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Richards talks heart failure, new clinic on radio show

December 12, 2019 posted by Vidant Health News

Monica Richards, director of regional operations for Vidant Cardiology, joined 103.7 WTIB's Talk of the Town to discuss Vidant's new Heart Failure Clinic, located at 2470 Stantonsburg Road in Greenville.

Given the need for management of heart failure patients in eastern North Carolina, the Heart Failure Clinic in Greenville, along with the regional heart failure clinics in Tarboro and Ahoskie, work closely with patients trying to keep them on the right path and out of the hospital.

The Greenville location has two advanced heart failure specialists along with two advanced level practitioners available to meet the needs of their heart failure patients.  The heart failure clinic also offers the services of the social worker, nutritionist, pharmacist  and psychologist to support the patients and their families.

Heart failure happens when the heart muscle is damaged by a cardiac disease and the heart is unable to fill and pump blood out to other areas of the body. When this happens the patients retain fluid and develop symptoms of shortness of breath, fatigue as well as other symptoms.

During her appearance on Talk of the Town, Richards broke down some tips for heart health.

"Dieting is a big thing. Avoiding foods with salt is very important, especially for those patients that already have heart failure. Increased weight gain from the salt makes the breathing even worse, putting more stress on the heart."

Monica Richards

Richards also highlighted the importance of patients taking their medications. Specifically, she said, patients already diagnosed with heart failure need to be sure they are taking their medications. Patients may skip a day of their medication, perhaps because they are feeling better or their financial situation is forcing them to try to make prescriptions last longer, but Richards said it could make the situation worse.

Richards said the primary way to be referred to the heart failure clinic is by their primary care doctor. She also said patients will come to the clinic after a visit to the Emergency Department to receive follow-up care.

There is a large population of patients with heart failure in eastern North Carolina. Vidant has worked diligently to help care for those in need of cardiac care. In the ongoing effort to keep care close to home for those in the East, the locations in Tarboro and Ahoskie are also available.

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The Heart Failure Clinic in Tarboro provides education, counseling and medication management to help patients manage this disease. They work with pharmacists, nutritionists, rehabilitation therapists and health educators to develop an individual care plan for each patient. The staff also collaborates with other heart failure programs within Vidant Health and across the state. The clinic is located within Vidant Multispecialty Clinic-Tarboro and can be reached at 252-824-5150.

The Heart Failure Clinic in Ahoskie provides comprehensive heart failure care close to home for residents of the region. They focus on the patient as a whole and strive to educate and assist the patient with medications, lifestyle changes and family support. We collaborate with the providers in the local community as well as heart failure providers throughout North Carolina. The clinic is located in the Outpatient Specialty Clinic at Vidant Roanoke-Chowan Hospital and can be reached at 252-209-3260.

Watch and listen to Richards' visit with Talk of the Town, beginning at 1:18:20.

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