Local advanced heart failure clinic opens doors

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – Ohio State University’s Advanced Heart Failure Clinic, located at the East Ohio Outpatient Center in the St. Clairsville Reisbeck’s Plaza, is the first of its kind locally and includes physicians certified in advanced heart failure and transplants. These specialists treat local patients in various heart failure stages.

Dr. Gerrie Haas, a professor of clinical medicine at Ohio State University Medical Center, the section director of heart failure and transplant as well as medical director of heart failure, began seeing patients July 1. Haas specializes in cardiovascular medicine, cardiomyopathies, cardiovascular diseases, heart failure and heart transplantation.

Dr. William Abraham also will travel from Columbus to treat patients at the clinic. Abraham is director of the division of cardiovascular medicine and a professor of internal medicine, physiology and cell biology at OSUMC. He specializes in cardiovascular medicine, cardiac resynchronization therapy, cardiovascular diseases, heart failure, heart transplantation, and heart-assist devices.

Both physicians are from Ohio State’s Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital, which was recognized in the 2013 survey by U.S. News & World Report as a leader in cardiology and heart surgery, ranking 36th out of nearly 5,000 hospitals around the country. Both will help patients manage the symptoms of heart failure and work with local physicians and laboratory testing facilities for follow-up care.

In June, Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center announced a strategic affiliation with Ohio Valley Health Services and Education Corp., the parent company of OVMC and East Ohio Regional Hospital. The affiliation is designed to improve the availability, quality and cost-effectiveness of health care services, research and medical education in the Ohio Valley region.

“Introducing the OSU Advanced Heart Failure Clinic is just one more way we are moving health care forward in the Ohio Valley,” said Bernie Albertini, chief administrative officer for East Ohio Regional Hospital. “The physicians have expertise in treating heart failure that gives patients who have found limited options elsewhere an opportunity for improved quality of life “

Heart failure is a serious medical condition that affects 5.1 million people in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and is the leading cause of hospitalization in patients older than 65. It is a condition in which the heart cannot pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. In some cases, the heart cannot fill with enough blood. In other cases, the heart can’t pump blood to the rest of the body with enough force. Some people have both problems. The condition results in lower oxygen and nourishment to the body to allow it to work properly. The leading cause of heart failure are heart diseases, such as coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.