Granite Falls Health is launching a groundbreaking new comprehensive treatment system for patients living with heart failure.
Announced last month, the new Heart Failure Clinic offers a comprehensive care model. This treatment system will improve communication between the Heart Failure Clinic Team, patient’s doctors, hospital staff, the patient, and their family.
The Heart Failure Clinic Team at Granite Falls Health
Dr. Noah N. Chelliah, a triple board-certified interventional cardiologist with 37 years of experience, is leading the effort, along with experienced family physician Dr. Darrell Carter and Kate Hegna, PA-C. Dr. Chelliah provides outpatient services to Granite Falls Health every month for patients with heart problems, as well as those needing surgical care. Dr. Darrell Carter, who has over 40 years of experience with special interests in geriatrics and cardiology, is also helping to organize the Heart Failure Clinic. Kate Hegna, PA-C, who works in family medicine with special interest in geriatrics, will be running the clinic and will be the primary contact person for patients. She will assist with the care of the patients as well as maintaining communication between primary care providers, specialists, and patients. In addition to serving as a liaison between the providers within the Heart Failure Clinic and primary care provider, she will also review medical history with patients, look over relevant medical imaging, and check on any current medication they’re using.
The Need for a Heart Failure Clinic in Granite Falls
“There is a growing need for heart disease care,” said Dr. Carter, explaining why Granite Falls Health made the decision to launch the new Heart Failure Clinic. Heart disease is more prevalent in older adults, meaning that as more Baby Boomers enter retirement age, heart disease has become more common.
Among the difficulties in treating heart disease is the need to move the patient between different specialists, disrupting that patient’s continuity of care. Granite Falls Health’s Heart Failure Clinic will address this problem by providing a comprehensive management system. This system would include treatment of patients with heart failure, not only with medications, but also allowing various procedures to be done at Granite Falls Health, instead of a different facility. Previously, these procedures had to be performed in a distant center which involved patients having to travel hours from home. Most centers have at least two cardiologists involved, one to manage the medical treatment with drugs, but another cardiologist to perform the procedures.
Dr. Chelliah said that the Granite Falls Heart Clinic will be different from other models because patients would be able to receive a broader range of heart services and procedures (a testament to Dr. Chelliah’s broad range of heart knowledge and experience). “We think this is a better way to treat the patient because one cardiologist does everything,” Dr. Chelliah said, calling the clinic a “one shop stop” for most patients, adding that “it’s the best of both worlds.”
Always Evolving at Granite Falls Health
The doctors described the program as being “in its infancy,” and that they are keeping the number of patients low for right now. As they take on more patients in the coming months, they will be able to make necessary adjustments to the clinic. Down the road, they hope to involve other disciplines such as a dietician, counselor, and respiratory therapist.
Heart Health & Heart Disease Symptoms
Symptoms of heart disease may include shortness of breath, exercise intolerance, or a tendency to fatigue easily. Patients who think they might have heart disease or patients who have problems with their pacemaker are encouraged to speak with their primary care physician as soon as possible. Admittance to the Heart Failure Clinic requires a doctor’s referral.
For more information on Granite Falls Health and the Heart Failure Clinic, please call 320-564-6200 or contact us online.