We Take Your Health to Heart

Our Chest Pain Accreditation




All Scottsdale Healthcare hospitals have received the esteemed Cycle III Chest Pain Center accreditation from the Society of Chest Pain Centers (SCPC). The intent of this accreditation is to ensure that our physicians, nurses and care providers meet or exceed quality-of-care measures based on improving the process for the care of the acute coronary syndrome (ACS) patient. This is based upon established criteria endorsed by leading professional societies such as the American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association, American College of Cardiovascular Administrators, Emergency Nurses Association and many others working collaboratively together. The care of the ACS patient starts from the onset of the patient’s symptoms, and includes engagement of emergency dispatch services, emergency medical services, emergency department and cardiac catheterization lab, observation unit and cardiac rehab.

Know the Warning Signs! 

Some heart attacks are so sudden and intense that no one doubts what’s happening. But most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often people affected aren’t sure what’s wrong and wait too long before getting help.

Here are signs that can mean a heart attack is happening:

  • Chest discomfort - Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body - Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath - with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs - may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

If you have chest discomfort or pain lasting more than 5 minutes,
CALL 9-1-1 IMMEDIATELY. This can be a sign of a heart attack.

“Door-To-Balloon” (D2B)

“Door-To-Balloon” (D2B) is a time measurement in emergency cardiac care, specifically in the treatment of a life-threatening heart attack. The interval starts with the patient’s arrival in a Scottsdale Healthcare emergency department and ends when a cardiologist carefully guides a specialized catheter through the heart’s affected artery and inflates a small balloon, which restores blood flow to the heart’s muscle. The American College of Cardiologists and the American Heart Association have developed specialized guidelines which recommend a door-to-balloon interval of no more than 90 minutes. Scottsdale Healthcare consistently beats this national standard of less than 90-minutes “door-to-balloon” time. Our trained experts quickly restore blood flow to the heart. After all, time is muscle.

Bernard J. Villegas, M.D. 

Specializing in both invasive and noninvasive cardiology, Dr. Villegas was a founding member of the Scottsdale Heart Group in 1999. Moving to Arizona in 1995, he became clinical director for cardiology for the Arizona Heart Institute where he also directed the cardiac catheterization lab and the nuclear medicine department. 

Currently the director of the chest pain program at Scottsdale Healthcare, he received his medical degree at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Dallas. He took postgraduate training at the University of Tennessee and the University of Massachusetts. 

A board certified cardiologist, Dr. Villegas belongs to several medical societies and has written numerous medical abstracts and publications.


Founded in 1998, the Society of Chest Pain Centers (SCPC) is a non-profit international society dedicated to the belief that heart disease can be eliminated as the number one cause of death worldwide. Because we know that time translates to muscle during a heart emergency, the Society bridges EMS, emergency medicine, cardiology, nursing and other professions jointly focused upon improving timely, quality care for cardiac patients. 

In order to disseminate best practices and processes in heart care the Society promotes protocol-based medicine and promotes the adoption of process improvement science by healthcare providers, ideally delivered through a Chest Pain Center model to address acute coronary syndrome.