CVMC Earns Chest Pain Accreditation for Emergency Balloon Angioplasty and Stent Implantation

David Lyda (right), received emergency balloon angioplasty and stent implantation shortly after arriving at the hospital emergency room in November, 2014. Lyda, shown with Jeremy Frye, PT, DPT, CVMC Director of Outpatient Rehabilitation Services is pictured during a recent appointment to monitor his recovery following the massive heart attack.

HICKORY, NC – June 3, 2015 —Catawba Valley Medical Center (CVMC) received full chest pain accreditation with PCI, the abbreviated term for emergency balloon angioplasty and stent implantation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC) on March 26, 2015. The Accredited Chest Pain Center’s protocol-driven and systematic approach to patient management allows physicians to reduce time to 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.

“It took a team of dedicated people including Catawba County Emergency Medical Services (EMS), the CVMC emergency department, heart & vascular and critical care units as well as our heart specialists from Catawba Valley Cardiology to achieve this accreditation,” said Chuck Scronce, MSN, RN Administrator of Emergency and Heart & Vascular Services. “We are excited about it because Chest Pain Accreditation with PCI confirms an additional benefit our patients receive during the critical and early stages of a heart attack and throughout their recovery.”

Scronce said that, to achieve this accreditation, a cross-functional team of medical first responders worked collaboratively to improve practices by EMS personnel who often first assess a patient, administer medication, and obtain an EKG on the way to the hospital. EMS then transmits findings to CVMC’s emergency department, where doctors and nurses begin preparing for the patient prior to arrival. In many cases, the patient goes directly to the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory.

“PCI certification confirms that we have an excellent program meeting all national standards. The team is very experienced and certification demonstrates excellent outcomes in all patients including heart attack patients,” said Brian Steg, MD Catawba Valley Cardiology. “Members of our team have been providing angioplasty services to heart attack patients in Hickory for years. Coronary artery angioplasty and stenting restores blood flow by finding the blockage inside a coronary artery causing the heart attack. Using a thin, flexible tube called a catheter; the cardiologist reopens the blocked vessel with a tiny balloon and then implants a drug-coated metal stent to keep the vessel open. This approach saves lives, minimizes damage to the heart, and preserves the maximum possible level of function and quality of life.”

Heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the United States, with 600,000 people dying annually of heart disease. More than five million Americans visit hospitals each year with chest pain. SCPC’s goal is to significantly reduce the mortality rate of these patients 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. SCPC’s accreditation process ensures that hospitals meet or exceed quality-of-care measures in acute cardiac medicine. CVMC has demonstrated its expertise and commitment to quality patient care by meeting or exceeding a wide set of stringent criteria and undergoing an onsite review by a team of SPCP’s accreditation review specialists.

ABOUT THE SOCIETY OF CARDIOVASCULAR PATIENT CARE – The Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC) is an international not-for-profit organization that focuses on transforming 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 organization, SCPC provides the support needed for individual hospitals and 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, or call toll free 1-877-271-4176.

ABOUT CATAWBA VALLEY MEDICAL CENTER – Catawba Valley Medical Center (CVMC) in Hickory, NC, is the region’s largest not-for-profit, public healthcare system serving the community without direct funding from taxes. CVMC provides and promotes physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being in addition to serving as a center for health education, wellness, preventive medicine and acute care. CVMC received a fourth consecutive Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center in 2014 and has been recognized by WomenCertified® with Women’s Choice Awards for America’s Best 100 Hospitals for Patient Experience in 2012, 2013 & 2014; Best Hospital for Patient Experience in Obstetrics in 2013, 2014 & 2015; America’s Best Hospitals in Orthopedics in 2013 & 2014; and America’s Best Hospitals in Cancer Care in 2014. CVMC received the 2013 & 2014 Premier Inc. QUEST® Award for High-Value Healthcare recognizing its reduction in harm, mortality, readmissions and costs and improvements in metrics for patient experience and evidence-based care. For more information, please visit

– ### –

Short URL: