Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) of Utica has received the prestigious HeartCARE™ Center: National Distinction of Excellence from the American College of Cardiology (ACC). The hospital is the only health care organization in New York State with this accreditation, and one of only 36 to achieve this honor nationally.

Accreditation is based on rigorous on-site evaluation of the staff’s ability to safely and effectively evaluate, diagnose and treat patients as well as participation in ongoing quality improvement initiatives and numerous cardiac registry programs.

“We are so very proud of our entire cardiac team for achieving this national recognition,” said Darlene Stromstad, president/CEO of MVHS. “Being designated a HeartCARE Center provides national recognition of what we all know and appreciate – that our cardiac services provide world-class care.”

This is the highest recognition hospitals can receive from the renowned American College of Cardiology. It was established in 2018 to recognize hospitals that demonstrate a commitment to comprehensive high-quality culture.

MVHS achieved this distinction, based on meeting specific criteria, on-site reviews and proven quality standards. This designation is only awarded to hospitals that demonstrate excellence in cardiovascular care through comprehensive process improvement, disease and procedure-specific accreditation, professional excellence and community engagement.

“It is an honor for our program to be the first in the state to achieve this recognition,” said Michael Sassower, MD, FACC, FSCAI, a cardiologist at CNY Cardiology/medical director of Structural Heart at MVHS. “This recognition is the culmination of years of effort put forward by our team of doctors, nurses, technologists and support staff who have the shared vision of creating a cardiac center that is second to none.”

“There’s a reason we have achieved this designation when no one else in the state has,” Sassower continued. “We earned this honor because we’re not afraid to put in the hard work and attention to detail that’s necessary to achieve elite statue. We demonstrate this commitment to excellence through our dedication to patient outcomes and a system-wide investment in the latest technology.”

The cardiac team at MVHS has been repeatedly recognized by the ACC over the past few years. In addition to this HeartCare Center designation, MVHS is the only hospital in the state to achieve ACC accreditation in both its Electrophysiology (EP) and Cardiac Catheterization (Cath) labs.

“Every day hospitals are demonstrating their commitment to quality cardiovascular care by meeting accreditation criteria and through their ongoing performance measurement in registry reporting,” said Phillip Levy, MD, MPH, FACC, American College of Cardiology Accreditation Management Board Chair. “The ACC’s new HeartCARE Center: National Distinction of Excellence program is designed to shine a light on the elite group of U.S. hospitals that are going above and beyond to ensure each patient that comes through their doors has access to consistent, highest-quality cardiovascular care.”

To learn more about the cardiac program at MVHS, visit:


Members of the Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) cardiac team hold their award from the American College of Cardiology (ACC) this morning in front of St. Elizabeth Medical Center. MVHS is the first hospital in the state and one of 36 nationally to be awarded the ACC’s highest accreditation of HeartCARE™ Center: National Distinction of Excellence. Members of the team were on hand to announce the prestigious award, which is the culmination of more than two years of planning and on site testing.

If you’re not on our mailing list or receiving Member Mentions, please click here to sign up.