Congestive Heart Failure

GHC’s Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) program was created to improve outcomes for patients with CHF by improving the care between the hospital and home.

The vision of Dr. Hui Lee in the year 2000 led to the development of the CHF program to improve the quality of life for patients living with heart failure as well as assist caregivers.

The CHF program works in partnership with primary care providers to support their clients within the community. The program aims to prevent hospital admissions and improve quality of life through self-management education support delivered by specialized nurses. Education topics include CHF management, signs and symptoms of fluid retention, when to seek treatment and how to minimize exacerbations. Patients are supported through regularly scheduled visits and as-needed access to their assigned primary nurse.

Through home, office, and phone visits, the CHF nurses assist patients in understanding; the signs and symptoms of CHF, the importance of medication compliance, diet and fluid restrictions, the importance of exercise, and when to seek further medical assistance.

  • Diuretic titration under medical directive  
  • Ongoing patient and family education about the disease process, diet, lifestyle, self-monitoring, and self-assessment 
  • Psychological Support 
  • Medication Review and Monitoring 

The name Congestive Heart Failure is somewhat misleading, as it does not mean your heart has failed. It means your heart doesn’t pump as strong as it should because the heart muscle is weak. Heart failure is a long-term condition in which your heart can’t pump blood well enough to meet your body’s needs all the time. Treatment includes exercise, medicine, and possible surgical procedures when heart failure worsens.

Some of the complications from heart failure include:

  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Sudden cardiac arrest
  • Heart valve problems
  • A collection of fluid in your lungs
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Kidney damage
  • Liver damage
  • Malnutrition

With the proper care, congestive heart failure won’t stop you from doing the things you enjoy. Your prognosis, or outlook for the future, will depend on the following:

  • How well your heart muscle is working.
  • Your symptoms.
  • How well you respond to your treatment plan.
  • How well you follow your treatment plan.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Can Access Service

This service is available to all GHC-enrolled patients. To access the CHF Program, patients must be referred to the program by:

  • The hospital
  • Primary Care Provider
  • Health Care Provider
  • Self-Referrals

Once the referral has been received, a member of the CHF Program will contact the patient to book their initial appointment.

What Can I Expect During The Appointment?

Visits usually last at least one hour, and nurses will review your medications and check your vital signs at each visit.


83 Willow Avenue
Sault Ste. Marie, ON, P6B 5B1

T: 705-541-2670

F: 705-759-7477

Hours of Operation:

Monday – Friday: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Saturday, Sunday, Holidays: Closed