Marshall Health, Mountain Health Network become first in West Virginia to treat heart failure patients using breakthrough CCM therapy

Story and Photos by Tony Rutherford

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Marshall Health and Mountain Health Network Cardiovascular Center of Excellence are among the first in the United States and the only site in West Virginia to use, CCMTM therapy, or cardiac contractility modulation, delivered by the Optimizer® system, to treat patients suffering from heart failure. The first patient treated in West Virginia with CCM therapy received the device implant by Marshall cardiologists in June as part of a post-approval device trial for CCM.


Heart failure, a condition in which the heart slowly weakens and is not able to adequately supply oxygen-rich blood, affects an estimated 6.5 million Americans and nearly 26 million people worldwide.2 By 2030, it is expected to affect 8 million Americans.3 Heart failure patients experience severe symptoms including breathlessness, fatigue, confusion and swelling in the legs that make everyday activities challenging and significantly diminish their quality of life.


CCM therapy is a new, FDA-approved heart failure treatment proven to improve quality of life for patients who are no longer adequately responding to medications to manage symptoms or slow the progression of heart failure.1 The innovative therapy is the first of its kind intended to improve the contraction of the heart, allowing more oxygen-rich blood to reach the body.1 CCM therapy delivers precisely timed electrical pulses to the heart that are intended to improve the heart’s ability to contract. CCM can be used in conjunction with medications and other heart failure therapies.


“Bringing clinical trials and innovative, proven procedures to our patients is consistent with our role as part of an academic health system,” said Mark A. Studeny, M.D., an interventional cardiologist at Marshall Health, Cabell Huntington Hospital, St. Mary’s Medical Center, and professor and chair of cardiovascular services at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine. “CCM therapy is a breakthrough, minimally invasive treatment option that doesn’t require open heart surgery and allows patients to return to everyday activities shortly after the procedure.”


“It is important for patients to talk to their physician if they begin developing symptoms of congestive heart failure,” said Carlos Rueda, M.D., a board certified advanced heart failure and transplant specialist at Marshall Health, Cabell Huntington Hospital and St. Mary’s Medical Center. “The earlier heart failure is detected, the sooner treatment options, including CCM therapy, can be determined.”


CCM therapy may be an appropriate option for up to 70 percent of NYHA Class III (a classification of heart symptoms) heart failure patients who continue to experience symptoms despite taking the optimal heart failure medications for their condition.1 The purpose of the post-approval study is to evaluate the effects of CCM therapy on patients quality of life and heart failure symptoms, according to Rueda, an assistant professor and principal investigator on the device trial.


To find out more about CCM therapy, call Marshall Cardiology, an outpatient department of Cabell Huntington Hospital, at 304-691-8500 or visit


CCM therapy was developed by Impulse Dynamics, based in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. Visit www.Impulse-Dynamics.Com to learn more about the company. 


About Marshall Health

Marshall Health is the clinical enterprise of Marshall University and its Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine. Marshall Health brings together a comprehensive care team of more than 350 providers in 75 areas of primary and specialty care. As part of an academic health system, Marshall Health is committed to improving access to care throughout southern West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky through advanced technologies and research that benefit its patients and the communities it serves. To learn more, visit 


About Mountain Health Network

Mountain Health Network is a West Virginia-based not-for-profit health delivery system comprised of Cabell Huntington Hospital, a 303-bed teaching hospital for Marshall University Schools of Medicine, Pharmacy and Nursing; St. Mary’s Medical Center, a 393-bed teaching hospital that operates St. Mary’s Schools of Nursing, Respiratory Care and Medical Imaging; Hoops Family Children’s Hospital, a 72-bed pediatric specialty hospital within Cabell Huntington Hospital; HIMG, a 60-member multi-specialty physician group; and a management agreement with Pleasant Valley Hospital, a 101 acute-bed hospital. Mountain Health is committed to improving the health and well-being of over one million children and adults in 23 counties in West Virginia, southern Ohio and eastern Kentucky through understanding, respecting and meeting their needs.