The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates more than 5 million people in the United States have congestive heart failure, a condition where the heart is weakened or damaged, leading to a buildup of fluid. Annually congestive heart failure is the source of an estimated 1,400 hospitalizations in Maine alone, according to 2009 statistics from Maine CDC.
“This congestive heart failure clinic specifically tailors guideline-based, thoughtful care, for patients who have the complex care needs of congestive heart failure,” explains Alan Jansujwicz, MD, FACC, the EMMC Northeast Cardiology Associates cardiologist leading the clinic.
This month, EMMC introduces a new aspect to its Congestive Heart Failure Clinic: supportive care, which is the active, total care of patients with life-threatening illnesses such as congestive heart failure.
The addition of end of life care to a congestive heart failure clinic is a relatively uncommon but much needed component. “The EMMC Supportive Care team has done tremendous work over the years providing supportive care to cancer patients,” says Dr. Jansujwicz. “We know there’s a great need within the heart failure community as well.”
In the fall, Dr. Jansujwicz looks to continue the clinic’s expansion by enhancing inpatient services at the hospital.
“I think it’s an exciting thing for Eastern Maine Medical Center, and it’s exciting for us in cardiology, especially in heart failure,” says Dr. Jansujwicz. “The heart failure clinic is an entity that is constantly evolving. We are creating best practices while linking up with other services at the hospital to take advantage of their expertise. And it’s about improving patients’ lives through better care and understanding.”