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Independence Health System Heart Program Reaches Accreditation Milestone for Echocardiology

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Independence Health System Heart Program Reaches Accreditation Milestone for Echocardiology

BUTLER, PA, June 28, 2023 … Independence Health System continues to demonstrate adherence to the highest standards for cardiovascular care, with Butler Memorial Hospital and Clarion Hospital each reaching a 10-plus year milestone anniversary for Adult Echocardiography Accreditation through the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC). IAC launched the milestone recognition program, honoring facilities that have been continuously accredited for 10, 20, 25, and 30 years in celebration of their 25-year anniversary of granting accreditations. Butler Memorial Hospital first received accreditation in 2006 and Clarion Hospital in 2005.

The five hospitals of Independence Health System -- Butler Memorial, Clarion, Frick, Latrobe and Westmoreland -- are among 2,800 facilities throughout the United States and Canada to be accredited in Adult or Pediatric Echocardiography. Annually, more than 32,000 echocardiograms are performed across Independence Health System. Frick, Latrobe and Westmoreland will be eligible for this new distinction once the appropriate time period has been achieved, having each sought IAC accreditation less than a decade ago.

Echocardiography is used to assess different areas of the heart and can detect heart disease or signs of serious cardiovascular conditions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States.

“This recognition demonstrates our continued commitment to providing the highest standard of care at Independence Health System,” said Dr. Angel Flores, Medical Director of Non-Invasive Cardiology at Butler Memorial Hospital. “It is a reflection of the hard work and effort our team puts into being a facility of excellence for cardiovascular care.”

Accredited facilities undergo an intensive application and review processes to re-earn accreditation, with an assessment conducted by a panel of medical experts. The IAC accreditation process enables both the critical operational and technical components of the applicant facility to be assessed, including representative case studies and their corresponding final reports.

On average, one American dies every 34 seconds of cardiovascular disease from disorders of the heart and blood vessels. IAC accreditation assesses the many factors that contribute to an accurate diagnosis based on echocardiography. The training and experience of the sonographer performing the procedure, the type of equipment used and the quality assessment metrics each facility is required to measure all contribute to a positive patient outcome.

“We are proud to recognize longtime accredited echocardiography facilities through the new milestone recognition program, said Mary Lally, MS, CAE, CEO of the IAC. “Since being incorporated in 1997 as the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories (ICAEL), we (now IAC Echocardiography) have helped thousands of facilities standardize their processes to provide better patient care and improved outcomes. As we celebrate 25 years of accrediting echocardiography facilities, the recognized facilities are true champions of accreditation. This recognition is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the staff who have consistently demonstrated their commitment to delivering safe, effective and compassionate care using accreditation as a quality metric. These facilities’ ongoing commitment to quality patient care is an example for other health care providers to follow. It is a reminder of the importance of putting patients first and striving to continuously improve the quality of care provided.”

Independence Health System offers a comprehensive cardiovascular program, which includes noninvasive diagnostic testing, minimally invasive device implantation and procedures, robot-assisted surgery and post-procedure cardiac rehabilitation, among others. The program has received national recognition by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, American Heart/Stroke Association, American College of Cardiology, US News, among others. To learn more visit

About IAC

The IAC is a nonprofit organization in operation to evaluate and accredit facilities that provide diagnostic imaging and interventional-based procedures, thus improving the quality of patient care provided in private offices, clinics and hospitals where such services are performed. The IAC provides accreditation programs for vascular testing, echocardiography, nuclear/PET, MRI, diagnostic CT, dental CT, carotid stenting, vascular interventional, cardiac electrophysiology and cardiovascular catheterization. The IAC programs for accreditation are dedicated to ensuring quality patient care and promoting health care and all support one common mission: Improving health care through accreditation®. Committed to its mission through a rigorous peer review process, the IAC has granted accreditation to more than 14,000 sites since its inception in 1991. To learn more about IAC, visit


Nationally recognized for quality care, Independence Health System comprises Butler Memorial, Clarion, Frick, Latrobe and Westmoreland Hospitals with a combined bed count of 925. With more than 1,000 physicians and advanced practice providers and 7,300 employees, the System is now the third largest in western Pennsylvania serving a population base of 750,000 in a footprint spanning more than 10 counties.

The System includes tertiary programs that are rated among America’s best for cardiac care and surgery by Healthgrades in its Top 100 and Top 50 designations, and one of only five in Pennsylvania to achieve a five-star rating in cardiac surgery. In similar fashion, the prestigious Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) bestowed its top three-star rating. Historically, less than 10 percent of programs within the STS data base achieve this elite standing. The hospitals of Independence Health System also have earned a host of accolades from such prestigious outlets and sources as US News and World Report, Newsweek Magazine, the American College of Radiology, the American College of Cardiology, the American College of Surgeons, the Joint Commission, Leapfrog and the American Heart/Stroke Association.

Locally owned and locally controlled, Independence Health System offers its patients low-cost, high-quality care across the care spectrum in such specialties as cardiology, cardiovascular and thoracic surgery, orthopedics and sports medicine, minimally invasive and robotic surgery, women’s health and obstetrics, emergency medicine, behavioral health and primary care. Its network of outpatient centers sees more than 1.2 million visits annually. The homecare division further supports patients at all stages of life with home health and hospice services.

Independence Health System continues to change the healthcare landscape in western Pennsylvania by meeting patient needs through superb physician expertise, outstanding nursing, the latest in technology and programmatic depth.