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News: Centegra Health System Earns Chest Pain Center Accreditation

Centegra Hospital-McHenry and Centegra Hospital-Woodstock have both received Chest Pain Center Accreditation from the Society of Chest Pain Centers (SCPC), an international organization dedicated to eliminating heart disease as the No. 1 cause of death.Both hospitals are part of Centegra Health System, the first in the northern Illinois region to receive one of the most advanced levels of chest pain accreditations. This advanced accreditation makes Centegra’s hospitals two of only 11 in Illinois to earn this level of distinction.

According to the SCPC, 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. Centegra emphasizes 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. SCPC acredited hospitals 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, both hospitals 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 both Centegra hospitals, 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.

“Together, heart disease and stroke are the No. 1 causes of death in Illinois and McHenry County,”  said Centegra Health System Chief Executive Officer, Michael S. Eesley. “Centegra Health System is committed to helping our community avoid heart attacks and other cardiovascular illnesses.” Dr. Joseph Keenan, medical director of emergency services at Centegra, said, “People tend to wait when they think they might be having a heart attack and that’s a mistake. 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.”

The state-of-the-art healthcare at Centegra Hospital-McHenry and Centegra Hospital-Woodstock encompasses the entire continuum of care for the heart patient and includes such focal points as dispatch, Emergency Medical System, emergency department, cath lab at Centegra Hospital-McHenry, quality assurance plan and community outreach program. By becoming an Accredited Chest Pain Center, Centegra Hospital-McHenry and Centegra Hospital-Woodstock have enhanced the quality of care for the cardiac patient and have demonstrated their commitment to higher standards.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.

Centegra shares the SCPC’s goal 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.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.

About the Society of Chest Pain Centers

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.

About Centegra Health System

Centegra Health System is committed to meeting the healthcare needs of the residents of greater McHenry County and to making services available in multiple and convenient locations, including hospitals in McHenry and Woodstock, Immediate and Primary Care Centers, Centegra Sage Cancer Center, Health Bridge Fitness Centers and more. As the region’s leading healthcare provider, Centegra Health System continues to bring the latest treatments and technology, along with the skills of nearly 4,000 medical professionals, to meet the needs of the growing McHenry County community. For more information on Centegra Health System visit, search Centegra Health System on Facebook or call 877-CENTEGRA (877-236-8347).