If you have been diagnosed with Heart Failure (HF), you need a high level of continuous maintenance and management. And that’s where the Willis-Knighton Heart Failure Clinic comes in. Primary care physicians and cardiologists refer patients to us so that we can provide this highly specialized type of care.

When you have heart failure (HF) your heart is not pumping blood out as well as it should. This does not mean that your heart has stopped or is about to stop, only that your heart is not working as well as it once did. As your heart’s pumping action weakens, blood backs up into the vessels around the lungs, causing fluid to leak into the lungs. As the fluid builds up in your body, you may have symptoms of weakness, shortness of breath and swollen legs and feet. Heart failure is a serious illness and can affect how long you live. It is very important to understand your illness and keep track of your symptoms.

The American College of Cardiology has indicated that heart failure clinics reduce the mortality rate from CHF by 20 to 30 % and reduce hospital readmissions by 25 to 70%. The Willis-Knighton Heart Failure Clinic is designed to offer you these benefits.

Our staff will work closely with you and family members you designate to help you control your CHF. At all times our focus is on prolonging your life and improving your quality of life.

Specialized care

The Willis-Knighton Heart Failure Clinic offers comprehensive management of patients with heart failure. An individualized plan is developed to meet each patient’s needs. We offer education for our patients and their family regarding medications, diet and disease process. With this program we help keep our patients comfortable by closely following their progress and aggressively monitoring and adjusting medications. Our goal is to provide excellent care that increases each patient’s quality of life and decreases hospital admissions.   

What does it offer?

Doctors and staff with special training in diagnosing and treating heart failure provide comprehensive care for patients at the Willis-Knighton Heart Failure Clinic. These include:

  • Assessment and individualized care plan
  • Follow-up visits
  • Medication management
  • Medical device management
  • Analysis of symptoms
  • Dietary recommendations
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Testing, as needed
  • Coordination of outpatient healthcare resources
  • Education about condition for patient and family
  • Reports to referring physician regarding progress

Our heart failure experts

The director of the Willis-Knighton Heart Failure Clinic, Dr. Latif Bikak, is a cardiologist who has specialized training in the management of heart failure. Dr. Bikak works closely with heart failure clinic nurses and with a multidisciplinary team of people who provide care for patients the clinic serves. Your multidisciplinary team may include:

  • nurses
  • nurse practitioners
  • electrophysiologists
  • dietitians
  • physical therapists
  • social workers/care managers

A process for monitoring progress

When you are referred by a physician, a member of the staff calls to schedule an appointment. During the first appointment, the doctor and nurses will evaluate you and order tests based on your condition. An individualized care plan will be developed for you and benchmarks will be established.

Regular follow-up appointments are determined so that progress can be monitored.  It is important to keep each appointment to assure that progress is being made and that the heart failure is not getting worse.