Valley Presbyterian Hospital has been designated as a medical facility best equipped to care for heart attack patients brought in by ambulance by the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services’ Emergency Medical Services Agency. As a STEMI Receiving Center, hospital staff receives information on a patient from paramedics in the field and can more quickly prepare the cardiac catheterization lab for the arrival of the patient. “This is a big improvement in cardiovascular care,” said Marco Hernandez, associate director of emergency services. “The sooner you can re-establish blood flow to a blocked coronary artery, the better chance you have to increase survival and quality of life to a patient having a heart attack. STEMI stands for ST-elevation myocardial infarction, a specific type of heart attack measured by the upward stroke of the electrocardiogram tracing. Valley Presbyterian, located in Van Nuys, is expanding its cardiology services. Construction of another catheterization lab is scheduled for this summer in an unoccupied area of the hospital.