Patient Care

URMC Heart Failure Program Earns Prestigious Certification

Nov. 28, 2011

The Program in Heart Failure and Transplantation at the University of Rochester Medical Center has received prestigious advanced certification in heart failure from the Joint Commission, the nation’s leading body for setting health care standards and accreditation.

URMC joins 37 other institutions in the country that have met the standards to earn the certification and is one of only two programs in New York recognized for excellence in care.

“This is an impressive achievement for the dedicated team of doctors, nurses and staff who maintain the highest levels of care for our patients,” said Charles Lowenstein, M.D., chief of the Division of Cardiology and director of the Aab Cardiovascular Research Institute.

The heart failure program, led by transplant cardiologist Leway Chen, M.D., M.P.H., underwent an extensive on-site evaluation by a team of Joint Commission reviewers. It was evaluated against Joint Commission’s rigorous standards through an assessment of URMC program processes, the program’s ability to evaluate and improve care within its own organization, and interviews with patients and staff.

URMC also holds the Joint Commission’s certification of distinction for its work with ventricular assist devices (VADs), which are an important component of heart failure care, in addition to medication, surgery and transplantation. URMC physicians and scientists were among the first in the nation to study and use VADs.

The Medical Center established the Program in Heart Failure and Transplantation in 2001. It is the only comprehensive heart failure and transplant service in upstate New York. It is a national leader in research efforts to further the treatment of heart failure and return patients that suffer from heart failure to healthy and productive lives.

To date, the team has performed 145 heart transplants.