South Georgia Local News

Memorial Health earns Level I Emergency Cardiac Care Center designation

Memorial Health University Medical Center (MHUMC) has been designated a Level I Emergency Cardiac Care Center (ECCC) by the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH). MHUMC is the first hospital in southeast Georgia to earn this distinction, which recognizes our state’s highest level of emergency cardiac care. The Level I ECCC designation was awarded on September 26.

“I am so proud of our cardiovascular team for earning Georgia’s highest designation for emergency heart care,” said Dr. Chad Stouffer, MD, FACS, FACC, medical director for MHUMC’s Heart & Vascular Institute. “Memorial Health has been a leader in cardiac care for more than 55 years and this designation demonstrates our commitment to providing safe, high-quality heart care for our patients in Savannah and southeast Georgia.”

Each year, more than 800,00 Americans die from cardiovascular disease. To help reduce cardiac-related deaths in our state, legislation was signed in 2017 to create the Georgia DPH Office of Cardiac Care. The mission of this office is to improve survival rates from out-of-hospital cardiac arrests and heart attacks through quality improvement, benchmarking and evidence-based guidelines.

The Office of Cardiac Care is responsible for assigning designated levels to Emergency Cardiac Care Centers for hospitals complying with Emergency Cardiac Care Center criteria. There are three levels – Level I, II, III. In order to earn ECCC designation, hospitals participate in a rigorous evaluation process that includes an on-site inspection and thorough assessment of emergency cardiac care processes and equipment. Level 1 designation means the hospital provides the highest level and most comprehensive emergency cardiac care services around the clock. These services include open heart surgery, interventional cardiac catheterizations and other cardiac procedures.

“When patients in southeast Georgia need fast emergency care, we want them to know that our team stands ready to provide the highest level of care,” said Shayne George, Memorial Health CEO. “We have the region’s only Level 1 trauma center, Comprehensive Stroke Center, Level III neonatal intensive care and now the only Level 1 Emergency Cardiac Care Center. Our dedicated team of physicians, nurses and other clinicals are available 24/7 to provide excellent healthcare for our patients.”

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