart disease or reduce heart damage during or after a heart attack.

For more information about St. Mary’s Regional Heart Institute, visit