For many patients, heart failure is a chronic condition that requires long-term, well-managed care. At the Stony Brook Heart Failure Center, we provide just that. Our approach is to work with your primary care physician and cardiologist to ensure that you receive the best clinically proven care possible with the goal of minimizing your symptoms, improving your quality of life, and — most importantly — keeping you out of the hospital. We also provide a consultation service, where physicians of all specialties consult with us to optimize patient care, assist in diagnosing complex cardiovascular disease, and offer state-of-the-art therapies and clinical research alternatives.
What Is Heart Failure?
Heart failure is a condition in which the heart is not strong enough to pump enough blood to meet your body's needs. Although some forms of heart failure are treated with surgery (coronary artery bypass surgery or valve replacements), most forms of the condition require lifestyle improvements, medications, and, occasionally, medical devices to optimize your care. At Stony Brook Medicine, we take a comprehensive approach to heart failure management. We work collaboratively with your primary care physician, cardiologist, and other specialists to create a treatment plan that is tailored to your specific circumstances. As a renowned academic research center, we are also able to offer newer treatments and promising experimental medications.
Our highly skilled physicians become part of your health care team, working in concert with your primary care physician and your cardiologist. We provide both inpatient and outpatient management of heart failure. Our outpatient Heart Failure Center is the hub from which we actively manage your heart failure, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We focus on optimizing your symptoms, minimizing your risk factors, and keeping you out of the hospital. In addition, our outpatient program places great emphasis on educating you and your family members about your disease and the steps within your control to improve your health. Our outpatient services include:
- State-of-the-art tools to diagnose the cause of your heart failure;
- Individual evaluation of your condition and needs to develop a medical regimen to treat your symptoms and optimize your survival;
- Lifestyle education, in which our nurse practitioners work with you to develop a plan involving diet and exercise to improve your health;
- Referrals to nutritionists and cardiac rehabilitation programs;
- Evaluations for specialized pacemakers and defibrillators designed to lessen your symptoms and to prevent the sudden cardiac death that is associated with heart failure; and
- Evaluation and implantation of mechanical assist devices (left ventricular assist devices or LVADs) to assist with the pumping function of the heart.
If you are hospitalized or transferred to Stony Brook Medicine, our inpatient Heart Failure Consultation Service is available to you — working with your cardiologist or any physician who is treating you — to help optimize your care. You and your physician need only to ask.
Stony Brook University Hospital Receives Gold Award for Treatment of Heart Failure Patients
The Stony Brook Difference
Many people — physicians included — do not realize that heart failure is often a lifelong, chronic condition that can be effectively controlled, even reversed, with the proper balance of medication and lifestyle changes. The specialists at Stony Brook Medicine's Heart Failure Institute have an intricate understanding of workings of the body with heart failure and its treatment. We believe that targeted therapy, even after your symptoms go away, is necessary to maintain and improve your health and quality of life.
Our recognized expertise in heart failure management is illustrated by our annual seminar on caring for heart failure patients (hosted in conjunction with the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses). At the seminar, heart failure specialists from around the world assemble to lecture and gain expertise through our heart failure program presentations. We also help to prepare the next generation of heart failure specialists through our heart failure fellowship.
Our clinical research program enables us to provide our eligible patients with access to tomorrow's treatments today. Research not only benefits future patients, but it can give current patients — especially those for whom standard treatments are not enough — access to experimental treatments that might not be otherwise available to them. As a research patient, at no cost to you, our clinical research team will follow you clinically over time in order to know how well you are faring on the study treatment.
Led by Hal Skopicki, MD, PhD, who also directs the Heart Failure Research Program and co-directs the Stony Brook Medicine Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) Program, Stony Brook Medicine's Heart Failure Center has assembled a multidisciplinary team that puts you at the center. Our team of cardiologists includes heart failure specialists, mechanical device specialists (pacemaker, cardiac resynchronization therapy), heart rhythm specialists, imaging specialists (cardiac MRI, 3D imaging), interventional cardiologists (stent implants, angioplasty), and cardiothoracic surgeons (VAD implants, valvular surgery.) Our team offers decades of training and experience, insight from cutting-edge research, state-of-the-art facilities, and a patient-focused environment to provide you with superior outcomes and a positive patient experience.
Our team includes:
- Hal Skopicki, MD
- Michelle Weisfelner Bloom, MD
- Allison J. McLarty, MC, FACS
- Folashade Akande, NP
- Denise Bugdin, RN
- Virginia Fitzgerald, RN
- Charlotte Moore, RN
- Nancy Utano, RN
- Heart Attack or Acute Myocardial Infarction
- Heart Valve Disease
- Heart Failure or Congestive Heart Failure
- Heart Valve Disease
- Carotid Endarterectomy/Carotid Artery Stenting
- Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy/Biventricular Pacing
- Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery (CABG)
- Valvular Surgery
Research & Clinical Trials