Date: 11/21/2013

Nurse earns specialty Certification

Community Hospital’s Accredited Chest Pain Center Coordinator Cheryl Smyth has worked for Community Hospital for the past 33 years in various positions within Cardiac Care. She recently has successfully completed Cardiovascular Care Coordinator certification.

Nurse Cheryl Smyth has earned special certification as a Cardiovascular Care Coordinator from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC). The SCPC, formerly Society of Chest Pain Centers, awards certification to cardiac healthcare professionals who successfully complete the Cardiovascular Care Coordinator Certification (C4) boot camp.

Smyth has worked for Community Hospital for the past 33 years in various positions within the Cardiac Care department, including coronary care staff nurse; cardiac catheterization lab clinician, and cardiovascular research supervisor. More recently, she also has served as Community Hospital’s Accredited Chest Pain Center Coordinator.

“Heart attacks remain the leading cause of death in Northwest Indiana,” Smyth said. “More than 5,171 residents come into our hospital each year with chest pain. But, more often, people affected aren’t sure what’s wrong and wait too long before calling for help. Our Chest Pain Center patients receive state-of-the-art care during that critical window of time that can make a difference in their recovery.”

“We also offer education classes and events to raise awareness so that members of the community are familiar with the signs of a heart attack and get timely care,” Smyth said.

In June of 2011, Community Hospital’s Chest Pain Center received full accreditation with PCI (percutaneous coronary intervention) from the SCPC. Community Hospital earned the distinction based on a rigorous evaluation of its cardiac care services and, for practices, guidelines and treatment during the critical first stages of heart attack. As an Accredited Chest Pain Center, Community Hospital works seamlessly with area emergency medical services and internal hospital departments to assure that patients complaining of chest pain or discomfort are provided with immediate treatment that can help to limit potential heart damage.

With her training for Cardiovascular Care Coordinator certification, Smyth has been able to expand her knowledge regarding core competencies in chest pain; learn about best practice team building; project management; data utilization; education and process improvement. These skills will enable her to share what she has learned and provide solutions that ultimately impact patient care quality and outcomes.

“Medical professionals at Community Hospital, including Cherie, understand that time is of the essence when treating our patients who come in with chest pain or discomfort,” said Arvind Gandhi, M.D., cardiologist and medical director of Community Hospital’s accredited Chest Pain Center. “They also understand that we need to be pro-active to fight heart disease and educate the community about prevention and healthier lifestyles.”

Some 62 new C4s graduated this past July from 24 United States — the second largest class ever including class members from countries as far away as Puerto Rico and Saudi Arabia.

“Certification has grown to 235 members that validates and signifies a growing interest in our process improvement methodologies and the never-ending thirst for knowledge among our elite members,” said SCPC CEO Wil Mick.

The SCPC is an international not-for-profit organization compassionate about eliminating heart disease as the number one cause of death worldwide. SCPC focuses on transforming cardiovascular care by assisting facilities in creating communities of excellence that bring together quality, cost and patient satisfaction. SCPC provides the support needed by hospitals to effectively bridge existing gaps in treatment by providing the tools, education and support necessary to successfully navigate the changing face of healthcare.

For more information about the Cardiovascular Care programs and services offered by Community Hospital in Munster, click here.