Pictured on left: Wojciech Mazur, MD, FACC, cardiologist and Medical Director of the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Center. Pictured on right: Ankit Bhatia, MD, FACC, advanced heart failure and transplant cardiologist and Co-Director of the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Center.

The Christ Hospital Heart & Vascular Institute is First Regional Center of Excellence for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Untreated Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Can Lead to Heart Failure

CINCINNATI (September 27, 2023) — The Christ Hospital Health Network is now a recognized Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association (HCMA) Center of Excellence for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) care. The Christ Hospital is one of only two HCM Centers of Excellence in Ohio and one of only 50 in the entire country.

HCM is a relatively common and often inherited disease where the heart muscle thickens and becomes stiff, making it difficult to pump blood. This disease has many symptoms and can take many forms, which makes HCM difficult to diagnose and can often result in a misdiagnosis.

“We are honored by this recognition from the HCMA, which acknowledges our teams’ dedication and commitment to providing hypertrophic cardiomyopathy patients with a specialized center for diagnostic expertise and compassionate care,” said Wojciech Mazur, MD, FACC, cardiologist and Medical Director of the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Center.

1.3 million Americans suffer from HCM, the most common genetic heart disease in the United States—and in Cincinnati there could be as many as 13,000 potential HCM patients—but according to the National Institutes of Health, only 15% of these individuals are aware they have the condition. This disease affects every age, gender and ethnicity, worsening over time. Individuals may have no initial symptoms while others experience fatigue, palpitations, shortness of breath, exercise intolerance, fainting and even sudden cardiac death.

The Christ Hospital HCM Center of Excellence is dedicated to serving the HCM community in partnership with patients, engaging in shared decision-making when considering the best options for a patient’s HCM care.

“As an advanced heart failure specialist, I was drawn to the HCM specialization because of the rapid progress of medical advances in the field,” explained Ankit Bhatia, MD, FACC, advanced heart failure and transplant cardiologist and Co-Director of the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Center. “I continue to be inspired by these novel therapies, which are making a meaningful impact on the lives of HCM patients. Our center has access to extraordinary new treatments and investigational studies that enhance our patient’s care.”

Cassady Palmer, BS, ACS, RDCS, RDMS, FACE, FACC, cardiac sonographer and advanced cardiac imaging specialist, played a vital role in launching the HCM center and facilitating research efforts. She says everyone with a history of heart failure in their family, or who is dealing with even the most subtle symptoms, should schedule a checkup.

“This is especially important for our African American and Hispanic communities because they represent about half of those affected, yet barely 1% are receiving the treatment they deserve,” she said. “Everyone with heart disease deserves access to the best options for lifesaving treatment.”

If you’re interested in learning more about HCM or would like to schedule an appointment to get tested, click here.

About The Christ Hospital Health Network

The Christ Hospital Health Network consists of an acute care hospital located in Mt. Auburn, a remote hospital in Liberty Township, five ambulatory outpatient centers, and dozens of medical offices throughout the region. For more than 130 years, The Christ Hospital has provided compassionate care to those it serves. Made up of more than 1,300 physicians and more than 6,500 team members, our mission is to improve the health of our community by providing exceptional outcomes in an affordable way. The Network was recognized by U.S. News & World Report as the #1 hospital in the Cincinnati Region and named to Newsweek’s World’s Best Hospitals list in 2023. It is also a Press Ganey Guardian of Excellence Award recipient, which recognizes top-performing healthcare organizations that achieve the 95th percentile or above for performance in patient experience.

About the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association

The Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association (HCMA), founded in 1996, provides support, advocacy, and education to patients, families, the medical community, and the public about hypertrophic cardiomyopathy—while supporting research and fostering the development of treatments. The HCMA seeks to be the pre-eminent organization for improving the lives of those with HCM, preventing untimely deaths, and advancing global understanding. Efforts include educating others about the symptoms and treatment options for patients, their families and their medical providers; advocacy for policy/ legislation to improve disease detection, healthcare access, and matters of importance to the community; providing and maintaining a network of support for individuals with HCM and their families; increased accessibility to specialized healthcare professionals providing evidence-based treatment of HCM; promoting and publishing research of HCM with the ultimate goal of eradicating the disease; partnering with complementary organizations to help further the mission of the education about, and management of, the disease; and generating appropriate funding for a sustainable organization and ongoing patient and physician engagement.