WALLA WALLA, Wash.— The Society of Chest Pain Centers has granted the designation of Accredited Chest Pain Center to Walla Walla General Hospital, making it the eighth accredited Chest Pain Center in the state of Washington.

“The society’s seal of accreditation is an important distinction for Walla Walla General Hospital,” says David Woolever, MD, chief medical officer at WWGH. “This accreditation certifies that our hospital and staff are totally prepared to care for patients with heart attack symptoms more quickly during the critical early stages of a heart attack when treatments are more effective and patients recover more easily.”

The investment in establishing an Accredited Chest Pain Center demonstrates Walla Walla General Hospital’s ongoing commitment to providing superior team-centered cardiac care. “Chest Pain Center accreditation is possible because of the ongoing collaboration between our Emergency Center, cardiology team, hospitalists, nurses, and Walla Walla County EMS,” says Linda Givens, director of emergency and critical care services at WWGH. “This team ensures rapid assessment, diagnosis and high-quality care is delivered to each patient who comes to our hospital with chest pain.”

Chest pain is among the top symptoms of patients who visit the WWGH Emergency Center. The Chest Pain Center designation ensures that any patient who arrives at WWGH complaining of chest pain or other symptoms of a heart attack can be confident he or she is receiving care that meets or exceeds the highest national standards of care. Hospitals that have received SCPC accreditation have achieved a higher level of expertise and constantly emphasize the importance of standardized diagnostic and treatment programs.

To become an Accredited Chest Pain Center, WWGH has demonstrated its expertise and commitment to quality patient care by undergoing a rigorous evaluation of its care and processes by SCPC. For the Walla Walla community, this means processes are in place that meet strict criteria aimed at:

  • Reducing the time from onset of symptoms to diagnosis and treatment
  • Treating patients more quickly during the critical window of time when the integrity of the heart muscle can be preserved
  • Monitoring patients when it is not certain that they are having a heart attack to ensure that they are not sent home too quickly or needlessly admitted to the hospital

“We are proud of this recognition of our commitment to providing excellent emergency and cardiac care to the Walla Walla area,” says Monty Knittel, WWGH president and CEO. “Becoming an Accredited Chest Pain Center was the next step in our ongoing efforts to provide the best cardiac care in Walla Walla.”

Over the last few years WWGH has focused on improving the speed and quality of the Emergency Center, brought on a highly qualified cardiologist, opened a cardiac catherization lab, and started the area’s only STEMI program performing emergency angioplasties and stents.

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About Walla Walla General Hospital
Walla Walla General Hospital is a not-for-profit, faith-based hospital providing a full range of emergency, inpatient, outpatient, and surgical services. A 72-bed acute-care hospital, WWGH employs more than 400 community members, has a medical staff of nearly 181 and benefits from the services of more than 100 volunteers. Walla Walla General Hospital is part of Adventist Health, a not-for-profit, faith-based health system operating in California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington. Founded on the Seventh-day Adventist heritage of Christian health care, Adventist Health is comprised of 18 hospitals with more than 2,800 beds, nearly 18,000 employees, numerous clinics and outpatient facilities, the largest system of rural health clinics in California, 15 home care agencies and three joint-venture retirement centers with a fourth on the way. For more information, visit wwgh.com.

About the Society of Chest Pain Centers
The Society of Chest Pain Centers (SCPC) is an international not-for-profit organization whose mission is to transform cardiovascular care by assisting facilities in their effort to create communities of excellence that bring together quality, cost and patient satisfaction. As the only cross-specialty Society, SCPC provides the support needed for hospital systems to effectively bridge existing gaps in treatment by providing the tools, education and support necessary to successfully navigate the changing face of healthcare. For more information on SCPC, accreditation and certification opportunities, visit www.scpcp.org, or call toll free 1-877-271-4176.