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WellStar West Georgia to offer free learning opportunity for heart failure patients and their families

Thu, June 6, 2019

WellStar West Georgia to offer free learning opportunity for heart failure patients and their families

Receiving a diagnosis of congestive heart failure can often leave a patient feeling uncertainty and even fear. Through its upcoming WellStar Heart Failure Academy, WellStar West Georgia Medical Center is offering a free educational opportunity to empower heart patients, families and caregivers by helping them learn more about managing the disease.

The sign-up process is quick and easy. To register, please call 770-956-STAR (or 770-956-7827). Any congestive heart failure patient from the west Georgia/east Alabama area is welcome to come and bring family members or other caregivers. Families and caregivers are welcome to attend without a patient.

The three-week one-day sessions will be held on Tuesdays from 1 to 2:30 p.m. in WellStar West Georgia’s Heart Clinic conference room. Please park in the lot outside WellStar West Georgia’s main entrance at the South Tower. As you walk in the South Tower, the Heart Clinic is immediately to your right.

Sessions dates are as follows:

June 11, 18 and 25 • August 13, 20 and 27 • October 8, 15 and 22

Each session will cover the following topics:

First Tuesday: Overview of heart failure • Stress management

Second Tuesday: Nutrition • Fluid management • Advance directives • Community resources

Third Tuesday: Exercise • Medication • Palliative care

Participants will learn from a multidisciplinary team of clinicians and receive free educational materials and giveaways. Those who attend all three sessions will earn a certificate of completion from the WellStar Heart Failure Academy. A person may “jump” from one session to another as long as he or she attends one “First Tuesday” session, one “Second Tuesday” session, and one “Third Tuesday” session.

The open-forum nature of the sessions encourages participants to ask questions and share their own experiences. WellStar West Georgia’s team members will help empower participants to make the lifestyle changes necessary to manage heart failure so they can live and lead a good quality of life—and stay out of the hospital.

More than six million people in the U.S. suffer from heart failure, according to the American Heart Association. Heart failure is serious because the heart cannot pump enough blood and oxygen to support other organs. Symptoms include shortness of breath, trouble breathing when lying down, weight gain with swelling, and fatigue.

WellStar Health System introduced its Heart Failure Academy in 2016, and it is also offered at several other WellStar hospitals, including Cobb, Douglas, Kennestone, North Fulton and Paulding.

The goals of the academy are to prevent readmissions; provide consistent heart failure education across acute care, ambulatory services, and home health; and provide educational tools and strategies to ensure patients and families are successful in managing their heart failure symptoms at home.