Medical Center Health receives heart failure award

BOWLING GREEN, Ky.-Heart failure affects millions of adults in the United States. In Kentucky, the condition is more common. The Commonwealth ranks among the top five states in the nation for heart failure.

Western Kentucky Heart, Lung & Gastroenterology, under Med Center Health,  is taking a unique approach to tackling heart failure here in South-Central Kentucky.

Smoking, diabetes and obesity are among the top risk factors for heart failure. In Kentucky, many people are dealing with these risks.

Doctors at Western Kentucky Heart & Lung are taking a cutting edge approach to treating patients with heart failure.

They have committed paramedics who are mainly assigned to heart failure patients. These paramedics have the unique task of going into the patients’ homes, and taking a look at the food they eat. They note any foods that may exacerbate the issues that patients are having, and educate them on how to make changes.

These paramedics also form a team with a patients’ primary care doctor and cardiologist too ensure each person’s individual needs are addressed.

A cardiologist at the facility said this rare approach is saving lives.

“As far as I know they’re the only committed paramedics in the state of Kentucky that are focused mainly on taking care of heart failure patients. That ultimately leads also to decrease their readmission in the hospital.  We know every time a heart failure patient comes into the hospital the risk of mortality is higher,” said Jacqueline Dawson-Dowe M.D., ACC, at Western Kentucky Heart & Lung.

Western Kentucky Heart & Lung has been recognized nationally this week by the American Heart Association. They’ve received the Heart Failure Silver Plus Quality achievement award for their cutting edge work in saving lives.