Allegheny Health Network
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Support Services

We want to empower you to make the necessary lifestyle changes to improve your heart health. Our goal is to help you prevent or manage heart disease to help you live the fullest life possible.

Anticoagulation Management Clinic

We have a pharmacist-managed anti-coagulation clinic where warfarin education is provided. Patients who are referred to the clinic by their physician can have an INR blood test using a finger stick blood sample. Results are available in less than a minute. Patients are also assessed for problems or changes in health, and our pharmacist makes dose adjustments as needed. For more information, call 412.359.3103.

HeartCare Program

Integrative Medicine

Our Integrative Medicine Program combines conventional medical treatment with complementary approaches, including:

  • Reiki a Japanese form of relaxation touch therapy that involves a practitioner holding their hands on or just above your body in several locations (top of head, shoulders, arms, hands, belly, legs and feet). It has been shown to reduce anxiety, support the natural healing process, enhance the immune system, ease pain and increase feelings of vitality and general well-being. CVI inpatients and select outpatients have access to free Reiki sessions. For more information or to schedule a Reiki session, call the Volunteer Office at 412.359.3067.  
 
  • Pet therapy involves having certified therapy dogs visit patients and their families in most hospital settings (except intensive care units and isolation rooms). This can be helpful to reduce anxiety, ease depression and reduce blood pressure, particularly with people who love animals and those who miss their own pets while hospitalized. CVI inpatients and select outpatients have access to free visits from therapy dogs. For more information or to schedule a pet therapy session, call the Volunteer Office at 412.359.3067
 
  • Outpatient services available to cardiovascular patients include acupuncture from a licensed acupuncturist, relaxation training by a licensed psychologist, biofeedback training and massage therapy. • Wellness program where our specialists can help you to stop smoking, eat healthier, exercise more regularly, and learn stress management techniques. All of these lifestyle choices have been shown to benefit patients with heart disease and those hoping to avoid it.
  
  • Wellness program includes having our specialists help you to stop smoking, eat healthier, exercise more regularly, and learn stress management techniques. These lifestyle choices have been shown to benefit patients with heart disease and those hoping to avoid it.
 
For general information about any of these integrated medicine services, call 412.359.8951 or e-mail Betsy Blazek-O'Neill, MD, medical director, Integrative Medicine Program, at boneill@wpahs.org

Nutrition

Our nutrition expert specializes in caring for patients with heart disease. You can receive information about specialized diets (including low-sodium) and how to effectively read nutrition labels. Our nutritionist also addressed dietary issues related to diabetes, obesity, renal disease and gout. For more information, call 412-359-3264.

Palliative Care

Palliative care provides care and support to patients and families dealing with serious, progressive illnesses. We offer expertise in treating pain and other symptoms of illness while offering emotional support for patients and their families. Palliative medicine aims to assure that patients can remain as comfortable and active as possible through the stages of their illness. Many times, your doctors may consider palliative care help if you are:
 
  • Hospitalized numerous times
  • Considering surgery, or other life-saving interventions, such as a defibrillator or a left ventricular assist device (LVAD)
  • Living with bothersome symptoms related to heart disease
 

The Allegheny Health Network Palliative Care services can begin at any time during the course of illness. We help families coordinate services for their loved ones when they are hospitalized, require in-home palliative care or hospice services, or need transferred to an inpatient facility. The earlier a patient is referred to our program the better. This gives us an opportunity to discuss goals of care with you and your family, minimize distressing symptoms and promote effective communication.

Our specialized clinicians visit patients at various locations, including hospital rooms, intensive care units, at our Heart Failure Clinic, or at a patient’s home. For more information about our Palliative Care Program, call 412.578.6808.

Personal Care 360 Program for Heart Failure Patients

This program focuses on coordinating your care from start to finish. It includes a “Heart Failure Discharge Clinic” where you are thoroughly assessed, your medications are evaluated and you are educated about your home care. For more information, call 412.359.4273.