Carolinaeast Medical Center receives ACC Chest Pain Gold Performance Achievement Award

CarolinaEast's Code STEMI Team
“CarolinaEast’s ‘Code STEMI Team’ is made up of multidisciplinary members across the health system that are responsible for various stages of heart attack patient response from 911 call to treatment and recovery.” Pictured L – R: Bobby Montedonico, EMS, Christina Cioffi, Cath Lab, Jolynn Paul, Cath Lab, Barbara Delong, Quality, Jamie Keene, ED, Melinda Houston, ICU, Laura Peters, Cath Lab, and Keaton Betler, EMS

Among Nation’s Top Performing Hospitals for Treatment of Heart Attack Patients

CarolinaEast Medical Center has received the American College of Cardiology’s NCDR Chest Pain  ̶  MI Registry Gold Performance Achievement Award for 2020. CarolinaEast is one of only 60 hospitals nationwide to receive the honor.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 700,000 Americans suffer a heart attack each year. A heart attack occurs when a blood clot in a coronary artery partially or completely blocks blood flow to the heart muscle. Treatment guidelines include administering aspirin upon arrival, timely restoration of blood flow to the blocked artery, smoking cessation counseling and cardiac rehabilitation, among others.

The award recognizes CarolinaEast’s commitment and success in implementing a high standard of care for heart attack patients and signifies that CarolinaEast has reached a high threshold goal of treating these patients to standards of care as outlined by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association clinical guidelines and recommendations.

“As a Gold Performance Award recipient, CarolinaEast Medical Center has established itself as a leader in setting the national standard for improving quality of care in patients with acute myocardial infarction,” said Michael C. Kontos, MD, FACC, chair of the NCDR Chest Pain – MI Registry Steering Subcommittee, Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center. “By meeting the award requirements set forth in the registry, CarolinaEast has demonstrated a commitment to providing reliable, comprehensive treatment for heart attack patients based on current clinical guideline recommendations.”

To receive the Chest Pain  ̶  MI Registry Gold Performance Achievement Award, CarolinaEast has demonstrated sustained achievement in the Chest Pain  ̶  MI Registry for two consecutive years (2018 and 2019), and performed at the top level for specific performance measures. “Being among hospitals that take part in a multi-faceted clinical process and best practices in the care of patients experiencing the signs and symptoms of a heart attack is a true source of pride for us,” said Dr. Alex Kirby, Cardiologist at CarolinaEast Heart Center and Cardiac Cath Laboratory Medical Director at CarolinaEast Medical Center. “This accreditation is further proof that our dedicated multidisciplinary team that earnestly supports these efforts has been successful in its goal to improved patient outcomes.”

Carolina East's Cath Lab
“Dr. Alex Kirby, Cardiologist at CarolinaEast Heart Center and Cardiac Cath Laboratory Medical Director at CarolinaEast Medical Center, and his team restore blood flow to a blocked artery of a heart attack patient in the hospital’s award-winning Cardiac Cath Laboratory.”

Chest Pain  ̶  MI Registry empowers health care provider teams to consistently treat heart attack patients according to the most current, science-based guidelines and establishes a national standard for understanding and improving the quality, safety and outcomes of care provided for patients with coronary artery disease, specifically high-risk heart attack patients.

The American College of Cardiology envisions a world where innovation and knowledge optimize cardiovascular care and outcomes. As the professional home for the entire cardiovascular care team, the mission of the College and its 54,000 members is to transform cardiovascular care and to improve heart health. The ACC bestows credentials upon cardiovascular professionals who meet stringent qualifications and leads in the formation of health policy, standards and guidelines. The College also provides professional medical education, disseminates cardiovascular research through its world-renowned JACC Journals, operates national registries to measure and improve care, and offers cardiovascular accreditation to hospitals and institutions. For more, visit

By Brandy Popp, Manager, Public Relations and Outreach, CarolinaEast Health System