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Advanced Heart Failure

Comprehensive Care For The Sickest Of The Sick

Advanced Heart Failure
Samer Najjar, MD, Medical Director, Advanced Heart Failure Program, MedStar Washington Hospital Center

MHVI’s Advanced Heart Failure program provides the full range of medical management, mechanical circulatory support and heart transplantation to alleviate symptoms and lengthen lives for patients all across the continuum. An international pioneer in left ventricular assist devices, it is renowned for its innovations and aggressive pursuit of more effective therapies for the sickest of the sick, especially the subset of heart failure patients who have progressed to ACC/AHA (Stage D), the end stage of this disease.

At its core is a large, multidisciplinary team of more than 40 professionals, unrivaled within the mid-Atlantic for its scope of services, quality of care and outcomes. Beyond cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons, the group includes intensivists and other advanced practice clinicians, clinic and home health nurses, nutritionists, medical ethicists, VAD and transplant coordinators, physical and occupational therapists, pharmacists, nurse navigators and more. Most recently, the program became one of the first to fully integrate palliative care every step along the way, for the most personalized and holistic team approach possible.

The program’s range of diagnostic techniques, therapies and services includes:

  • Specialized cardiopulmonary stress studies for the early identification of heart failure patients who have transitioned to a more advanced state
  • A comprehensive pulmonary hypertension program offering inpatient and outpatient care, including advanced intravenous and vasodilator treatments and dedicated expertise
  • Inotropic medication for the in-home management of patients with end-stage disease

“We have broken  down the silos of cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery and come together as one integrated team, united by our passion for patient care.” - Samer Najjar, MD

Transitions Clinic

The Transitions Clinic, created through a generous gift from a grateful patient, provides patient care for complex cardiovascular patients in the first 30 days after hospital discharge. The clinic’s mission includes ensuring the successful and smooth transition from hospital to home, providing continuity of care and avoiding readmission to the hospital.

Smaller Devices, Bigger Results

Advanced Heart Failure
Steven Boyce, MD, Surgical Director, LVAD/Transplantation, MedStar Washington Hospital Center

MHVI is an international leader in developing, applying and perfecting mechanical assist devices. In 1988, MedStar Washington Hospital Center became one of the first four hospitals in the world to implant a ventricular assist device (VAD). It has remained in the forefront of the field, based on expertise, infrastructure, innovation and achievements.

Internationally renowned leaders Steven Boyce, MD, and Samer Najjar, MD, lead a team of more than 40 outstanding healthcare providers managing one of the busiest VAD implanting sites in the United States. Committed to reducing mortality and improving quality of life for patients suffering from end-stage heart failure, MHVI has been involved in virtually every important new VAD development since its inception. In addition, the team has been on the forefront in all the major clinical trials testing new devices and has pioneered surgical techniques and medical management strategies of third generation continuous flow LVADs.

  • One of the top 10 surgical innovators in mechanical circulatory assist devices
  • Implanted 500+ ventricular assist devices to date
  • Currently manages 150+ VAD patients, many of whom have been living successfully with the devices for years

“ End-stage CHF kills more people in the U.S. each year than most cancers, but the supply of transplantable hearts has remained steadily stagnant at around 2,000. By continuing to improve VADs, we can help revolutionize the global treatment of heart failure and extend quality of life for millions.” - Steven Boyce, MD

Transplanting Hearts & Hope

This year, the Transplant program at MHVI celebrates 30 years. The program currently includes two experienced cardiothoracic surgeons with special expertise in LVAD and transplant, along with advanced heart failure cardiologists with subspecialty board certification in transplant cardiology. They are joined by a multidisciplinary team of cardiac intensivists, transplant coordinators, nurses, social workers, pharmacists, physical therapists, nutritionists and other dedicated staff with transplant expertise, who collaborate to provide a comprehensive experience to patients, their families and their caregivers.

Highlights of the program include:

  • 250+ heart transplants since first introducing the procedure to the region in 1987
  • 1 of 5 regional heart transplant programs nationwide participating in an NIH research project to evaluate novel methods to non-invasively assess rejection

Read More in the Capabilities Booklet:

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