The Heart Function Program is an outpatient program for patients and families living with heart failure. When the program started in 2000, we were only the second rural, internist-managed program in Canada and the only one in Ontario! We care for patients across the continuum – from acute heart failure to end-of-life and palliative care for patients with end stage heart failure.
Patients who participate in the Heart Function Program have scheduled appointments, education sessions, and ongoing support through telephone calls and additional visits with the program nurse. We encourage family members to be involved and attend appointments and education sessions.
We are also available to see patients in hospital prior to discharge to provide education and self management skills and arrange outpatient follow-up. We also consult for patients in the Emergency Department to prevent admission and again provide outpatient follow-up.
Our multidisciplinary team includes: four internists, a registered nurse, registered cardio technologists, volunteers, and pharmacist consultation. Referrals can be made to an exercise specialist, dietitian, physiotherapist and occupational therapist. We also collaborate with family physicians, Community Care Access Centre (CCAC), the Diabetes Education Centre (DEC) and other community agencies.
As a member of the Canadian Heart Failure Network we have developed a close working relationship with our referral centre, Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket, and continue to collaborate to provide accessible care closer to home for our patients and their families.
Entry into the Heart Function Program is by physician referral