Mendocino Coast Hospital Echocardiography Lab Earns Major Accreditation

Echo Lab Tech Reed Patterson and Lab Medical Director Jason Kirman, M.D.

Echo Lab Sonographer Reid Patterson and Lab Medical Director Jason Kirkman, M.D.

FORT BRAGG, Calif. – April 9, 2010 – Mendocino Coast Hospital’s echocardiography lab – an important tool for diagnosing and managing heart disease — has won a coveted accreditation held by only five other Bay Area hospitals: Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, California Pacific Medical Center, UCSF, Kaiser Permanente-Sacramento, and Stanford Medical Center. It is the first and so far the only accredited echo lab in Mendocino, Lake, Sonoma, and Humboldt counties.

In a written statement announcing the accreditation, the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories (ICAEL) Technical Director Beverly Gorman wrote: “Mendocino Coast District Hospital is one of a growing number of echocardiography laboratories in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico to be so recognized for its commitment to the high quality patient care and its provision of quality diagnostic testing.”

MCDH Echo Laboratory Medical Director Jason Kirkman, MD has twice passed the National Board of Echocardiography’s examination of Special Competence in Adult Echocardiography. He passed the initial test in 2000, and recertification in October 2009. Many cardiologists interpreting echocardiograms do not have this credential. Reid Patterson earned his Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer (RDCS) certification in 2007.

“Our physician and sonographer are well trained and can provide the same high quality of care found in the top university hospitals in the Bay Area,” explained MCDH Cardiopulmonary Manager Michael Coleman.

An echocardiogram is a sonogram of the heart. It includes images that show the anatomy of the heart, and Doppler information that evaluates the heart’s function. This non-invasive test has become one of the standard diagnostic tools in cardiology with an estimated 10 million echocardiograms performed annually in the U.S. For more information about echocardiography, Google “see my heart” and go to the American Society of Echocardiography link.

ICAEL is sponsored by the American College of Cardiology, the American Society of Echocardiography, the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography and the Society of Pediatric Echocardiography.

Mendocino Coast District Hospital is a 25-bed critical access hospital offering a wide range of services including 24-hour emergency care, a wellness center, minimally-invasive orthopedic surgery, laboratory, rehabilitation and primary care services. For more information, visit