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Morristown Medical Center Earns The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™ for Ventricular Assist Device Destination Therapy

February 3, 2016

February 3, 2016, Morristown, NJ – Morristown Medical Center, part of Atlantic Health System, today announced it has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™ for its ventricular assist device (VAD) destination therapy program for the fourth consecutive time.

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, a ventricular assist device (VAD) is a mechanical pump that is used to support heart function and blood flow in people who have weakened hearts.  The VAD device is implanted in the chest but controlled by an external power or battery unit, and helps the heart pump blood throughout the body. Many times, people receive a VAD device while they are waiting for a donor heart to become available.

In August 2015, 36-year-old Montville resident Jon Antal received a VAD device after being diagnosed with an abnormal heart muscle and function due to an enlarged heart. Today, he is back to work and waiting for a heart transplant.“I’m learning to find my new normal,” Antal said. “The Heart Success team at Morristown Medical Center made me realize that my diagnosis wasn’t a death sentence. I have to change how I do things, but am living my life, back to work, and am waiting until a donor heart becomes available. This device affords me that time.”

Since the VAD program began, Morristown Medical Center has implanted over 60 devices.“We are pleased that Morristown Medical Center’s ventricular assist device destination therapy program has again been certified by The Joint Commission,” said James P. Slater, MD, Surgical Director, Mechanical Circulatory Support Program. “It’s important for our team to help people diagnosed with heart failure realize that their diagnosis isn’t the end of the road, but the beginning of a number of medical treatment options—a heart ‘success’ story. This certification demonstrates that passion and our compliance with The Joint Commission’s national standards for health care quality and safety.”Morristown Medical Center underwent a voluntary, rigorous on-site review in late November, and was deemed compliant with the requirements for The Joint Commission’s Disease-Specific Care Certification program as well as ventricular assist device destination therapy-specific standards, clinical practice guidelines and performance measures.

The Joint Commission's Advanced Certification in Ventricular Assist Device Destination Therapy, developed in response to Medicare requirements, provides standards for hospitals related to staffing and facility infrastructure to support ventricular assist device placements, participation in a national, audited registry for patients who have received mechanically assisted circulatory support devices, and volume requirements for board certified cardiac surgeons who place ventricular assist devices.
Heart Success Program at Morristown Medical Center at: 973-971-4179.

About The Joint Commission

Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission accredits and certifies nearly 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. An independent, nonprofit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body.

About Morristown Medical Center

Morristown Medical Center, located in Morristown, NJ, is a nationally-ranked regional medical center and a recognized leader in cardiovascular medicine, orthopedics and nursing. The hospital was recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a top hospital nationwide for cardiology and heart surgery, geriatrics, orthopedics and pulmonology. Morristown Medical Center also ranked as a “Best Regional Hospital” for neurology and neurosurgery, as well as gastroenterology & GI Surgery, gynecology, nephrology and urology. Morristown Medical Center’s Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute performs more cardiac surgeries than any other hospital in New Jersey, placing its cardiac program in the top two percent in the country. The Atlantic Orthopedic Institute at Morristown Medical Center does the highest volume of joint and spine surgeries in New Jersey. In 2014, the hospital was re-designated a Magnet Hospital for Excellence in Nursing Service, the highest level of recognition by American Nurses Credentialing Center for facilities that provide acute care services, a distinction awarded to less than five percent of U.S. hospitals. Morristown Medical Center is certified as a Level I Regional Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons, and designated a Level II Trauma Center by the state of New Jersey. Morristown Medical Center is part of Atlantic Health System, one of the largest non-profit health care systems in New Jersey.