CINCINNATI—UC Health is moving its Advanced Heart Failure Treatment Center from UC Medical Center to the third floor of the Hoxworth Building, 3130 Highland Avenue. Patients will be seen at this new location Monday, March 3, 2014.
The 6,000-square-foot facility is nearly double the size of the center’s current operations in UC Medical Center and will include 15 examination rooms with three designed for bariatric patients, says Stephanie Dunlap, DO, medical director of the UC Health Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplant Program and part of the UC Heart, Lung and Vascular Institute.
The additional rooms will allow for ultrafiltration—removal of excess fluid from the body using a dialysis-like procedure—as part of an outpatient service offering. In the past, patients could not have ultrafiltration done at the center, but were sent to the cardiovascular recovery unit in another section of the hospital, says Chrissy Netzell, operations coordinator for the Advanced Heart Failure Treatment Center.
The center will also have two treatment rooms and one diagnostic room for patients and offer ECCP (extracorporeal counter pulsation) therapy, cardio pulmonary stress tests and Echo capabilities. An echo machine provides an ultrasound of the heart and allows medical staff to measure the heart’s size and view excess fluid.
"The echo test takes about 45 minutes and is a nice way to check on patients and get them real results quickly,” said Netzell.
The public will get a sneak peek at the new clinic on Friday, Feb 28, from 1 to 3 p.m. during an open house. It will be an ideal time to talk about heart health because February is recognized as American Heart Month, explains Dunlap.
Heart disease is the number one killer of American men and women. Its threat to men is better known, but heart disease is also responsible for one of every three deaths of American women annually and is a greater threat than breast cancer, says Dunlap, an associate professor in the UC College of Medicine.
"The term heart failure is a misnomer and suggests the heart isn’t working at all,” explains Dunlap.
"Heart failure means the heart isn’t pumping as well as it should be. What you heart really does is deliver oxygen and nutrients to everywhere in your body. In heart failure, only a fraction of what the heart can normally deliver is available.
"There are many things that can damage the heart and end up causing heart failure,” says Dunlap. "Some of those are multiple myocardial infarctions (heart attacks) or one large one, uncontrolled high blood pressure, valvular heart disease, and rhythmic heart disease, to name a few.”
Patients like Antonia Glosby of Cincinnati say the new digs will only enhance the work of the Advanced Heart Failure Treatment Center. Glosby, 66, received a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) from a physician at the center and has been on the mend after struggles with heart problems since her youth.
Glosby comes to the center weekly for rehab sessions and receives counseling about her diet and medications. She has been a patient at the center for two-and-a-half years and remains active in her community by volunteering as a tutor in a local elementary school.
"My cardiologist gave me several places I could go for treatment and he started with Cleveland and Indianapolis and I said, ‘I can’t go there,’” says Glosby.
"At one point he mentioned Ohio State and I said, ‘you mean to tell me there is nowhere in Cincinnati that does this surgery.’ He mentioned Christ Hospital and UC Medical Center and I chose UC because he said the doctor was very good. That’s what I needed, a doctor I could trust,” says Glosby.
"My cardiologist also said there were more doctors around the clock at UC Medical Center because it is a teaching hospital,” explains Glosby. "That was a big factor in me choosing UC Health.”
Larry Conley, 44, of Cincinnati, has been a patient with the center for the past seven-and-a-half years, and had a defibrillator implanted.
He says the center’s doctors are able to empathize with patients and create trust.
"A good doctor is Dr. Dunlap because, one, she is not afraid to tell me what I don’t want to hear, but she grants me my dignity and that promotes action,” says Conley. "If you feel like you are belittled going through whatever your health issue is it adds to the depression and you can’t motivate yourself to do what you need to do to heal.”
Conley’s visits to the center are less frequent now—he comes once every three months. He manages to stay active and that promotes heart health.
"I feel I am able to maintain a good quality of life,” says Conley. "I do a lot walking. I like music as a hobby and a lot of times I am able to enjoy my music and friends and family.”