Memorial Hospital of Martinsville & Henry County Earns Chest Pain Center Accreditation

December 29, 2014

Martinsville, VA. (December 29, 2014) Memorial Hospital of Martinsville & Henry County (MHMHC) recently announced it has received full accreditation status from the Society of Chest Pain Centers (SCPC), 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. Hospitals that have received SCPC accreditation have achieved a higher level of expertise in caring for patients who arrive 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.

“To become an Accredited Chest Pain Center, Memorial Hospital engaged in rigorous evaluation by the SCPC,” said Tory Shepherd, Director of Cardiopulmonary Neurophysiology Services and Chest Pain Center Coordinator at Memorial Hospital. “Our entire hospital put in tremendous effort to enhance the level of quality care available to our cardiac patients and grow heart health outreach and education in our community. We are very proud of this achievement and very proud of our hospital.”

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.

“Every second counts when having a heart attack,” said Dr. Benjamin Lee, Cardiac Electrophysiologist at Southern Virginia Cardiovascular Center and Medical Director of Memorial Hospital’s Chest Pain Center. “Our goal is to have a blocked artery open within 90 minutes or less from the moment a patient enters our Emergency Room. Lifesaving care can actually begin outside of the hospital which is why it’s so important that 911 is called immediately when someone is experiencing symptoms of a heart attack. I can’t stress enough how important it is that all members of our community recognize the early signs and symptoms of a heart attack. Remember time is muscle, and muscle is life. By receiving accreditation from the SCPCP we have ensured that we have all processes in place to provide the best possible outcomes for our patients.”

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.

“Earning Chest Pain Center accreditation ensures that Memorial Hospital meets and/or exceeds quality-of-care measures based on improving the process of care for acute coronary syndrome patients,” said Dr. Bruce Mazurek, Medical Director of Memorial Hospitals Emergency Department (and emergency medicine physician). “It means our hospital has enhanced the level of quality heart care available in the region and it means our community can count on Memorial Hospital to provide high quality, safe cardiac care when and where they need it.”

“Memorial Hospital has demonstrated its expertise and commitment to quality patient care by meeting and/or exceeding a wide set of stringent criteria as set by the SCPC,” said Dr. Deepak Banerjee, a cardiologist on the medical staff of Memorial Hospital (and also a practicing physician at Southern Virginia Cardiovascular Center).

“Memorial’s Accredited Chest Pain Center also underwent an extensive onsite review by a team of SPCP’s accreditation review specialists demonstrating we are well prepared to meet the heart health needs of our community.”

Key areas in which an Accredited Chest Pain Center must demonstrate expertise include the following:

  • Integrating the emergency department with the local emergency medical system
  • Assessing, diagnosing, and treating patients quickly
  • Effectively treating patients with 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
  • Having 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 
About Memorial Hospital of Martinsville and Henry County 
Memorial Hospital has been at the heart of the Martinsville and Henry County Community and the surrounding area providing exceptional healthcare and services to the region with a full range of services including 24/7 Emergency Care, Inpatient/Outpatient Surgical Services, Advanced Cancer Treatment, Wound/Hyperbaric Care, Women and Children Services, Diagnostics, Cardiology, Rehabilitation, Sleep Disorder, and Pain Management. More than 120 physicians are on the medical staff. The hospital employs more than 850 people and has more than 100 volunteers. For more information, visit

About the Society of Chest Pain Centers
The Society of Chest Pain Centers (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 brings 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.