COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – St. Francis-Emory Healthcare has received a new designation that allows the hospital to provide the most extensive services to its cardiac patients.

On July 27, 2021, the hospital announced it has been named a Level I Emergency Cardiac Care Center (ECCC) by the Georgia Department of Public Health Office of EMS and Trauma for excellence in emergency cardiac care.

“We are proud to receive the Level I ECCC designation, which is a testament to the commitment of our team to fulfill our mission of Making Communities Healthier,” said Norma Kernels, director, cardiovascular services at St. Francis-Emory Healthcare. “With increasing rates of cardiovascular disease in our state, cardiac care is a priority, both in our Heart Hospital and within our Emergency Department.”

In order to receive the ECCC designation, the hospital underwent an evaluation process. That process included a site inspection and assessment of emergency cardiac care processes and equipment.

According to officials, depending on their capabilities, hospitals can receive ECCC Level I, II or III, with Level I having the most extensive cardiac services.

Officials say the St. Francis Emergency Department is equipped and staffed to diagnose and treat heart attacks and stroke. The hospital has earned Chest Pain Center and Cardiac Cath Lab – Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) accreditations from the American College of Cardiology Accreditation Services.

According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, each year in the United States, Cardiovascular disease claims the lives of 800,000.