January 8, 2020

David Santrock grew up in Dunbar and worked as an orthopedic surgeon in Charleston for several years. About 10 years ago, he was diagnosed with a heart problem. After recently coming to the emergency room due to a build-up of fluids, his cardiologist suggested Santrock go to the CAMC Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) Clinic.

“I can’t thank him enough,” Santrock said. “It’s the best thing he’s ever recommended.”

The CAMC Congestive Heart Failure Clinic is an outpatient program led by trained medical staff specializing in CHF treatment.


WATCH: Learn how CAMC is helping patients with this chronic condition stay out of the hospital.


CHF is a condition when the heart can’t pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. This could cause some organs to not work as well and fluids to back up in the lungs. As with many chronic conditions, there is no cure for congestive heart failure. It is a condition that must be properly managed to avoid complications and prevent it from worsening.

Controlling risk factors, like smoking, obesity and high blood pressure, and taking certain medications can be a life-long endeavor for most heart failure patients.

“They did a great job of explaining what was going on and what I needed to do,” Santrock said. “I left with good instructions of what to do and what not to do. It was all designed to prevent fluid retention.”

The Congestive Heart Failure Clinic is just one example of the myriad programs and resources CAMC provides to its patients once they are discharged to continue their care.

“Our goals of the heart failure clinic are to delay the progression of heart failure, reduce mortality and to keep people out of the hospital,” said Julie Budinger, NP, who works in the CAMC Congestive Heart Failure Clinic.

Budinger says CHF is a chronic disease, but it’s manageable thanks to the multidisciplinary team at the CHF clinic.

For more information, visit camc.org/CHF.

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