Spectrum Health Cardiomyopathy Program Named National Center of Excellence

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Grand Rapids-based nonprofit health system, the Spectrum Health Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Program, has been designated a National Center of Excellence by the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association. Spectrum Health joins the Michigan Medicine’s Cardiovascular Center in Ann Arbor as the only health centers with the distinction in Michigan.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is the most common genetic cardiovascular disorder, and affects at least 1 in 500 people in the United States. It is characterized by abnormal thickening of the heart muscle, which can cause obstruction of blood flow out of the heart, congestive heart failure symptoms, heart rhythm disorders leading to loss of consciousness, or sudden cardiac death. HCMA Centers of Excellence are recognized for providing comprehensive diagnostic, treatment, education, and research programs.

“This designation is the culmination of years spent building the necessary resources and collaboration of specialties, followed by an intensive site evaluation of the program by the HCMA,” says Dr. David Fermin, medical director of the Spectrum Health Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Program. “It provides significant external validation that our multidisciplinary approach, a direct extension of Spectrum’s core values, is bringing the best care possible to our patients.”

Dr. Fermin adds that HCM can affect people at any age and can often go undiagnosed. Some people may experience shortness of breath, dizziness, palpitations, or chest discomfort. While others experience problems in the heart’s electrical system resulting in life-threatening heart rhythms. Patients diagnosed with HCM require an extensive evaluation, regular follow-up, education, genetic counseling, and screening for family members. Some may require cardiac surgery to remove the obstructing heart muscle, and or implantation of a defibrillator to prevent sudden cardiac arrest.

“Patients with HCM who receive care with HCMA recognized Centers of Excellence programs experience the most time and cost effective care when compared to those seeking care in the general cardiology community,” says Lisa Salberg, HCMA founder and CEO. “Patients and families benefit by receiving comprehensive care by a team of highly skilled clinicians as well as receiving the emotional support they need to balance living with a genetic heart conditions that may well impact many members of the family. The Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association is pleased to welcome Spectrum Health to our family of Center of Excellence programs.”

Spectrum Health is comprised of 12 hospitals, 25,300 employees, and about 180 ambulatory and service sites.

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