University of Wisconsin
School of Medicine and Public Health

Heart Failure / Transplantation

The Heart Failure/Transplant Cardiology Service, directed by Ravi Dhingra, MD, is a dynamic multidisciplinary program committed to providing the best in innovative, science-based clinical care for patients with left ventricular dysfunction. A heart failure program has been in existence at the University of Wisconsin since 1984 with a long history of participation in important trials of heart failure therapy. In 2002, the program was expanded to encompass a multidisciplinary approach to the management of patients with left ventricular dysfunction. The current team includes cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons, nurse practitioners, nurse coordinators, pharmacists, social workers, dieticians, exercise physiologists, and financial counselors. The team provides individualized, comprehensive care to patients with all types of cardiomyopathy and heart failure, ranging from silent heart dysfunction to advanced congestive heart failure.

The Advanced Heart Failure/Transplant Cardiology Program evaluates the full spectrum of heart failure patients, from those with an initial episode of heart failure, to those with end-stage disease referred for treatment of pulmonary hypertension, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, infiltrative disease of the heart such as amyloidoisis, sarcoidosis, etc, evaluation for cardiac transplantation or ventricular assist device placement, to those who have already received transplants. Many of these patients have complex disease management problems. The program is eager to work with patients' local physicians, whether in a single consultative evaluation or in a long-term co-management relationship of more complex or end-stage heart failure patients or transplant recipients. In addition to the outpatient clinic, the program runs a dedicated inpatient service to care for advanced heart failure patients, patients on the waiting list for heart transplantation, and heart transplant and ventricular assist device recipients.

The full range of treatment alternatives includes:

  • Assessment of risks and design of a complete individualized medical program for any patient with impaired cardiac function
  • Re-evaluation of therapy for patients with recurrent symptoms or frequent hospitalization
  • Cardiac resynchronization therapy with biventricular pacing
  • Evaluation and therapy of associated dysrhythmias
  • Evaluation for complex surgical procedures to improve cardiac function
  • Evaluation for and support with mechanical assist devices as a bridge to transplant or destination therapy
  • Evaluation for and cardiac transplantation
  • Evaluation for and dual organ transplantation i.e. heart-liver or heart-kidney transplantation
  • New investigational drugs and devices
  • CardioMEMS implantation

Patient management decisions are based on detailed discussions with patients and their families. A special emphasis is placed on patient education regarding their disease and the details of their medical program, including dietary requirements, exercise/rehabilitation recommendations and drug therapy. Patients and families are trained to play an important role in disease management. The program plays a major role in educating medical students, medical residents, cardiology fellows, practicing physicians and nursing personnel in the care of heart failure patients and cardiac transplant recipients.
The heart transplant program is one of the largest and most successful in the US, performing around 20 transplants per year. Indeed, over 800 heart transplants have been performed at the University of Wisconsin. The William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital is one of the five centers for cardiac transplantation in the United States. The close relationship between cardiovascular medicine and cardiothoracic surgery and the strong, solid organ transplant programs at UW all contribute to an outstanding academic and clinical environment for the care of heart transplant patients.
A clinical research program in heart failure, heart transplantation, and mechanical circulatory support is active and growing. The program is participating in numerous ongoing multi-center research trials, and there are several independent research studies for diastolic heart failure patients and patients in need of stem cell therapy.
Contact Information
Ravi Dhingra, MD, MPH
Medical Director, Heart Failure and Transplantation
E5/582C CSC, MC 5710
600 Highland Avenue
Madison WI 53792
Phone: (608) 263-0080
Fax: (608) 265-1918

Heart Failure / VAD / Transplantation Providers

Aurangzeb Baber, MD
Renee Churchill, NP
Ravi Dhingra, MD
Amy Fiedler, MD
Anne Fischer, NP
Joan Hermsen, NP
Josh Hermsen, MD
Maryl Johnson, MD
Brianne Lochrie, NP
David Murray, MD
David Pham, MD
Peter Rahko, MD
Farhan Raza, MD
Jason Smith, MD
Elise Strycharsek, DNP
Bethany Westerfeldt, NP