VCU Medical Center receives achievement award from American College of Cardiology

Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center is one of only 32 hospitals nationwide to receive the American College of Cardiology Foundation’s NCDR ACTION Registry–GWTG Gold Performance Achievement Award for 2013.

This award recognizes the commitment and success of the VCU Medical Center and VCU Pauley Heart Center in implementing a higher standard of care for heart attack patients, and it signifies that they have reached an aggressive goal of treating these patients to standard levels of care as outlined by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association’s clinical guidelines and recommendations.

“This award confirms the outstanding clinical care that patients receive at VCU Medical Center and puts us among an elite group of medical centers,” said Kenneth Ellenbogen, M.D., Hermes A. Kontos Professor of Medicine and chair of the Division of Cardiology at the VCU Pauley Heart Center. “Pauley Heart Center at VCU provides world-class cardiovascular services, and this significant designation affirms our role as leaders in cardiac care.”

To receive the ACTION Registry–GWTG Gold Performance Achievement Award, hospitals must consistently follow the treatment guidelines in ACTION Registry–GWTG for eight consecutive quarters and meet a performance standard of 90 percent for specific performance measures.

“Despite significant improvements, coronary disease remains one of the most important causes of death in the U.S.,” said Michael Kontos, M.D., associate professor of internal medicine and director of the VCU Pauley Heart Center’s Coronary Intensive Care Unit. “With the aging population, the numbers of Americans requiring long-term treatment will only increase. Treatment after a heart attack is an important time of intervention, in which giving the right medications and treatment can substantially improve outcomes.”

ACTION Registry–GWTG is a partnership between the American College of Cardiology Foundation and the American Heart Association with partnering support from the American College of Emergency Physicians and the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care. ACTION Registry–GWTG 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 STEMI and NSTEMI patients.

About VCU and VCU Medical Center

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 226 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-seven of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University comprise VCU Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. For more, see

About the VCU Pauley Heart Center

The VCU Pauley Heart Center is recognized nationally for conducting cutting edge basic, translational and clinical research in cardiac imaging, interventions, electrophysiology, heart transplantation, ischemia/reperfusion, heart failure and development of novel strategies for myocardial protection.  The Pauley Heart Center was among the first in the United States to implant the CardioWest temporary Total Artificial Heart, or TAH-t – the only total artificial heart approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The heart center is comprised of the Divisions of Cardiology, Cardiothoracic Surgery and Pediatric Cardiology. There is close collaboration between the divisions to provide advanced, patient-centered care to patients of all ages, with every type of heart disease, with the best possible outcomes. Pauley Heart Center’s superior performance resulted in VCU Medical Center being recognized as one of the top 100 U.S. hospitals for cardiovascular care, according to a Thomson Reuters study.