St. Joseph's Mercy Sleep Center Recognized

January 25, 2012

The St. Joseph’s Mercy Sleep Center was recently re-accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

“This is the second time we’ve met and exceeded their credentialing criteria and they’ve given us another five years,” said John Massey, supervisor for sleep medicine. “We offer services for diagnosis and treatment of just about all sleep disorders and follow the standards for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. We also have two board-accredited sleep doctors.”

St. Joseph’s Mercy Sleep Center is the only American Academy of Sleep Medicine accredited sleep center in southwest Arkansas. Its board-certified sleep medicine physicians are pulmonologists Nizar Suleman, MD, and Eyad Abochale, MD.

AASM Accredited Sleep Centers have demonstrated a commitment to the highest quality of care in the treatment and diagnosis of sleep disorders. In order to become accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, a sleep disorders center must comply with the AASM Standards for Accreditation, the gold standard for patient care in the sleep medicine field. These requirements are regularly reviewed and updated to incorporate the latest advances in sleep medicine, and are designed to guarantee and meet the needs of patients and referring physicians.

To meet the AASM Standards for Accreditation, sleep medicine providers must demonstrate excellence in patient evaluation and care, physician and staff training, equipment and facilities, emergency procedures and other areas relevant to patient care.

“We’re very proud of this achievement. And as opposed to just a laboratory where patients come in and have the test and go, our sleep center provides additional facilities apart from diagnosis,” said Dr. Suleman. “It provides one-stop care for patients and allows the ability to access services not just for sleep disorder breathing but also for other sleep disorders.”

At the St. Joseph’s Mercy Sleep Center, experts use advanced technology to evaluate patients’ sleep during an overnight sleep study. Spending the night in the sleep lab is much like staying in a hotel. Each room is private with a queen-sized bed, ceiling fan, climate control, cable television, private bath and shower.

After the patient leaves the next morning, reports are sent via Mercy’s electronic health record to the patient’s primary care physician. The comprehensive report includes all the data gathered as well as a treatment plan for the patient.

“The patients also have access for follow-up for sleep apnea in our clinic,” Dr. Suleman said. “If they have problems with other sleep disorders, they can see a board-certified sleep physician who is available in the clinic. The center also has access to other specialists, such as ENT, oral appliance specialists or psychiatry to provide more comprehensive care for sleep disorders.”

The St. Joseph’s Mercy Sleep Center is located at 300 Werner St. in Hot Springs. Call (501) 622-1575 for information.

St. Joseph’s Mercy is a not-for-profit, faith-based health facility with 27 medical clinics serving the healthcare needs of Hot Springs and its surrounding communities since 1888. It is designated as the southwest region’s only Level II Trauma Center and the region’s most preferred provider of health care services


Mercy is the eighth largest Catholic health care system in the U.S. and serves more than 3 million people annually. Mercy includes 31 hospitals, more than 200 outpatient facilities, 38,000 co-workers and 1,500 integrated physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. For more about Mercy, visit

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine is the leading professional medical association representing practitioners of sleep medicine. As the leading voice in the field of sleep medicine, the AASM set standards and promotes excellence in health care, education and research.

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