Advanced heart failure care now offered in ColumbiaNov. 15, 2012, 10:20 AM
Under the direction of cardiologist Rebecca Hung, M.D., Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute is offering advanced heart failure services at its Columbia, Tenn., office.
Hung, assistant professor of Clinical Medicine, spends one day a week in Columbia collaborating with the cardiologists at Vanderbilt Heart-Columbia and Maury Regional Medical Center.
“We offer a broad range of services. We get referrals from cardiologists whose patients are not doing well on standard therapy. We talk to some patients about the need for a heart transplant. We have patients at the end of life whom we have helped transition to hospice,” Hung said.
“We bring the advanced heart failure care that we offer here in Nashville to them.”
Driving the 30-40 minutes to Columbia is difficult for the sickest of patients who live in adjacent communities, let alone driving all the way to Nashville.
“The heart failure clinic here in Columbia affords our advanced heart failure patients the expertise that we could only offer through a consultation on the main campus in Nashville,” said Kevin Maquiling, M.D., assistant professor of Medicine.
“In the past many of these patients would have simply declined consultation due to travel concerns.
“In addition, Dr. Hung’s attention to improving the overall heart failure treatment protocols here will benefit the much broader population of “routine” patients as well.”
Nearly a third of Hung’s Columbia practice comes in the form of referrals from hospitalists at affiliate Maury Regional Medical Center.
“We have a large hospitalist practice at Maury Regional. They are very engaged in addressing readmission and keeping people as healthy as they can,” said Brenda Hogan, R.N., director of Clinical Outcomes for Maury Regional.
“Part of our mission is community outreach. We want to keep people out of the hospital unless they really need to be here. The hospitalists refer many patients to Dr. Hung, and we are seeing results from the patients she sees.”