Published on February 28, 2019

Alpena Heart Failure Clinic Helps Patients Manage Their Condition

To ensure that patient’s across northern Michigan have medical assistance in managing their heart failure, MidMichigan Health has expanded its Heart Failure Program to include a new clinic location within the Alpena Cardiology Office at 460 Long Rapids Plaza. The heart failure care team at this location includes Invasive Cardiologist Abraham Salacata, M.D., and Nurse Practitioner Fawn Munro, W.H.N.P.-B.C.

Photo of Abraham Salacata, M.D. Invasive Cardiologist with MidMichigan Medical Center - Alpena.

Abraham Salacata, M.D.
Invasive Cardiologist

Heart failure is a condition in which an individual’s heart pumping function is impaired. It is the number one reason for hospitalization for people who are age 65 and older and affects nearly six million people in the U.S. Without a heart transplant, this disease has no cure, but with proper care, heart failure can be successfully managed.

MidMichigan’s Heart Failure Program was developed in collaboration with the University of Michigan and is based on best practices for treating patients suffering from chronic congestive heart failure. The program is designed to assist patients in monitoring responses to treatment, modifying behaviors, adjusting medications, coordinating care with the patient’s cardiologist and primary care provider, as well as facilitating referrals for clinical research trials and advanced heart failure treatments.

“Our goal in working with heart failure patients is to help them better understand their condition, improve their symptoms, and keep them out of the hospital,” said Dr. Salacata. “Fawn and I are excited to bring this comprehensive heart failure care to northern Michigan. The management and treatment of heart failure includes a combination of lifestyle changes, medications, medical procedures, cardiac rehabilitation, and in some cases surgery.”

Photo of Fawn Munro, W.H.N.P.-B.C. nurse practitioner with Cardiology office affiliated with MidMichigan Medical Center - Alpena.

Fawn Munro, W.H.N.P.-B.C.
Nurse Practitioner 

Dr. Salacata and Fawn are members of MidMichigan’s experienced team of heart failure specialists. This includes Cardiologist and Heart Failure Specialist Jeffrey Martindale, D.O.; Invasive Cardiologist Steven Gellman, M.D.; Heart Failure Nurse Practitioners Susan Steinbacher, F.N.P.-B.C., and Sara Sisco, F.N.P.-B.C.; Physician Assistant Jenifer Garcia, P.A.-C., as well as University of Michigan Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Specialist Monica Colvin, M.D.

Services provided through the clinic include:

  • Comprehensive education and counseling on chronic disease management that is tailored to each patient.
  • Ongoing management of medication for symptom improvement.
  • Instruction on self-care behaviors, such as establishing a low-sodium diet, a regular exercise routine and daily weight monitoring.
  • Prompt follow-up after hospitalization discharges or after periods of instability.
  • Care coordination with the patient’s cardiologist and primary care provider.
  • Assistance in monitoring the signs and symptoms of heart failure and fluid overload to avoid the need for emergency room visits or hospitalizations.
  • Easy access to a comprehensive heart failure team and quick responses to questions and concerns.
  • Assistance with social and financial concerns.
  • Collaboration with other cardiology subspecialists to improve blood flow, manage irregular heart rhythms or provide device therapies which may be used in some patients to improve symptoms of heart failure.
  • Implantation of the CardioMEMS™ HF System to help patients manage their heart failure. This advanced monitoring system measures changes in the pressure of blood through the pulmonary artery.
  • Consideration for participation in clinical trials of experimental medications and procedures that may help with the symptoms of heart failure.
  • Collaborations with streamlined referral to Michigan Medicine or other centers for advanced heart failure therapies, including ventricular assist devices and heart transplants when necessary.
  • Ongoing support for patients and their caregivers during all stages of the disease, including transition from disease treating therapies to therapies and referrals ensuring comfort at the end of life.

Those who would like additional information on MidMichigan’s Heart Failure Program, may visit www.midmichigan.org/heartfailureclinic. Those wishing to inquire about becoming a patient of Alpena’s Heart Failure Clinic, may call (989) 346-0141.

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