Vance's Story

When Seconds Count

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Vance, heart attack survivor"I thought it was heartburn," says Vance, 53, of the chest pain he experienced one afternoon. But within minutes Vance knew—he was having a heart attack.

"Vance had total blockage in the largest artery of his heart… the most serious kind of heart attack you can have," says John W. Nemanich, MD, FACC and Medical Director of Interventional Cardiology at VMC.

Quick response saved his life. Vance's blockage was removed just 39 minutes from the time he came through our door.

Five days later he was released from the hospital with a new outlook. “I get the fact that I got a second chance,” he said. Now that he's completed his cardiac rehab program, Vance is training for the Seattle-to-Portland bike ride.

Learn more about Valley Medical Center's nationally recognized cardiac care  


American Heart Association Get with the Guidelines Heart Failure Silver Performance AwardValley Medical Center's door-to-balloon time—from the moment a patient arrives to the time we remove a blockage—beats the 90-minute-or-less national benchmark by half an hour.

Since 2001, Valley Medical Center has served as a champion of improving cardiac response times in hospitals across the nation. With one of the busiest emergency departments on the West coast, VMC’s exceptional record of patient outcomes has also drawn national attention. In 2006, Dr. Nemanich was invited to present at the Clinical Outcomes Assessment Program (COAP) conference. In addition, Yale University researchers came on-site to study best practices in reducing door-to-balloon time.