LEWISTON – The Chest Pain Center at Mount St. Mary’s Hospital has been reaccredited by the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care, making the Lewiston hospital the only one in Niagara County and the second in Western New York with such a designation.

To receive accreditation, a chest pain center must show its expertise in fast and effective assessment and treatment of patients, seek continual improvement of its results and support community programs that educate the public on what to do when a heart attack is suspected.

“Mount St. Mary’s continues to provide the highest standard of care for our patients with chest pain, and this reaccreditation is a testament to the work done by our team of health care professionals,” said Judith Maness, the hospital’s president and chief executive officer.

Heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the U.S., with 600,000 people dying annually of heart disease. The society’s goal is to significantly reduce the mortality rate by teaching the public to recognize and react to the early symptoms of a possible heart attack, reduce the time that it takes to receive treatment and increase the accuracy and effectiveness of treatment.

The Mount St. Mary’s Hospital Chest Pain Center Steering Committee is headed by Dr. Benjamin Rueda, chief of cardiology, and Dr. Lloyd Brown, chief of emergency care. The Chest Pain Center team works collaboratively to improve the standard of care provided to patients through streamlining diagnosis and accelerating time to treatment.

The center’s approach to patient management allows physicians to reduce time of treatment during the critical early stages of a heart attack, when treatments are most effective, and to better monitor patients when it is not clear whether or not they are having a coronary event. Such observation helps ensure that patients are neither sent home too early, nor needlessly admitted.

With the increase in chest pain centers came the need to establish standards designed to improve the consistency and quality of care provided to patients. The society’s accreditation process ensures that centers meet or exceed quality-of-care measures in acute cardiac medicine.