Educating Fetal and Maternal Patients on Cardiovascular Risks

Montefiore experts discuss the emphasis on education at their MFM-Cardiology care program.

Launching a cross-specialty collaborative care center inherently requires educational resources; merging 2 generally disassociated fields is introducing new language and practices to different patients, different care providers, and different program managers.

Launching a collaborative care center that merges fetal-maternal medicine and cardiovascular prevention, though, requires a refined understanding of “education.”

In the second segment of an interview with HCPLive for World Heart Day, obstetrician-gynecologist Diana Wolfe, MD, MPH, and cardiologist Anna Bortnick, MD, PhD, co-founders of the Maternal and Fetal Medicine (MFM)-Cardiology Joint Program at Montefiore, discussed their strategies for educating MFM patients on heart disease—and heart disease patients on maternal-fetal health.

Unsurprisingly, they’ve also become well-versed in educating their peers on such topics, as well as similar program organizers: their program has offered patient literature, CME courses, and formal guidances all the same on these topics.

“We have dedicated a lot of time to each patient encounter, so we do make it very open-ended so there’s time for the patient to ask,” Wolfe said, adding that patient-centric subjects can often delve into reproductive life planning, contraception, and birth spacing.

Bortnick, who’s often tasked with introducing various cardiovascular risks and treatment plans to MFM patients and prescribers alike, said their strategy is to create an environment where anything can be asked.

“We’ll try to figure out what the patient knows about their condition, and what kind of questions we can answer," she said. “Because oftentimes they have preconceived ideas—maybe things they’ve heard from family and friends—and they may not have all the information they want.”