Heart Failure

Heart Failure

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If you’re experiencing heart failure symptoms, time is on your mind. It’s on ours, too.

Nearly three decades of innovation have resulted in proven therapies for heart failure, which affects one in five adults age 40 and older.

The good news? Early diagnosis, treatment and lifestyle changes can mean a second chance for a longer, more fulfilling life. CHI Health Nebraska Heart’s comprehensive heart failure program and team of experts offer highly specialized, proven treatments to help patients with heart failure get back to the life they love.

Nebraska Heart’s Comprehensive Heart Failure Program

Since its inception in 1987, Nebraska Heart Institute has established itself as a regional and national heart failure referral center.

  • Nebraska Heart’s heart failure services include a Joint Commission-accredited ventricular assist device (VAD) program led by Sagar Damle, MD, a board-certified cardiothoracic surgeon certified in VAD implantation, and Gina Mentzer, MD, heart failure/transplant board-certified cardiologist. Our team of heart failure experts also includes Anuj Jain, MD, board certified invasive cardiologist, interventional cardiologist Adnan Khalid, MD and Kaliprasad Ayala, MD.
  • Since 2014,Nebraska Heart has implanted 26 VAD devices, serving patients from North Platte, Neb., to Council Bluffs, Iowa.
  • We are a VAD destination therapy facility for mechanical circulatory support (MCS).

Heart Failure Symptoms

Heart failure is diagnosed when your heart doesn’t squeeze well, doesn’t relax well, or has a valve problem or electrical issue. But heart failure symptoms can be vague. It is for this reason thousands of patients who have heart failure either are not getting the right treatment or are not diagnosed at all.

Do you have any of these heart failure symptoms?

  1. Shortness of breath
  2. Chronic coughing or wheezing
  3. Build-up of fluid (edema) or swelling in the feet, legs, ankles or stomach
  4. Fatigue or feeling lightheaded or weak
  5. Nausea or lack of appetite
  6. Confusion or impaired thinking
  7. High heart rate

If you have more than one of these symptoms of heart failure, you should get them checked. If your doctor has recommended you see a cardiologist, don’t put it off. If you or someone you know is suffering from heart failure, call 402-328-5301 to learn how we can help you.

Our Mission

The mission of the Advanced Integrated Medical and Surgical (AIMS) for Heart Failure Program is to provide innovative and comprehensive regional care for patients and those affected by heart failure. This is accomplished through expert diagnosis, multidisciplinary treatment, personalized education and cutting-edge research.

Our Heart Failure Specialists

Heart Failure / VAD and AIMS (Advanced Integrated Medical & Surgical) Team

Advanced Heart Failure Cardiologists

  • Dr. Gina Mentzer
  • Dr. Anuj Jain
  • Dr. Adnan Khalid
  • Dr. Kaliprasad Ayala

Cardiothoracic Surgeons

  • Dr. Sagar Damle
  • Dr. James Wudel

Advanced Practice Clinician

  • Courtney Basit, PA-C

VAD Coordinators

  • Rachel Smith, RN
  • Kelly Stutzman, RN

Heart Failure Coordinators

  • Sara Lawler, RN
  • Tish Outhet, RN
  • Jenny Stachura, RN – CHI Health St. Elizabeth
  • Christine Shank, RN – CHI Health St. Elizabeth

Clinical Trials

Active enrollment in national and local heart failure clinical trials is ongoing at Nebraska Heart. Research opportunities allow for patients suffering from heart failure to have options not yet released to the public. There are certain requirements and therapy must be optimized by a heart failure provider prior to evaluation for research. Please inquire about research studies opportunities if interested at (402) 489-6555.