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Mt. Nittany Health introduces heart failure program

JENNIFER ILLIG

By JENNIFER ILLIG

STATE COLLEGE — Mount Nittany Health has introduced the Mount Nittany Physician Group Cardiology heart failure program, designed to meet the specific needs of adults living with heart failure.

Jennifer Illig, PA-C, Mount Nittany Physician Group Cardiology, manages the heart failure program, which officially launched earlier this month. Illig earned her bachelor’s degree in health science and Master of Physician Assistant Science from Saint Francis University in Loretto.

“As manager of the heart failure program, I feel it is important to incorporate patients into the development of their care plan and to respect their wishes regarding the care they receive. Part of my role is to help eliminate any barriers to treatment that may exist. This can range from facilitating a smooth transition from hospitalization, to outpatient follow-up, to organizing increased provider availability when critical issues arise,” Illig said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 5.7 million Americans have heart failure. The heart failure program offers accessible heart failure care by utilizing a team approach to individualized patient care, providing education on the disease process, as well as, medications and ways to manage heart failure. This includes diet and nutritional recommendations in combination with appropriate evidence-based medical therapy, with the goal of ensuring the highest quality of life and wellness for heart failure patients.

Common risk factors for heart failure include the following, among others:

— Coronary heart disease

–High blood pressure

–Diabetes (Type 1 and 2)

–Cigarette smoking

–Eating foods high in fat, cholesterol and sodium

–Obesity

Those experiencing any of the above risk factors should talk with their doctor.

Early diagnosis and treatment can improve quality of life for people with heart failure. In addition, controlling risk factors by quitting smoking, changing your diet and/or managing conditions like diabetes or high cholesterol also can help.

Referrals from a physician are needed to schedule patient appointments. To learn more about Mount Nittany Physician Group Cardiology’s heart failure program, please call (814)-689-3140 or visit mountnittany.org.

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