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  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • February 2018
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From surviving to thriving — Heart Failure Survival Center of America focuses on quality of life

The concept of “quality of life” is often different for everyone, but it’s clear in its purpose in providing a positive perspective — it brings a hope that has the power to change someone’s everyday living. In short, it translates to a genuine delight in being alive and being able to enjoy both the big and little things life has to offer.

When one loses that sense of belief due to health issues, hope can be lost and it may seem unlikely that those good days will ever return. Heart Failure Survival Center of America’s most adamant mission is to see patients not only survive, but thrive. And they do so in a multitude of ways through patient-centered, well-rounded care.

“Our integrated system provides comprehensive care to cardiac, pulmonary hypertension and heart failure patients throughout the continuum of their disease stages,” Dr. Salem says. “No matter what the condition is, our main goal is to improve the patient’s survivability, independence and quality of life.”

Dr. Yasser Salem is a board-certified physician in cardiovascular disease, advanced heart failure, cardiac transplant, echocardiography, nuclear cardiology, CT angiography, vascular medicine and internal medicine. He and his team at Heart Failure Survival Center of America (HFSCA) provide an array of treatments and tests to ensure all aspects of care are covered.

Dedicated to answering your health questions

Dr. Salem explains that cardiovascular health is complex, and he looks at the whole body to investigate any potential underlying causes to discover why the heart may be failing.

“We try to connect the dots to get to the root of the problem,” Dr. Salem says. “We take care of the person as a whole. We dig through the details of any other things that might have contributed to risk or future risk, down to the genes. We like to solve mysteries… and that gives (patients) hope and independence again.”

Understandably, it can be a tough journey of care when it comes to heart failure, but the team at HFSCA provides a much needed boost of morale.

“Sometimes we see people come in with a negative outlook on life,” Kaitlin Parsons, HFSCA Exercise Physiologist, says. “They’re not enjoying life and they feel they have a death sentence with heart failure. But they come in, they start to feel better, open up and they come out of their shell — taking this person who isn’t themself and changing their attitude is one of my favorite parts.”

However, the team urges people to come in long before they may be feeling sick or seeing symptoms. Their ideal approach to health care is likened to the age-old car analogy because it resonates with so many.

“Our preventive therapy is like buying a car,” Dr. Salem explains. “Most of the disease we see takes a long time to show symptoms, it’s slow-progressing and can be silent so you need to maintain your health like you would a new vehicle. Every 1,000 miles you do this and that to make sure your car works. It’s the same with your body.”

That also means Dr. Salem and the HFSCA team are continuously learning and keeping up to date on technology, and improvements and advancements in their field.

“Education is very important to us to make sure we’re on the same page with statistics and studies,” Tracy Rymer, sonographer at HFSCA, says. “Dr. Salem is always willing to meet with pharmaceutical reps because they offer so much information. We love hearing about the latest studies and getting involved.”

“Once people find us, without exception, they always walk out feeling so grateful,” Kaylah Portmann, HFSCA Administrative Assistant, says. “And when they come in again, they’re like family.”

Comprehensive care under one roof — at two convenient locations

As an entirely outpatient cardiac health center, HFSCA is one of the first of its kind in northeast Wisconsin. The Appleton space was built in a way that encompasses all of the services that a patient might need — internal medicine, cardiovascular medicine, heart failure and cardiac transplant.

Dr. Salem and his team also bring this level of expertise to their second location in Marinette County. Dr. Salem and his team travel to Crivitz twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) to provide acute care to a population that previously didn’t have easy access nearby, straying from the typical hospital setting and instead providing a family-oriented practice they can feel welcome in.

“The complex patients’ access to care was the hospital that’s almost 35 minutes away,” Dr. Salem explains. “So we’re able to offer acute care for patients who need it.”

He and the HFSCA team do so at Quantum Healthcare, a medical practice with family medical physician, Dr. Peter Curio, which encompasses family medicine, primary and urgent care offering diabetes treatment, hypertension treatment, immunizations, physical exams for all ages and more, along with Dr. Salem’s cardiology specialty.

“(HFSCA) is convenient too. We do everything here and do everything in the most timely manner we can in the urgency that’s needed underneath this roof,” Heidi Miller, RN, BSN at HFSCA says.

“It’s all done here,” Tracy says. “And if you do have to go to another facility we will find the closest one for you that’s in your network.”

“It’s bringing heart care to the rural community,” Sarah Ehlert, HFSCA Clinic Manager, adds. “Dr. Salem has been a huge asset to the area; there is no other cardiac care that covers all of those smaller communities.” 

“Dr. Salem is a world class cardiologist. He has a unique patient-oriented approach… I am 47 years old and I never had a more detailed physical examination. Dr. Salem brought my life back by eliminating symptoms… with a correct diagnosis and treatment. God bless Dr. Salem and (his) wonderful team! —A K.

At Heart Failure Survival Center of America, our mission is to improve patients' quality of life; helping patients not only survive, but thrive. To reduce heart failure hospitalization by providing world-class cardiovascular, advanced heart failure and internal medicine care in a one-site location close to home.

Dr. Salem and the team at HFSCA provide an array of services to help in the management of cardiovascular diseases and disorders, and perform several procedures in two convenient locations (Appleton and Crivitz!). This includes:

CARDIAC TESTING:

  • EKG
  • Cardioversion
  • Echocardiogram
  • Ankle-brachial index (ABI)
  • Transesophageal echocardiogram
  • Blood testing
  • Tilt table testing
  • Nuclear stress testing
  • Exercise stress testing
  • Stress echocardiogram
  • Dobutamine stress echo
  • Cardio-pulmonary stress testing
  • Cardiac rehabilitation
  • External counterpulsation (ECP) therapy
  • Observation care
  • Cardiovascular prevention care
  • Chronic care management
  • Consultations and follow up
  • Second opinions

National Heart Month

You may be seeing an influx of familiar red and pink shapes this month because of Valentine’s Day, but it’s not the only way hearts take the stage. February is National Heart Month and HFSCA participates in the health initiative to support and bring awareness to heart failure support and caregivers.


Helping patients not only survive, but thrive

Heart Failure Surivial Center of America

APPLETON

2700 East Enterprise Avenue, Suite B, Appleton

920-297-2495

www.hfsca.org

CRIVITZ

(Quantum Healthcare)

515 North US Highway 141, Crivitz

715-201-3702

www.quantumfamilycare.org

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