Research Medical Center
April 23, 2010

Kansas City, MO (April 23, 2010)—According to the American Heart Association, more than 600,000 people are diagnosed each year with heart failure (HF) and more than 5 million live with the disease, which costs the healthcare industry a staggering $37 billion annually.  People who have HF, such as Ammar Yassir of Kansas City, do best when care provided by medical professionals and steps taken to care for themselves are carefully monitored over time. As with any chronic medical condition, successful management of HF results in fewer complications, a better quality of life and reduced medical costs.

Research Medical Center, part of HCA Midwest Health System, is making a significant difference in the lives of area residents who have HF and has received national recognition for its efforts.  It is the only healthcare facility in Kansas and Missouri, the second in the Midwest, and the sixth in the country to be certified under The Joint Commission’s Disease-Specific Care Advanced Certification Program in Heart Failure.   

Willie Lawrence, MD, medical director of Research Medical Center’s Heart Failure Center, says this certification confirms the comprehensive care that HF patients receive at Research Medical Center and represents a concerted effort by the medical team to consistently deliver that high standard of care.  “Tess Laoruangroch, nurse practitioner and heart failure coordinator for the Heart Failure Center, has been instrumental in bringing this certification to Research,” says Dr. Lawrence.

Developed in collaboration with the American Heart Association, this certificate of distinction recognizes hospitals such as Research Medical Center that are making exceptional efforts to foster better quality of care and outcomes for heart failure patients like the 68-year-old Yassir, who sees cardiologists at the Research Medical Center Heart Failure Center.

“When I visited the emergency department at Research Medical Center I had fluid in my lungs and was frightened about my condition,” says Yassir.  “While in the hospital I received information I could use from my doctors and nurses about HF, including diet and exercise.  I now live a life that focuses on doing the next right thing for my health.  I don’t fatigue as easily and feel great.”

Dr. Lawrence says the approach that the medical staff takes to help people with HF makes a difference in the care that patients receive and produces excellent outcomes.  “Research Medical Center has demonstrated that its heart failure center, which practices evidence-based medicine, follows national standards and guidelines that can significantly improve outcomes for heart patients,” says Dr. Lawrence.

Phyllis Vos, director of cardiovascular services at Research Medical Center, says that Research Medical Center patients receive excellent treatment while in the hospital or in an outpatient setting and are followed up extensively by heart failure healthcare providers when they return home.  “We provide extensive patient education to ensure patients like Mr. Yassir who are living with HF understand the importance of keeping healthy,” says Vos.

Yassir says the ongoing care he receives from his physician at Research Medical Center’s Heart Failure Center motivates him to follow doctor’s orders and adopt a healthy lifestyle.  “I receive outstanding care for my HF and am included in the treatment equation,” says Yassir.  “My doctor helps me understand what I need to do, like maintain a good diet and adopt an exercise program, to live with the disease.”

“We’re very proud to achieve this distinction,” says Kevin J. Hicks, CEO of Research Medical Center. “The Joint Commission’s Disease-Specific Care Advanced Certification Program in Heart Failure recognizes and reaffirms Research’s commitment to providing outstanding care to our patients like Ammar Yassir and our community.”