Saint Luke’s, SOM accredited to offer advanced heart failure, cardiac transplant fellowship

Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute, in affiliation with the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, has received accreditation in advanced heart failure/transplant cardiology by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). The accreditation puts the Heart Institute in an elite group of just 24 out of 180 cardiology training programs across the country accredited to offer advanced medical training in heart failure and transplant to its cardiology fellows. It is the only accredited program of its kind in the region.

The initial accreditation is effective through July 2015. The hospital can now begin accepting applications from cardiologists who have completed three years of fellowship training at an ACGME approved program. Trainees in the 12-month program will learn to manage heart failure patients by determining whether they would be best served through medications, a heart transplant, or implantation of a mechanical ventricular assist device, using established and leading-edge treatment options.

The program is important to the community because it builds on Saint Luke’s national reputation in heart failure and cardiac transplantation, according to Anthony Magalski, M.D., medical director of the heart failure program at Saint Luke’s. “With the added prestige of this accreditation, we expect to recruit from among the best and brightest in the country for this opportunity. This will not only improve the quality of cardiology care, but will give us the opportunity to retain these future leaders in Kansas City, enhancing the quality of heart failure care for our entire region.”

Heart failure occurs when the heart muscle cannot pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs for blood and oxygen. It is one of the most common reasons for hospital admissions for people age 65 and over, but isn’t limited to seniors.

Saint Luke’s heart failure and transplant program works in concert with cardiothoracic surgeons, who operate the only adult heart transplant program in the Kansas City area, receiving referrals from cardiologists across the region. Heart failure specialists assess patients and determine whether they would be best served by medications, a heart transplant, or implantation of a mechanical ventricular assist device. The heart failure physicians and heart surgeons co-manage patients following surgery.

The program includes full-time research nurses; early-stage heart failure management; a cardiopulmonary exercise lab dedicated to evaluation of patient therapy, exercise tolerance and diet modification; and ongoing education on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of heart failure to health care providers and the community. Saint Luke’s offers the region’s only team of physicians who have attained board certification in advanced heart failure and transplant cardiology from the American Board of Internal Medicine.

Care is provided at Saint Luke’s Hospital’s Wornall Road campus near the Country Club Plaza and other Saint Luke’s hospitals in the region.

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