Heart Failure Clinic helps happiness and healing

Jeff Clutts is a patient at Munson Medical Center's Heart Failure Clinic.

Millions of Americans have heart failure, according to health officials, but although the condition isn't curable -it is treatable. In December, Munson Medical Center started offering a new clinic for patients suffering from advanced forms of heart failure.

The Heart Failure Clinic at Munson in Traverse City has been helping patients like Jeff Clutts deal with their heart failure and teach them how to actively manage it on their own. Clutts says he knew something was wrong after getting out of breath and fatigued after something as simple as bending over to tie his shoes.

Dr. Dino Recchia, director of the Heart Failure Clinic, says heart failure will not go away but the clinic is helping patients lead full, active lives for as long as possible.

Heart failure is a condition that requires monitoring and comprehensive disease management. Though the heart still works, it doesn't pump as much blood or work as well as it is supposed to. The clinic at Munson aims to gracefully manage the condition and increase patients' lifespan. Patient care is thorough, and an extensive treatment plan includes frequent check-ups, the outpatient cardiac rehabilitation program, and nutrition and medication education.

"It's going fantastic. I'm just amazed that a city the size of Traverse City has that kind of facility. I thought for sure I'd be in either Ann Arbor or Grand Rapids but they've been able to handle everything right here in town," Clutts said.

After going through the program, Clutts feels better than ever and gets to keep doing activities his heart may have prevented him from doing before, like jogging.

For more information about Munson Medical Center's Heart Failure Clinic, visit their website.