(February 27, 2007 Brooklyn, NY) - More than five million Americans have congestive heart failure (CHF), which is the leading cause of hospitalization in this country. All too often, patients with CHF are unable to follow self-care regimens when they return home, necessitating visits to the emergency room when their illness becomes acute yet again. Now, the CHF Program at the Maimonides Cardiac Institute is setting a new standard of care for these chronically ill patients. 

CHF is a condition that occurs when the heart muscle has been weakened and does not pump blood as well as it should to meet the needs of the body. This can cause fluid build-up in the lungs and elsewhere. Common causes of CHF include heart attack, high blood pressure, valvular disease and infection. The Maimonides CHF Program was created to provide a new approach to the treatment of CHF that focuses on keeping patients healthier and out of the hospital.

“The good news is that with prompt and appropriate treatment, many CHF patients can lead healthier lives and avoid the pattern of constant visits to the emergency room,” said Dr. Norbert Moskovits, Director of the Congestive Heart Failure Program. “We’ve established a treatment protocol that has changed the lives of our patients – for the better.”  

The CHF team consists of a physician, nurse practitioners and registered nurses. Together, they assess a patient’s cardiac needs and create an individualized plan of care. The Program offers the latest in CHF treatment modalities, including current medical strategies, medications and advanced technologies, to help manage the disease. Each patient and caregiver is educated on how to manage CHF at home and prevent unnecessary hospitalizations.

Dr. Moskovits believes that the key to the Program’s success is that care does not end when a patient is discharged. Nursing Team members follow-up regularly to ensure that patients are taking their medications and keeping their physician appointments. And patients get information on important topics such as medication management, special diets and fluid restrictions, and exercise during monthly support groups.

“There are a number of effective medications, surgical procedures and devices to assist the CHF patient’s heart, but we believe that conventional care is overly dependent on crisis intervention and emergency hospitalization,” said Dr. Gerald Hollander, Director of the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit. “We work with patients and their families to better manage CHF so that it does not become an emergency. Our goal is to see our patients return to a better quality of life.”

Numerous independent outside organizations have evaluated cardiac services across the US, and have invariably cited the Maimonides Cardiac Institute and the Congestive Heart Failure Program for excellence. The accolades include:

Ranked #1 in New York State for Cardiology Services by HealthGrades
Ranked best in New York City for patient outcomes in Interventional Cardiology by the NYS Department of Health
Awarded Excellence in Cardiac Services by HealthGrades
Ranked #1 in New York City for Interventional Cardiology by HealthGrades
Designated Best Congestive Heart Failure Program in Northeast by Money Magazine
Honor Roll of the Alliance for Quality Health Care and the Niagara Health Quality Coalition for Congestive Heart Failure and Interventional Cardiology
Five-Star rated by HealthGrades in treatment of Heart Attacks, Congestive Heart Failure and Atrial Fibrillation

To learn more about the Congestive Heart Failure Program at Maimonides Medical Center, log-on to www.maimonidesmed.org/cardiac or call the Cardiac Institute at 1-800-682-5558.

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