Jeff Johns

Jeff Johns SMART Heart Meal Program Patient

Penacook Family Physicians

Heart Failure Care

When you have heart failure your heart muscle doesn't pump as much blood as your body needs. Your body has an amazing ability to make up for heart failure. But at some point, your heart and body will no longer be able to keep up. Then fluid starts to build up in your body and you have symptoms like feeling weak and out of breath.

Teaching you self-management skills and strategies to help you live with heart failure is the focus of Concord Hospital's Heart Wellness Program. The program's comprehensive approach addresses your needs during and after hospitalization.


  • Evaluation and consultation during hospitalization
  • Individualized patient education during hospitalization including medications, diet, managing symptoms, and exercise
  • Routine telephone calls to patients by registered nurses following discharge
  • Intervention and follow-up if symptoms worsen
  • Education and support programs
  • Quarterly newsletter

Education & Support

The Heart Wellness Education Program, facilitated by a heart wellness nurse, is an opportunity for you to meet other people living with heart failure, discuss experiences and offer support. A different guest speaker and topic is featured each month. Topics range from nutrition and exercise to medications and the latest congestive heart failure therapies.

The SMART Heart Meal Program, funded through charitable grants and Concord Hospital Trust’s Community Services Fund, educates all CHF patients about low-sodium food options and provides a cookbook of low-sodium recipes that can help avoid the fluid buildup (congestion) that occurs when the heart is not pumping as well as it should. Sodium acts as a sponge for fluid and causes heart failure patients to become overloaded with fluid, making breathing more difficult, often resulting in hospitalization.

Patients completing the 30-day program report they better understand the importance of the two-gram sodium diet, better understand nutrition food labels regarding sodium and are enjoying improved nutrition status.

Expert Team Focused on You

Helping you recognize symptoms and seek treatment quickly to improve long-term quality of life and avoid a hospital readmission, as well as ensuring you receive appropriate medications based on national guidelines is the focus of our team's work — a team made up of nurses with specialized education in heart failure management, dietitians, physical therapists, and social workers.


SMART Heart Meal Program

If you live with congestive heart failure our SMART Heart Meal Program can help you avoid a re-admission following your Hospital discharge. 

Patients eligible for the 30-day program are offered 30 days of two-gram sodium meals at no cost. They are discharged with three days of two-gram sodium meals. Subsequent meals are packed at Concord Hospital and delivered by Meals on Wheels (MOW). MOW drivers store the food appropriately at the patients’ homes. They also check to see if patients have had shortness of breath, weight gain or swelling and report the findings to the SMART Heart contact, who refers any issue to Concord Hospital’s Heart Wellness Program, Granite VNA or the patients’ providers. If necessary, providers act to help keep patients from having to seek help at the Emergency Department.