Heart failure. Heart rhythm disorders. Research shows when a patient suffers one, they're more likely to also suffer the other. And yet, most medical centers still silo these clinical programs into two disparate research organizations, delaying the translation of research into treatment.
At The Ohio State University College of Medicine, we believe our cardiac patients – as well as our students, faculty, researchers and physicians – deserve better.
Earlier this year, the two heart clinical and research groups aligned under the new Bob and Corrine Frick Center for Heart Failure and Arrhythmia at the Ohio State Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital through gifts totaling $18 million. The result? Real-time translation from research to patient care.
“Because Ohio State is invited to contribute to unsolved heart failure and arrhythmia cases internationally, research and clinician teams are able to discover new genetic mechanisms for heart diseases across the globe.” Click to tweet this story
Enhancing Science and Treatment, Together
Heart disease is personal for the Frick family. Bob Frick's parents, as well as an aunt, three uncles and two brothers, have dealt with heart problems. Bob Frick suffered a heart attack when he was 40 years old and had triple bypass surgery 11 years later — the same year his brother, Bernie, died of arrhythmia and heart failure. He was 60.
Funded by the family's generous gifts, the Frick Center supports life-changing research and education focused on integrating clinical and basic research on heart failure and arrhythmia. The donation also funded three endowed research chairs: a chair in heart failure, a professorship and a fellowship for the College of Medicine.
Beyond research, a second benefit of the Frick Center is realized in patient care. The unique approach provides a seamless integrated clinical experience in which a patient can easily see both heart failure and arrhythmia teams in one location.
Treatment decisions are coordinated and streamlined, and research and learning are bridged with patient care.
- Heart failure occurs when the heart muscle doesn't pump blood as well as it should, or stops entirely. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it's the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States.
- Heart arrhythmia is a chronic condition that occurs when electrical impulses which coordinate heartbeats don't work properly, causing the heart to beat too fast, too slow or irregularly. It can lead to stroke, heart failure and cardiac arrest.
More than 6 million Americans live with heart failure and about 8 million have irregular heartbeats, according to the CDC. Understanding how the two conditions are related, researchers and clinicians at Ohio State work side by side to facilitate rapid translation of discovery into patient care.
Research translations that previously took years to get to patients can now happen in a matter of days – and, in some cases, hours.
"You can see translation in real time," says Peter Mohler, PhD, vice dean for Research, director of the Dorothy M. Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute, and professor and chair of the Department of Physiology and Cell Biology. "You don't have to wait 15 years. We see it every day at Ohio State."
"When we get out of our silos, we get a better real-time approach seeing patients," says Sakima Smith, MD, a heart failure transplant cardiologist. "What we're doing from a basic science standpoint is not only applicable but readily translatable every day."