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WMC Receives Cardiovascular Center of Excellence Accreditation

WMC Receives Cardiovascular Center of Excellence Accreditation

The Valley Health Heart & Vascular Center at Winchester Medical Center (WMC) has been awarded the American Heart Association’s Cardiovascular Center of Excellence accreditation, a new comprehensive designation developed in collaboration with the American College of Cardiology.

The new level of designation recognizes WMC’s commitment to providing proven, multi-disciplinary treatment within a comprehensive system of care to patients with complex cardiac conditions. The Center of Excellence accreditation recognizes the quality of the overall program, as well as Valley Health’s demonstrated efforts to expand community awareness of the importance of cardiovascular health.

“We are proud to be among the very first programs to receive this highly-distinctive Cardiovascular Center of Excellence accreditation,” said WMC President and Valley Health Senior Vice President Grady W. (Skip) Philips, III. “This recognition is a testament to our team’s commitment to our regional community and to the excellence of our cardiovascular clinicians, leaders and staff.”

During the on-site accreditation survey in April, cardiovascular quality improvement specialists reviewed WMC’s policies, procedures and operations to ensure appropriate diagnosis, treatment and education protocols were in place and implemented for cardiovascular patients. The reviewers also learned about Valley Health’s close partnership with EMS, community education and outreach activities including free screenings for heart attack risk, heart rhythm, and carotid artery problems, and a popular “Survive. Don’t Drive!” campaign.

Through the accreditation program, the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology hope to significantly reduce cardiac death and disability by teaching the public to recognize and react to early symptoms of heart diseases, reduce the time it takes to receive lifesaving treatment and increase the accuracy and effectiveness of the care that is given.

“While our ultimate goal is to reduce the incidence of heart disease in the first place, our WMC team is focused on working collaboratively within our facility, with referring physicians, EMS, and the larger community to provide patents the best cardiovascular care possible,” notes cardiothoracic surgeon Basel Ramlawi, MD, Chairman, Valley Health Heart & Vascular Center. “We treat a wide range of conditions – including chest pain, arrhythmias, heart failure and valve, aorta and heart vessel disease – through innovative therapeutic strategies and comprehensive, patient-tailored care. It’s gratifying to know we exceed high national standards as a Center of Excellence.”

Over the years, the WMC program has been recognized for key services such as chest pain, cardiac catheterization, atrial fibrillation, electrophysiology, cardiac surgery and vascular care. In March, the Valley Health Heart & Vascular Center at WMC was accredited by the American College of Cardiology for its expertise in treating patients with atrial fibrillation, or AFib, a common arrhythmia which can lead to increased risk of stroke, heart failure and other complications. Hospitals accredited in Atrial Fibrillation with EPS (electrophysiology services) use an evidence-based, protocol-driven and systematic approach to managing AFib and have been able to reduce time to treatment, better identify and predict high-risk patients, and limit the length of stay in the emergency department and hospital.

WMC’s Heart & Vascular program draws patients from a broad region seeking specialty services typically found only at urban or academic centers. In 2017, program physicians and staff had more than 24,000 patient encounters for cardiovascular diagnostic and treatment services.


About Valley Health System

Valley Health is a not-for-profit health system serving a population of more than 500,000 in northwest Virginia, West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle, and western Maryland. Valley Health includes six hospitals, more than 50 physician practices, a regional medical transport service, home care, and Urgent Care centers in five communities. Winchester Medical Center, Valley Health’s 455-bed regional referral hospital, has been recognized consistently by national quality rating organizations for its comprehensive cardiology and cardiovascular surgery services and heart attack treatment times, which outperform national standards. Valley Health Heart and Vascular patients also have access to a variety of clinical research trials, offering treatment innovations for drugs and devices not otherwise available. Visit

About the American Heart Association’s Cardiovascular Center of Excellence Accreditation

The Cardiovascular Center of Excellence (CVCOE) accreditation offers cardiovascular programs a model to ensure best practices and evidence–based medicine is implemented in a standardized fashion for the delivery of cohesive and consistent multidisciplinary cardiovascular care. The CVCOE Accreditation is a capstone for facilities that have or are pursuing three cornerstone accreditations: Chest Pain, Atrial Fibrillation, Heart Failure or Cardiac Catheterization Lab. CVCOE carries additional standards focused on the areas of Governance, System of Care, and Clinical Quality. For more information about this accreditation, visit

About the American College of Cardiology

The American College of Cardiology is a 52,000-member medical society that is the professional home for the entire cardiovascular care team. The mission of the College is to transform cardiovascular care and to improve heart health. The ACC leads in the formation of health policy, standards and guidelines. The College operates national registries to measure and improve care, offers cardiovascular accreditation to hospitals and institutions, provides professional medical education, disseminates cardiovascular research and bestows credentials upon cardiovascular specialists who meet stringent qualifications. For more, visit