Four NGMC hospitals reaccredited as Emergency Cardiac Care Centers

Published: Thursday, August 17, 2023

When a patient goes into cardiac arrest or has a heart attack, they can count on Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) – and the interventional cardiologists of Georgia Heart Institute – to be there, providing life-saving heart and vascular care. Recently, four NGMC hospital campuses were reaccredited as emergency cardiac care centers (ECCC), recognizing the level of care those patients receive.

“Our teams work hard each and every day to ensure every patient who comes in with heart attack or cardiac arrest symptoms is able to leave the hospital feeling better than when they arrived,” said Habib Samady, MD, interventional cardiologist and president of Georgia Heart Institute. “Earning this reaccreditation is further proof of our dedication to caring for the hearts of this region.”

NGMC Gainesville was reaccredited as a Level 1 ECCC, while NGMC Braselton was reaccredited as Level 2. NGMC Barrow and NGMC Lumpkin were reaccredited as Level 3 and NGMC Habersham has begun the process of ECCC accreditation.

Hospitals seeking ECCC accreditation undergo a thorough evaluation process, including a site inspection and an assessment of emergency cardiac care processes and equipment. Once these steps are complete, the Georgia Department of Public Health uses a three-level designation system to rank the capabilities of each facility:

  • Level 1 hospitals perform open heart surgery and interventional cardiac catheterizations.
  • Level 2 hospitals perform interventional cardiac catheterizations.
  • Level 3 hospitals stabilize patients until they are transported to a Level 1 or Level 2 center.

In 2020, NGHS made history by becoming the first health system in the state with hospitals receiving the ECCC designation. To learn more about the care offered at Georgia Heart Institute, visit