The University of Arizona Medical Center – University Campus Earns National Accreditation in Treating Heart Failure

As part of becoming an accredited Heart Failure Center, UAMC underwent a rigorous onsite review by a team from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care
The University of Arizona Medical Center – University Campus is pleased to announce it has received full Heart Failure Accreditation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care.
“Heart failure is the only cardiac disease that continues to increase in both incidence and prevalence,” said Mark Friedman, MD, medical director of the hospital’s Heart Failure Program and Cardiac Transplant Service. “More Medicare dollars are spent for diagnosis and treatment of heart failure than any other disease.”
Its human costs are enormous too. Three years ago, heart failure was so disabling to Tucsonan Lawrence Tilford that he could not stand up without fainting. His community cardiologist recommended the retired U.S. Air Force veteran consult with the Heart Failure Team at The University of Arizona Medical Center.
 Tilford was implanted with a pacemaker and defibrillator and his medications were carefully calibrated over several months. That year he spent 51 days in the hospital, where he became a favorite of 4 West doctors and nurses.
Today, he visits the hospital only to exercise and drop brownies off to his former caregivers. He is able to walk UAMC’s long corridors and work out three times a week in the hospital’s Wellness Center. He recently celebrated his 80th birthday with wife, Retha, and their large family, and jokes that he plans to be around another 220 years. “I’m aiming to be as old as Moses,” he said.
Heart failure is a fairly common condition in which the heart can't pump enough blood to meet the body's needs. In some cases, the heart can't fill with enough blood. In other cases, the heart can't pump blood to the rest of the body with enough force. Some people have both problems.
Heart failure is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States, affecting an estimated 5 million individuals, said Dr. Friedman, who holds the Thomas & Sabina Sullivan Sr. Endowed Chair for the Prevention and Treatment of Heart Failure at the UA Sarver Heart Center.
Although there is no cure, in most cases heart failure can be managed with medicine and lifestyle changes. In advanced cases, more drastic therapies may be called for.
“From the earliest medical management to heart transplants and artificial hearts, our multi-disciplinary approach to the complex spectrum of heart failure allows UAMC to offer comprehensive care that returns our patients to their optimal quality of life,” said cardiothoracic surgeon Cristy Smith, MD, surgical director of Thoracic Transplant and Mechanical Circulatory Support at UAMC. 
UAMC regularly receives requests for assistance on difficult heart failure cases from hospitals across Arizona and as far away as New Mexico and Nevada, said nurse practitioner Sharon Gregoire, coordinator of the UAMC Heart Failure program.
As part of becoming an accredited Heart Failure Center, UAMC underwent a rigorous onsite review by a team from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care.  UAMC had to demonstrate expertise in:
  • Emergency Department integration with emergency medical services
  • Emergency assessment of patients with symptoms of acute decompensated heart failure
  • Risk stratification of the heart failure patient
  • Treatment for patients presenting to the Emergency Department in heart failure
  • Heart failure discharge criteria from the Emergency Department, observation stay or inpatient stay
  • Heart failure patient education in the Emergency Department, observation and inpatient unit
  • Personnel, competencies and training
  • Process improvement
  • Organizational structure and commitment
  • Heart failure community outreach
About The University of Arizona Medical Center – University Campus
This 487-bed hospital at 1501 N. Campbell Ave. in Tucson is part of The University of Arizona Health Network, the state’s leading academic medical system. It is the primary teaching hospital of the UA College of Medicine – Tucson, and the UA Colleges of  Pharmacy and Nursing. Its mission is Advancing Health and Wellness through Education, Research and Patient Care. For appointments or further information, please visit
About the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center
The University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center in Tucson, Ariz., emphasizes a highly interdisciplinary research environment fostering innovative translational or “bench-to-bedside” research. Working toward a future free of cardiovascular disease and stroke, the center’s more than 175 scientist and physician members collaborate with the goal of applying new findings from the basic sciences to the clinical arena as quickly as possible.
About the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care
The Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC) is an international not-for-profit organization that focuses on transforming cardiovascular care by assisting facilities in their effort to create communities of excellence that bring together quality, cost and patient satisfaction. As the only cross-specialty organization, SCPC provides the support needed for individual hospitals and hospital systems to effectively bridge existing gaps in treatment by providing the tools, education and support necessary to successfully navigate the changing face of health care.  For more information on SCPC, accreditation and certification opportunities, visit, or call toll free 1-877-271-4176.