Galway-based charity Croí has become first Irish organisation to be accredited by the European Association of Preventive Cardiology for its work in cardiovascular risk management and prevention.
The local heart disease and stroke charity was one of only eleven organisations across Europe to achieve the status.
Croí’s purpose-built centre in Galway opened in November 2012 and is a leading centre for heart and stroke prevention, research, education, support and rehabilitation.
It is also home to the Croí Courtyard Apartments which allow family members to be as close as possible to patients receiving cardiac or stroke care in University Hospital Galway.
The announcement follows an assessment and benchmarking of Croí’s cardiovascular risk management and prevention work under a range of performance indicators.
These include standards around care protocols, staff training, equipment and facilities, and management of its centre.
As part of the assessment process, a scientific review of Croí’s work was undertaken by two experts from the EAPC. Accreditation is for an initial period of three years.
Professor Martin Halle, President of the European Association of Preventive Cardiology, said that with this accreditation programme, the EAPC aims to set standards for preventive cardiology practice, improving quality of care and cardiovascular health.
“The EAPC accreditation programme enables centres to document that the care they provide is sound and based on the latest guidelines, that infrastructure is in place, that a multi-disciplinary team is present and well-trained, and that procedures are organised in an adequate way.
“We congratulate Croí on this achievement,” he said.
For Neil Johnson, CEO, Croí, the award is a recognition of the professionalism and dedication of staff.
“This award is a recognition of the professionalism and dedication of our health team whowork tirelessly in the fight against heart disease and stroke,” said.
“At Croí, we are committed to delivering a range of programmes, interventions and supports with medical oversight, which are best practice and evidence-based.
“I wish to acknowledge the commitment and dedication of my colleagues who in the midst of this pandemic have swiftly responded to the needs of patients and carers with a range of new online supports and services.
“These include the Heartlink West COVID-19 response service, the development of online cardiac rehabilitation, exercise and dietetic programmes, and virtual stroke support groups.
“For anyone concerned about their heart health or seeking information on heart disease or stroke, I would encourage them to get in touch with our health team today on 091 544310 or by email at email@example.com .”