This article originally appeared in Connections, a magazine
published for physicians and the community by UMass Memorial Medical
The UMass Memorial Medical Center Advanced Heart Failure Program has
partnered with Tufts Medical Center to offer an Integrated Cardiac
Transplantation Program for heart failure patients. Tufts has been performing
transplants since 1985; and Rajan Krishnamani, MD, a specialist in advanced
heart failure, mechanical cardiac support and cardiac transplantation at Tufts
has joined the UMass Memorial heart failure team.
"With this integrated program, patients can be comprehensively assessed at
UMass Memorial, go to Boston for the transplant, then come back here for
follow-up care," said Theo Meyer, MD, DPhil, medical director of the UMass
Memorial Medical Center Advanced Heart Failure Program. "It's a seamless system
with great continuity of care, and it's so much more convenient for patients
here in Central Massachusetts."
The Advanced Heart Failure Program treats nearly 1,700 patients annually who
benefit from proactive disease management including diagnostics, medication
titration, surgery when appropriate, use of technological monitoring devices and
"Today's care of heart failure requires a team approach and constant
surveillance and monitoring," said Dr. Meyer, who has more than 25 years of
specialized experience in this field. "Ongoing surveillance is necessary to
detect early signs of decompensation so that we can intervene to prevent the
condition from worsening and, ideally, avoid hospitalization," he continued.
"But in instances where advanced therapies may be necessary, we now are
fortunate to now be able to accommodate these patients through our relationship
Whether the patient needs long-term monitoring or more advanced therapies,
the program ensures a collaborative team approach with referring physicians.
Referral to the program does not necessitate a loss of involvement by the
referring physician, rather another resource that physicians can use in caring
for this sick population. To refer a patient, physicians can call 508-579-5379.
Urgent appointments for new patients generally can be scheduled within 24 to 48