Sutter Medical Center Awarded Highest Certification for its Cardiac Program
Apr 20, 2023
Gary Zavoral
Heart certificate

It’s One of Just Two Hospitals in the Western U.S.

to Achieve Comprehensive Cardiac Center Certification


SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento is one of just 16 heart programs in the nation and only the second in the West to earn The Joint Commission/American Heart Association Comprehensive Cardiac Center certification. It joins Stanford Hospital, Sutter Medical Center’s partner with its pediatric heart surgery program, as the only two certified Comprehensive Cardiac Centers in the Western United States.

The certification is for hospitals with robust cardiac care services that “deliver superior quality of care across the cardiac continuum” in order to provide “world-class, patient-centric service,” The Joint Commission’s website states. “Developed in partnership with a technical advisory panel of clinicians with specific expertise in the field, and with input from the American Heart Association, this program is designed to recognize hospitals demonstrating consistent, comprehensive excellence.”

To receive the certification, Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento underwent a rigorous, unannounced onsite review by a Joint Commission team that evaluated compliance with 196 certification standards and conducted onsite observations and interviews. The Comprehensive Cardiac Center certification is the highest Joint Commission award in its Advanced Cardiac Certification program.

“Comprehensive Cardiac Center Certification recognizes healthcare organizations committed to fostering continuous improvement in patient safety and quality of care,” says Deborah Ryan with The Joint Commission’s accreditation board.

Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento has the most comprehensive heart care program in the greater Central Valley, and has the only heart transplant program in Northern California outside the Bay Area. Its specialized heart care services and programs include:

For a full list of services, go to Heart and Vascular Services in Sacramento.

Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, which is celebrating its centennial this year, was a pioneer in cardiac services, beginning in 1957. It is where most of the cardiac firsts in the greater Central Valley region occurred. These include the first successful open-heart surgery, the first pediatric open-heart surgery, the first heart transplant, the first interventional vascular program, first pediatric heart catheterization, and many more.

The Sutter Heart & Vascular Institute, which is headquartered at Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, and includes hospitals and care centers throughout Sutter’s Valley Area, continues to pioneer advances in cardiac care. It is trusted by hospitals throughout Northern California, southern Oregon and western Nevada to care for their most complex cardiac cases. The Institute is a longtime partner of the American Heart Association’s Go Red campaign, which advocates for women’s heart health.

“We congratulate Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento for this outstanding achievement,” says Nancy Brown, the American Heart Association’s CEO. “This certification reflects its commitment to providing the highest quality of care for cardiac patients.”

Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento leaders credit the entire staff for achieving this award.

“Our cardiovascular physicians, specially trained nurses and clinical staff work on a daily basis with unrivaled skill, competence, professionalism and pure dedication to ensure every cardiovascular patient who walks through the doors of our hospital and clinincs receives care at the highest level,” said Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento CEO Rachael McKinney.

“Patients don’t need to travel outside the area to receive comprehensive, world-class cardiac care,” said Dr. David Roberts, medical director of the Sutter Heart & Vascular Institute. “It is right here in their own backyard.”

The Joint Commission accredits and certifies more than 22,000 healthcare organizations and programs in the United States. An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. For more information, please visit The Joint Commission website.

Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento is part of the Northern California, not-for-profit Sutter Health system and has been located in midtown Sacramento for 100 years. For more on Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento’s cardiovascular program, please visit the Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento heart services website.

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