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Riverside Health and Rehabilitation Center has earned the Skilled Nursing Facility Heart Failure Certification offered by the American Heart Association®, the world’s leading voluntary organization focused on heart and brain health. The certification provides an evidence-based framework for evaluating skilled nursing facilities against the American Heart Association’s rigorous science-based requirements for heart failure (HF) patients, including program management, patient and caregiver education and support, care coordination, clinical management and quality improvement.

“Participation in this certification benefits the patient and the facility by standardizing care practices,” said Cory Woods, DNP, MHA, MSN, RN, volunteer chair of the American Heart Association’s Quality Certification Business Management Committee and assistant chief clinical officer at Rockport Healthcare Services in Los Angeles. “When there are clear processes during every phase of care, patients have the best opportunity for positive outcomes.”

“By meeting the criteria outlined by the American Heart Association, we can ensure a strong, continually-evolving program for our patients geared towards prioritizing the unique characteristics of the care of the heart failure patient,” Administrator Rosemary Beaudoin, LNHA added. “The Scope of the program is to provide specialized patient-centered care to the unique heart failure population through a multidisciplinary approach that is evidence-based and outcomes-focused.”

Nearly 1 in 4 HF patients are readmitted within 30 days of discharge and approximately half are readmitted within 6 months; about one quarter of readmissions may be preventable. This certification can support facilities’ efforts to stop preventable readmissions. This certification also provides patients with several other benefits including access to centers focused on treating heart failure and its comorbidities and the confidence that the centers can provide the most effective treatment strategies based on current translational, evidence-based research in heart failure.

“Heart failure patients need high-quality care after leaving the hospital that follows evidence-based guidelines, giving them the best chance to improve their health,” said National Health Care Associates’ Chief Marketing Officer Christina Fleming. “At Riverside, we want to be trailblazers and continue to use innovative methods to give our heart failure patients the best care. The American Heart Association has armed us with additional tools and recognized our success. It is an honor to have our processes and efforts recognized in this way.”

Certification criteria for a skilled nursing facility includes the use of a standardized method of delivering clinical care based on current evidence-based guidelines and heart failure performance measurement to improve its performance over time. The skilled nursing facility’s heart failure program committee must have documented six months of meeting minutes in preparation for certification.

To be eligible for this certification, the facility must be in the U.S. or a U.S. territory and implement an HF program that uses a standardized method of delivering clinical care based on current evidence-based guidelines. Learn more about this certification and others at