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Antelope Valley Medical Center Becomes First Accredited Chest Pain Center in the Antelope Valley

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(LANCASTER, Calif.) — Antelope Valley Medical Center (AVMC) received full Chest Pain Center (CPC) Accreditation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC), making it the first facility in the Antelope Valley to achieve this designation. This comes just one year after opening the comprehensive Institute for Heart & Vascular Care (IHVC) located on the hospital campus.

“As the first hospital in the area to receive this prestigious accreditation, the AVMC team is proud of its unique and extensive expertise in caring for heart attacks and related conditions,” said Dr. Sameh Gadallah, a cardiologist and medical director of the IHVC. “This accreditation reflects our commitment to providing the most advanced and effective response, treatment and care to patients experiencing chest pain.”

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.

“Chest pain can be the sign of a serious problem that requires immediate attention,” said Dr. Michael Gertz, an AVMC emergency physician. “We want local residents to think of Antelope Valley Medical Center at the first sign of chest pain, knowing that we have the expertise and equipment to quickly diagnose their condition and provide life-saving treatment.”

An accredited Chest Pain Center’s evidence-based, protocol-driven and systematic approach to cardiac patient care allows clinicians to reduce time to treatment during the critical early stages of a heart attack. Accredited facilities better monitor patients when it is not initially clear whether or not a patient is having a coronary event. Such monitoring ensures patients are neither sent home too early nor needlessly admitted.

SCPC’s CPC Accreditation process ensures that hospitals meet or exceed an array of stringent criteria and undergo a comprehensive onsite review by a team of specialists. Hospitals that receive CPC Accreditation have achieved a higher level of expertise in dealing with patients who present with symptoms of a heart attack. They emphasize the importance of standardized diagnostic and treatment programs that provide more efficient and effective evaluation as well as more appropriate and rapid treatment of patients with chest pain and other heart attack symptoms. They also serve as a point of entry into the healthcare system to evaluate and treat other medical problems, and they help to promote a healthier lifestyle in an attempt to reduce the risk factors for heart attack.

Achieving Chest Pain Center Accreditation signifies that AVMC demonstrates expertise in the following areas:

  • Integrating the emergency department with the local emergency medical system.
  • Assessing, diagnosing, and treating patients quickly.
  • Effectively treating patients at low risk for acute coronary syndrome and no assignable cause for their symptoms.
  • Continually seeking to improve processes and procedures.
  • Ensuring the competence and training of Accredited Chest Pain Center personnel.
  • Maintaining organizational structure and commitment.
  • Constructing a functional design that promotes optimal patient care.
  • Supporting community outreach programs that educate the public to promptly seek medical care if they display symptoms of a possible heart attack.

The IHVC offers comprehensive cardiovascular care in one location. From the first indication of a heart or vascular condition, the IHVC’s specially trained team uses the latest technology and training to provide prompt and thorough diagnosis and treatment.

“Accreditation as Chest Pain Center is the latest testament to the world-class care patients can expect at Antelope Valley Medical Center,” said Stephanie Herider, RN, BSN, AVMC’s cardiovascular clinical coordinator. “Here in the IHVC, we offer the most sophisticated technology and team available anywhere, which means local residents don’t need to leave the Antelope Valley to receive top-notch care.”

In addition to becoming a certified Chest Pain Center, AVMC is a STEMI (ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction) Receiving Center, which means it has the training, equipment and processes in place to immediately treat patients experiencing an acute cardiac myocardial infarction (heart attack). It also is an Advanced Primary Stroke Center, which signifies that AVMC has the equipment, infrastructure, staff, and training programs needed to provide care based on the most current research and standards to foster better outcomes for patients who have had a stroke.

About Antelope Valley Medical Center

Celebrating 60 years of caring for the community, Antelope Valley Medical Center is located in the city of Lancaster in northern Los Angeles County. The 420-bed district hospital is a Level II trauma center and provides a full array of medical/surgical services, pediatric treatment, NICU, mental health, cancer care and more. More information is available at or by calling 661-949-5000.