The Cardiovascular Prevention Clinic helps at-risk patients prevent cardiovascular events (primary prevention) such as heart attacks, peripheral vascular disease or strokes. It also serves to prevent future events in patients with know cardiovascular disease (secondary prevention).
The Clinic also helps healthcare providers manage patients who are intolerant or non responsive to current medications or treatments, are on multiple drug therapies, continue to have recurrent events or have positive family histories of premature cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Generally patients come to the Cardiovascular Prevention Clinic as a result of a physician’s referral but a patient may contact the Clinic directly.
Most Cardiovascular Prevention Clinic patients first meet with a cardiovascular nurse practitioner for an evaluation.
The Cardiovascular Prevention Clinic taps into a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals and together a program is determined with the patient. The team may have members from:
- Vascular Medicine
- Internal Medicine
- Cardiac Rehab
- Behavioral Health
- Exercise Physiology
- And others depending on the patient’s needs
The plan often involves steps such as:
- Getting the patient in programs for tobacco cessation, stress management, medical nutrition therapy, weight management and exercise.
- Starting the patient on medication to control high blood pressure or cholesterol.
- Making medication adjustments to help the patient achieve his or her goals.
Most patients only need to be seen through the Cardiovascular Prevention Clinic for a few visits. The majority of patients’ plans are completed within three or four visits. The first visit is used to determine behavioral and medical risk factors, and to decide what changes should be made.
During follow-up visits, the treatment plan is reviewed to make sure it is working and decide if any additional changes need to be made. Once a treatment plan is considered effective and the patient’s risk factors are under control, he or she can receive follow-up care from a primary-care provider.
If you believe you may be at risk for cardiovascular problems, take our online heart risk assessment, talk with your physician or call the Gundersen Lutheran’s Cardiovascular Prevention Clinic at (608) 775-2335 or (800) 362-9567 ext. 52335.