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Friday, March 25, 2011 - South Jersey Healthcare Regional Medical Center Achieves New Status as Accredited Chest Pain Center


Vineland, NJ (March 18) – The South Jersey Healthcare Regional Medical Center has received Chest Pain Center Accreditation from the Society of Chest Pain Centers (SCPC), an international organization dedicated to eliminating heart disease as the number one cause of death worldwide. This recognition is one of several national awards SJH has received within the last year, demonstrating the health system’s commitment to providing the highest quality cardiac care to the community.

Hospitals that have received SCPC accreditation have achieved a higher level of expertise in dealing with patients who arrive with symptoms of a heart attack. They emphasize the importance of utilizing best practices related to diagnostic and treatment programs, which 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.

To become an Accredited Chest Pain Center, the SJH Regional Medical Center engaged in rigorous evaluation by SCPC for its ability to assess, diagnose, and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack. To the community served by the SJH Regional Medical Center, this means that 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

“People tend to wait when they think they might be having a heart attack, and that’s a mistake,” states Scott Burlingame, MSN, Chest Pain Center Program Manager at SJH. “The average patient arrives in the emergency department more than two hours after the onset of symptoms, but what they don’t realize is that the sooner a heart attack is treated, the less damage to the heart and the better the outcome for the patient.”

South Jersey Healthcare’s state-of-the-art healthcare encompasses the entire continuum of care for the heart patient and includes such focal points as dispatch, Emergency Medical System, emergency department, cath lab, SJH’s quality assurance plan, and SJH’s community outreach program. By becoming an Accredited Chest Pain Center, South Jersey Healthcare has enhanced the quality of care for the cardiac patient and has demonstrated its commitment to higher standards.

South Jersey Healthcare’s dedication and commitment to providing quality heart care recently earned national recognition. The Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at the SJH Regional Medical Center received the Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses for a second time. In addition, the SJH Regional Medical Center was also awarded with the American Heart Association's “Get with the Guidelines” Gold Performance Achievement Award for heart failure care. This quality improvement initiative provides hospitals with proven evidence-based guidelines to care for heart failure patients and prevent future hospitalizations. The award recognizes the efforts of SJH staff and physicians to prolong the lives of heart failure patients in the community.

SJH is a nonprofit, integrated health care system, providing access to a continuum of health services. SJH provides hospital services, numerous community health clinics, home health services, and specialty services, which serve the medical and health care needs of Southern New Jersey residents. 

Established in 1998, SCPC is a patient-centric nonprofit international organization focused on improving care for patients with heart disease. Central to SCPC’s mission is the question, “What is right for the patient?” In response, SCPC promotes protocol-based medicine, often delivered through a chest pain center model, to address the diagnosis and treatment of acute coronary syndrome and heart failure and to promote the adoption of process improvement science by healthcare providers. To best fulfill this mission, SCPC provides accreditation and education to facilities striving for optimum cardiac care. SCPC is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. For more information on SCPC and accreditation opportunities, visit, or call toll free 1-877-271-4176.