Heart failure (sometimes called congestive heart failure or ventricular dysfunction) means your heart muscle is not functioning as well as it should. Either the left ventricle (lower chamber of the heart) is not contracting with enough force (systolic heart failure), or the ventricles are stiff and do not relax and fill properly (diastolic heart failure). The treatment of heart failure requires a specialized multidisciplinary approach to manage the overall patient care plan.
The George M and Linda H Kaufman Center for Heart Failure is one of the premier facilities in the United States for the care of people with heart failure.
- The Kaufman Center Heart Failure Intensive Care was the recipient of the Beacon Award of Excellence for continuing improvements in providing the highest quality of care for patients. With over 6,000 ICUs in the Unites States, the Center joins a distinguished group of just 300 to receive this honor that recognizes the highest level of standards in patient safety and quality in acute and critical care.
- In 2011, Cleveland Clinic received the American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines Heart Failure GOLD Plus Certification for improving the quality of care for heart failure patients. Gold Plus distinction recognizes hospitals for their success in using Get With The Guidelines treatment interventions. This quality improvement program provides tools that follow proven, evidence-based guidelines and procedures in caring for heart failure patients to prevent future hospitalizations.
The Kaufman Center for Heart Failure Team brings together clinicians that specialize in cardiomyopathies and ischemic heart failure. The team includes physicians and nurses from Cardiovascular Medicine, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Radiology, Infectious Disease, Immunology, Pathology, Pharmacy, Biothetics and Social Work with expertise in diagnostic testing, medical and lifestyle management, surgical procedures, and psychosocial support for patients with:
Please note Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy is treated by our Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Center.
Patients at Cleveland Clinic Kaufman Center for Heart Failure have available to them the full array of diagnostic testing, treatments and specialized programs.
- »Services Provided for Heart Failure Patients
Physicians have access to a variety of testing options to determine the best treatment to fit each patient. From medical management to the most advanced devices and surgical options are available to patients at Cleveland Clinic.
Diagnostic Capabilities: The Kaufman Center for Heart Failure offers a full range of diagnostic capabilities for heart failure.
Medical Management of Heart Failure: The Kaufman Center for Heart Failure physicians medically manage heart failure patients with the newest, state-of-the-art medications to slow the disease's progression, keep patients out of the hospital, and reduce mortality. Our nurses and cardiac rehabilitation team counsels patients on diet, exercise and lifestyle change to optimize the patient’s ability to participate in activities of daily living and limit symptoms.
Electrical Device Management of Heart Failure: Heart and Vascular Institute electrophysiologists provide cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) with biventricular pacemakers and prevent life-threatening heart beats with implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD). These devices can improve heart function, quality of life and decrease mortality (death) in appropriate patients with advanced heart failure. Learn more about:
Surgical Management of Heart Failure: Surgical management involves a wide range of procedures from high risk conventional surgeries to transplant and mechanical circulatory support.
High Risk Conventional Surgery: Cleveland Clinic cardiovascular surgeons are experienced in treating the highest risk patients. Surgeries include:
Learn more about surgery for heart failure. Advances in minimally invasive, robotically assisted, thoracopic and percutaneous approaches gives heart surgeons many options in caring for the high risk cardiac surgery patient.
Heart Transplant Program: Cleveland Clinic’s Cardiac Transplant Program is a key component of the Kaufman Center for Heart Failure. Cleveland Clinic performed 52 heart transplants in 2010, of which 5 were heart/lung transplants; and has performed 1521 transplants since the start of the program. The program continues to achieve excellent outcomes. The Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR) demonstrates that for patients receiving their first transplant between July 1, 2007 and December 31, 2009, 92 percent of adult recipients were alive one year after transplant, compared with the expected 88 percent (based on the characteristics of recipients and donors, as well as on the experience of similar patients throughout the United States). For patients receiving their first transplant between January 1, 2005 and June 30, 2007, the three year survival rate for our program was 84 percent compared with the 81 percent that was expected, based on national experience. These excellent results are testimony to the outstanding multidisciplinary care of our transplant program. Learn more about Cleveland Clinic's Heart Transplant Program.
Mechanical Circulatory Support (MCS) Devices: With over 20 years experience, the Kaufman Center for Heart Failure has significant depth and breadth of experience with mechanical circulatory support, utilizing pumps for acute support, as a bridge to transplant, and permanent support for patients not candidates for organ replacement. In 2010, we implanted 52 devices. Access to and expertise with mechanical support devices (Thoratec’s Heartmate II®, Syncardia’s Total Artificial Heart®, and HeartWare®) allow us to utilize the optimal device for each individual patient. Learn more about ventricular assist devices.
An 8-year-old male was only the third patient in Ohio to receive the EXCOR Pediatric implant. Manufactured by Berlin Heart, this device supported his diseased heart until he was transplanted with a donor heart in December 2010.
- »Specialized Programs for Heart Failure
Women and Heart Failure: Despite the fact that women account for nearly 50% of all hospital admissions for heart failure, only 25% of women are involved in heart failure studies. The Center for Women and Heart Failure was developed in 2005 to improve the care of women with heart failure via education, treatment, and research. Our goal is to focus more attention on women in heart failure research so that we can eventually tailor therapy to meet individual heart failure treatment needs.
Heart Failure Disease Management Program: Initiated in 1999, the Heart Failure Management Program allows doctors and nurses to provide frequent contact with patients (through office visits, telephone calls or home monitoring) to alleviate symptoms, prevent symptoms from recurring and decrease the need for emergency care or hospitalization. In this program, emphasis is placed on increasing patient's knowledge of heart failure and helping to self-manage this condition.
Heart Care at Home: This program blends innovative telehealth monitoring technology with traditional home healthcare services to support patients following hospitalization for heart failure. Through the combined resources of Cleveland Clinic Homecare Services and the Heart and Vascular Institute, Heart Care at Home is one possible technological solution to providing cost-effective patient contact for a growing population of patients with chronic heart failure. This program has the potential to both monitor and promote self-care in an efficient, effective manner. Learn more about Heart Care at Home.
Why choose Cleveland Clinic for your care?
Our outcomes speak for themselves. Please review our facts and figures and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask.
The Kaufman Center for Heart Failure provides a single location where cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, nurses, nutritionists, cardiac rehabilitation professionals, and clinical and basic research scientists can work together toward the common goal of treating diseases such as cardiomyopathy and ischemic coronary disease and controlling congestive heart failure symptoms, such as shortness of breath, fluid retention, and swelling. The Kaufman Center for Heart Failure is synonymous with patient care, education, research and a healing environment.
Our physicians utilize the combined resources of the Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute to accurately diagnose the cause of each patient's heart failure, which enables the execution of optimized treatments. Central to our mission is the theme "excellence through teamwork"
Our Medical Team
Physician Staff of the Kaufman Center for Heart Failure have dual appointments in either the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine or the Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery as well as in the Multi-organ Transplant Center. This integration of programs allows for more efficient utilization of services and optimizes our ability to access research resources.
- Randall Starling, MD, MPH - Medical Director of the Kaufman Center for Heart Failure, Head of the Section of Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplant Medicine, and a Staff Cardiologist in the Robert and Suzanne Tomsich Department of Cardiovascular Medicine
- Nicholas Smedira, MD - Surgical Director of the Cleveland Clinic Kaufman Center for Heart Failure, Director of the Cardiac Transplantation and Ventricular Assist Device Therapy Program, Director of Quality for the Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute, staff surgeon, Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
- »Tomsich Family Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Section of Heart Failure
- Corinne Bott-Silverman, MD
- Eiran Gorodeski, MD, MPH
- Mazen Hanna, MD
- Robert Hobbs, MD
- Eileen Hsich, MD
- Karen James, MD
- Christine Moravec, PhD
- Maria Mountis, DO
- Guilherme Oliveira, MD
- Randall Starling, MD, MPH, Section Head
- W.H. Wilson Tang, MD
- David Taylor, MD
- James Young, MD
Heart Failure Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, and Physician Assistants
- »Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, and Physician Assistants
- Jenna Reese, RN
- Kim Miracle, CNP
- Marjory Sturtz, CNP
- Chad Gady, PA-C
- Tiffany Buda, RN
- Sheryl Hostutler, RN
- Susie Raspovic-Hopper, RN
- Jim Cambell, RN
- Deanna Hartman, RN
- Kristin Ludrowsky, RN
- Monica Domanski, CNP
- Chrstina Haire, RN
- Alexandria Johnson, RN
- Karen Kiefer, CNP
- Dave Pelegrin, RN
- »Tomsich Family Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Section of Electrophysiology and Pacing
In some patients, specialized biventricular pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) devices are needed to help control abnormal heart rhythms. We have a team of electrophysiologists who specialize in rhythm disorders and devices who are consulted as needed for patients with heart failure.
- »Tomsich Family Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Section of Cardiovascular Imaging
The Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute’s team of imaging specialists are experts in diagnosing underlying heart conditions that can lead to heart failure.
What to Expect
Whether you are coming from around the corner or around the world, you want to know what to expect before, during and after your visit with us. If you have any questions while reviewing this information, please contact us. We are happy to answer any questions you may have.
- »Before Your Appointment
For patients who are coming to see a Kaufman Center for Heart Failure cardiologist
If you are scheduled at least one week away, you will be asked to send in your records, including medical history, test results and films (such as echocardiogram, cardiac catheterization, chest x-ray, MRI or CT as applicable), prior surgery reports, prior intervention reports, device implantation report. All information should be sent in the same package (clearly marked with your name and address) via Airborne Express, Federal Express, or certified U.S. mail (make sure you have a tracking number) to the physician with which you have an appointment.
The address is:
Kaufman Center for Heart Failure
9500 Euclid Avenue – Desk J3 - 4
Cleveland, OH 44195
If you are scheduled less than one week out, please bring your records and films to your appointment.
For Kaufman Center for Heart Failure Surgical patients
Heart Transplant patients have a specialized program from pre-transplant through hospitalization and recovery. Please review the complete process.
In addition, those who would like to be evaluated for other surgical procedures, such as high risk valve surgery or bypass surgery, please contact the Heart and Vascular Institute Resource Nurses. We will assist you with the process for surgical review.
Traveling to Cleveland Clinic
When you make your appointment, we would like to make traveling to Cleveland Clinic as easy as possible. Information on travel to the Miller Family Heart and Vascular Institute.
- »During Your Appointment
You will first meet with a physician assistant who will collect your information and begin your evaluation. The diagnosis and treatment of heart failure involves:
1. Thorough history and exam
2. Diagnostic imaging studies
3. Patient management and recommendations
You will then meet with a physician from the Kaufman Center for Heart Failure who will review your records and prior films, take a medical history and perform a physical exam. Depending on your history and prior testing, you may need to have specialized imaging tests. Depending on the nature of testing required, your cardiologist will either meet with you later that day to review the tests with you and determine if additional consultations with other Center specialists are needed. Or, your cardiologist will follow up with you by phone. Your cardiologist will provide you with specific instructions on your plan of care.
How long will you stay at Cleveland Clinic?
To complete all testing, you will need to stay in the Cleveland area for 1 to 2 days. It is best to confirm the length of your stay with your cardiologist’s office, prior to making travel plans.
- »After Your Visit
Because symptoms of heart failure vary from patient to patient, follow up is determined on an individual basis. Your plan of follow up will be determined at your visit.
To make an appointment, please call toll-free 800.659.7822
Let the appointment office know if you are having acute symptoms.
When you make your appointment, ask the appointment secretary for the name of your physician.
For Heart Transplant patient evaluations, please contact the Pre-Transplant office 216.444.8351 or 800.223.2273, ext. 48351
Go to Desk J3 - 4, Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Pavillion, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio.
Use our secure online form to submit an appointment request 24/7. We will receive it and follow-up with you as soon as possible.
Mon. - Fri., 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. (ET)
Cleveland Clinic Heart and Vascular Institute physicians, surgeons, and researchers continue to research into new treatments and therapies with the goal of improving patient care and outcomes into the future.
Basic Research Efforts
The Kaufman Center for Heart Failure continues to participate in many clinical research studies. The goals of research are to manage acute heart failure, improve long-term survival, minimize postoperative morbidity in the transplant population, and evaluate the safety and effectiveness of mechanical circulatory support as bridge to transplant. It is hoped that Cleveland Clinic Heart and Vascular Institute physicians, surgeons, and researchers will improve patient care and outcomes into the future.
Personnel from the Kaufman Center have leadership roles in the Interagency Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support (INTERMACS). INTERMACS is a national registry for patients who are receiving mechanical circulatory support device therapy to treat advanced heart failure. This registry was devised as a joint effort of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), clinicians, scientists and industry representatives in conjunction with the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS).
Kaufman Center scientists in collaboration with members of the Lerner Research Institute study the failing human heart in our basic science research labs.
Summit on Heart Failure Care and Research
Each year, the Kaufman Center for Heart Failure sponsors an annual Summit focused on Heart Failure care and Research. In October 2010, the Summit, entitled, “21st Century Treatment of Heart Failure,” was co-sponsored by the Kaufman Center for Heart Failure and the American Association of Thoracic Surgery and attracted 489 attendees.
Topics included contemporary issues in heart failure management, a review of clinical trials of drugs and devices, and a full day of patient selection and management on mechanical circulatory support. In recognition of his extraordinary contributions to the field, James Young, MD was honored as the 2010 Kaufman Center awardee.
The next Summit will commence October 18 and 19, 2012.
Online Disease Management Program
Online Disease Management Program is an online medical resource authored by Heart Failure specialists from The Cleveland Clinic. When physicians and health care professionals follow the most current standards of care and patients are well informed and participate in regular follow-up, the end result is better patient outcomes.
Fellowship and Residency Programs
The Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery initiated a formal Postgraduate Fellowship Training Program in cardiac transplantation in 1993 and the program continues to attract outstanding candidates from a national and international pool who spend a completely dedicated year working exclusively with the transplant and heart failure program.
Section of Heart Failure & Cardiac Transplantation - Department of Cardiovascular Medicine initiated an advanced fellowship training program in 1995. The curriculum is designed to teach the principles of heart failure and cardiac transplant patient management. After completion of this training program the fellow will qualify to serve as a Medical Director of a UNOS certified heart transplant program.