Bill Clinton is recovering after undergoing successful quadruple bypass surgery

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton is recovering after undergoing successful quadruple bypass surgery from New York Presbyterian Hospital; the first accredited Chest Pain Center in New York. His heart disease was extensive, with blockages in some arteries well over 90 percent, doctors said.

The Society of Chest Pain Centers granted the designation of Accredited Chest Pain Center to New York-Presbyterian Hospital on December 12, 2003, making it the first in New York and the 15th in the nation to be accredited. "Like President Clinton, the average citizen needs to know that if they are at risk for a heart attack, that their condition will be accurately and quickly diagnosed and rapidly and effectively treated," stated Robert Weisenburger Lipetz, Executive Director of the Society of Chest Pain Centers. "Chest Pain Center accreditation indicates where providers of this high level of care can be found."

"New York-Presbyterian /Columbia is a premier cardiovascular care institution," said Christopher P. Cannon, MD, board member of the Society of Chest Pain Centers, cardiologist at Brigham & Women's Hospital, and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard University. "The Society's Chest Pain Center accreditation recognizes their commitment and dedication to top quality care."

The Society of Chest Pain Centers is a patient-centered professional society with a focus on heart disease and a mission of educating the public and healthcare professionals on the importance of rapid diagnosis and treatment for those experiencing chest pain. The Society promotes evidence- based medicine, often delivered through a Chest Pain Center (CPC) model, that addresses the diagnosis and treatment of acute coronary syndromes and related maladies.

Heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the United States, with 600,000 dying annually of heart disease. More than five million Americans visit hospitals each year with chest pain. The goal of the Society of Chest Pain Centers is to significantly reduce the mortality rate of these patients by teaching the public to recognize and react to the early symptoms of a possible heart attack, reduce the time that it takes to receive treatment, and increase the accuracy and effectiveness of treatment.

The Chest Pain Center's protocol driven and systematic approach to patient management allows physicians to reduce time to treatment during the critical early stages of a heart attack, when treatments are most effective, and to better monitor patients when it is not clear whether they are having a coronary event. Such observation helps ensure that a patient is neither sent home too early nor needlessly admitted.

With the rise of Chest Pain Centers came the need to establish standards designed to improve the consistency and quality of care provided to patients. The Society's accreditation process insures centers meet or exceed quality-of- care measures in acute cardiac medicine.

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