Wellmont CVA Heart Institute Expands HeartSUCCESS® Program To Greene County At Laughlin Campus

The Wellmont CVA Heart Institute's innovative approach to treating patients with heart failure is expanding to Greene County.

The heart institute has begun offering its HeartSUCCESS® program at its Laughlin Memorial Hospital campus. It's the latest initiative in Greene County from the region's largest and strongest cardiovascular program.

"We are pleased to provide this important service to our patients," said Dr. Brian Dulin, a board-certified cardiologist who practices at the Laughlin campus. "HeartSUCCESS empowers our patients to understand that a diagnosis of heart failure does not stop them from having a productive life."

The heart institute also offers HeartSUCCESS in Johnson City, Kingsport and Bristol.

Heart failure does not mean the heart no longer works or is about to stop beating. Rather, its muscle has been weakened from medical conditions such as a heart attack, high blood pressure, an enlarged heart and diabetes, said Wendy Fields, a nurse practitioner for the heart institute. She will treat patients at the HeartSUCCESS clinic at Laughlin and be able to consult Dr. Dulin or one of his colleagues, Dr. Scott Jay and Dr. Jack Whitaker.

More than 15,000 people in this region, more than 5 million Americans and about 30 million people worldwide are affected by heart failure.

A progressive condition, heart failure causes the heart to gradually lose its ability to pump enough blood to supply the body's needs. Fields said one in three people die within a year of diagnosis without effective management of his or her heart failure.

But Dr. Dulin said patients can have a positive outcome if they take appropriate steps to address their condition. Among them are:

  • Education about heart failure and its symptoms and management
  • Routine checkups with a HeartSUCCESS clinic
  • Limited salt consumption
  • Daily checks of weight, alerting the clinic of significant changes
  • Exercise
  • Medication, as prescribed

He said symptoms of heart failure include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Trouble breathing while lying down
  • Weight gain and swelling of the legs and ankles through fluid retention
  • Fatigue and weakness

Melissa Chapman, a Greeneville resident who was diagnosed with heart failure when she was 26, enrolled in HeartSUCCESS and has seen tremendous benefits.

"This is a remarkable program with practical guidance and medical care that has enabled me to enjoy the next stages in my life," Chapman said. "It is terrific we now have a clinic for current and future HeartSUCCESS patients in Greene County because they will have a beneficial resource close to home.

"I encourage anyone who has heart failure symptoms to consult with caregivers and follow their advice. It will give you the best chance for success."

Tim Attebery, Wellmont Health System's vice president of cardiovascular services, said the addition of HeartSUCCESS in Greene County is important to the community and the region.

"This reflects our commitment to our patients in that community," Attebery said. "We are grateful they have chosen us, and we will be steadfast in delivering them superior cardiovascular care.

"Through our HeartSUCCESS program in the local area  and elsewhere in the region, we are assuring the residents of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia that they do not have to travel far to receive the care they deserve."

To schedule an appointment in Greeneville, please call 423-638-2270. Further information is available at www.wellmont.org.