SARASOTA - Thanks to a no diversion policy, and robust coronary intervention programs, the American College of Cardiology awarded Sarasota Memorial Hospital with a Chest Pain Accreditation.

"This accreditation is just like a rubber stamp for us," Dr. Yaryura said. "It's things that we've been doing, but we knew that the public, and health care providers wanted to be recognized and to realize that we're doing what we're supposed to do to give the best care to our patients."


The hospital had a rigorous evaluation of its ability to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients.


"Part of the accreditation would require that we have policies in the hospital that we all abide by," Dr. Yaryura said. "And make sure the patients are getting the best first evaluation."


"Working on the theory that time is muscle," Dr. Fox said. "That as much time goes by you will lose heart muscle which cannot be reversed. 90 min is our goal from the time a patient gets an EKG from the time the artery opens."


The hospital also has extensive community outreach to educate the public on heart attack symptoms.


"I think we had 2,300 high school seniors had training for hands only CPR in the area last year," Dr. Fox said. "And that helps with an awareness in the public, which allows earlier activation of our services, going along with time is muscle, the sooner they call for our help the sooner we can help them."

Cardiologist Dr. James Fox says caring for patients with chest pain is a team effort.


"EMS has helped us tremendously with recognition," Dr. Fox said. "They call ahead to let us know what's going on, the ER physicians do a good job in telling us what patients to look out for, and the cath lab team comes in very quickly and the doctors do a great job."


"We come together and we work as a really strong force," Dr. Yaryura said. "And it's exciting , this is our hospital, this is the community's hospital."

Heart disease remains the number one killer of both men and women in the United States.