Philadelphia, Pa., Sept. 14, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Individuals with congenital heart disease (CHD), the most common birth defect diagnosed in one in 100 births, are living longer. In fact, there are now 1.4 million adults in the U.S., more than children, currently living with one of the many different types of congenital heart defects that range among simple, moderate, and complex. To better serve this population, the Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA), the only organization in the country that specifically serves adults with CHD, announced the launch of the ACHA Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) accreditation program. This accreditation program will provide a community of support and network of experts with knowledge of the disease. To date, eleven (11) centers have earned the ACHA ACHD Accredited Comprehensive Care Center designation:
Over several years, ACHA worked with doctors, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, and ACHD patients to define and vet the criteria for accreditation, which includes medical services and personnel requirements, and create a rigorous accreditation process.
“Accreditation will elevate the standard of care and have a positive impact on the futures of those living with this disease,” said Mark Roeder, President and CEO of ACHA. “Coordination of care is key, and this accreditation program will make care more streamlined for ACHD patients, improving their quality of life.”
Treatment options frequently change and, of the adults living with CHD, fewer than 10% see an ACHD cardiologist who specializes in adult care.
“We’re standardizing and enhancing the quality of care for adult CHD patients throughout the country,” Roeder added.
ACHA works to empower the ACHD community with education and expertise to enable the transition between pediatric and adult congenital heart disease care, ultimately helping patients thrive and live longer lives.
“I have patients who won’t travel because they are nervous about receiving care away from home,” added Curt Daniels, MD, Chair of the ACHA Medical Advisory Board. “This network will help solve that issue, because I can now contact an accredited center when my patient is in the area, should a need for care arise.”
In addition to the accredited centers, there are eight (8) organizations currently going through the ACHA ACHD Accreditation process including submitting a completed application and site visit prior to 6/1/17:
“By accrediting institutions, we’re encouraging others to meet the criteria,” Roeder concluded. “Because patients are now living longer, there is a need to understand how to treat individuals with typical ailments associated with aging, along with CHD. Accreditation will ultimately help providers understand what patients need, and patients understand what they are getting in terms of care to deliver patient-centered care.”
The ACHA ACHD Accreditation Program was partially funded by Actelion Pharmaceuticals U.S., Inc. ACHA and Actelion Pharmaceuticals have partnered together since 2007 to support the CHD community.
About the Adult Congenital Heart Association
The Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA) is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life and extending the lives of adults with congenital heart disease (CHD). ACHA serves and supports the more than one million adults with CHD, their families and the medical community—working with them to address the unmet needs of the long-term survivors of congenital heart defects through education, outreach, advocacy, and promotion of ACHD research. For more information about ACHA, contact (888) 921-ACHA or visit www.achaheart.org.
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Chris Murray Adult Congenital Heart Association 610-864-9123 email@example.com Morgan Appleyard Adult Congenital Heart Association 610-254-7418 firstname.lastname@example.org