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Monthly Archives: May 2019

Highlights week 5-26-2019

Highlights of the week:

SCAI 2019 Held in Las Vegas

The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI), the international professional society for interventional cardiology, held its 2019 Scientific Sessions this past week (May 19-22) in Las Vegas, Nevada. The conference chair was Sunil Rao; Raj Swaminathan served on the program committee to help organize the peripheral vascular disease track. Duke Heart was very well represented with conference faculty including Manesh Patel, Schuyler Jones, Tony Gutierrez, and Brittany Zwischenberger all participating. The influence of Duke Heart on the field of interventional cardiology was evident with former Duke Heart fellows or faculty like Connie Hess, Matt Sherwood, Amit Vora, Ash Sastry, Chad Zack, Prashant Kaul, Wayne Batchelor, Mauricio Cohen, and Jim Hermiller giving lectures or moderating sessions. The keynote speaker was New York Times bestselling author Abraham Verghese who spoke on maintaining the physician-patient relationship in an era of digital health. This year’s SCAI had the highest attendance in its conference history with over 2100 registered participants. Congratulations to the Duke Heart interventional faculty! Nice job, Sunil!


Bloomfield & Team Receives Pilot Funding

Congratulations to Gerald Bloomfield and his team – they have been notified that they will receive an award of $25,000 in pilot funds from Duke Global Health Institute for their project entitled, Proteomic Profiles and Cardiac Dysfunction in Children and Adolescents with HIV.  The group consists of: Bloomfield; Svati H. Shah, MD; Winstone Nyandiko, MMed, MPH and Ibrahim Daud, PhD (both of Moi University); Andrew McCrary, MD (Pediatric Cardiology fellow and soon-to-be Duke faculty member); Michael Muehlbauer, PhD, and Nathan Thielman, MD.


Good Catch, Anna Landen!

Many thanks to Anna Landen, one of our CTOR physician assistants in Clinic 2F/2G for realizing that a patient had the incorrect blood type listed in their medical chart. Landen was recognized this week with a Good Catch award. Nice job, Anna!


Sabulsky Receives MHA

Congratulations to Richard Sabulsky, one of our CTOR physician assistants, who completed his MHA at George Washington University this year. Sabulsky was inducted into the Upsilon Phi Delta Honor Society for academic excellence in the study of healthcare management, as well. Way to go, Rich!




Upcoming Events & Opportunities:

June 21: Transforming Obesity Research at Duke

Are you concerned about managing patients with obesity? Are you aware of the vital role you can serve at Duke in helping address this challenge? The Dean’s Interdisciplinary Colloquia is sponsoring a one-day interactive event to bring together patients, researchers, clinicians and other experts to advance the science of obesity prevention and treatment. The event will be co-hosted by Duke Heart’s Matt Roe, and Sarah Armstrong of Duke Pediatrics, Population Health Sciences, and Family Medicine and Community Health. Keynote speakers include Lesley Curtis, interim executive director of the Duke Clinical Research Institute and Joe Rogers, Duke cardiologist and CMO of Duke Health.


Understanding and solving the complexities of obesity is one of the most pressing challenges facing the health of our generation.  Tackling this problem head-on will require all of us – patients, community members, clinicians, and researchers across the translational spectrum.  Rarely do we have the opportunity to intersect, yet experts across the spectrum of research at Duke are needed to address the causation, barriers in patient care, and treatment methods that influence obesity across the lifespan – from pre-conception through adulthood.


Please consider participating in this one-day event, which will take place at the new DCRI Morris Building on Friday, June 21 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Registration closes on June 9. To register, please visit: https://conta.cc/2WRfZmp

Highlights of the Week 5-19-2019

Bobby Yeh – Cardiology Fellows Visiting Professor 2019

Bobby Yeh had a great visit with the Duke Cardiology program and fellowship this week as the visiting professor.  Bobby was kindly hosted by Sunil and Carrie Rao at their house.  There was a packed house of fellows to hear from Bobby about how his interests and research/clinical career was formed.  He then gave a great grand rounds on the unintended consequences of health policy decision rooted in a few clinical examples.

Verily Launches Baseline Health System Consortium

Verily, an Alphabet company, announced last week a new Project Baseline initiative, the Baseline Health System Consortium, comprised of Verily, Duke University Health System, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Mayo Clinic, Regional Health in South Dakota and University of Pittsburgh. The strategic collaboration will identify and develop solutions to significant challenges in clinical research, including making research more accessible and engaging for patients, clinicians, researchers and research sponsors alike. Adrian Hernandez and Manesh Patel will represent Duke within the Consortium.

Shout-out to Loungani

We are pleased to share with you portions of a note sent by Andrew Wang to Anna Lisa Crowley, commenting on the excellence and professionalism demonstrated by Rahul Loungani, one of our fellows.

“Last night, there was a very complex patient who had several post-procedural, unexpected, serious complications (arterial vascular complication, hypertensive urgency, hemoptysis, and ultimately tension pneumothorax). Although she was initially slated to go to OR and then an ICU bed, she returned to 7300 after 8 p.m. Rahul was exceptionally attentive to her complications before and after she went to OR, and continued to take responsibility for her treatment until she was ultimately transferred to SICU after 10 p.m.

In working with him on this and many other cases, I am impressed with his clinical acumen, judgment, care and professionalism.  He is unflappable (shows true Osler-modeled equanimity), honest and humble. Most importantly, he takes ownership for his work and his patients. When I offered him a compliment about his care for this patient, he shrugged it off, saying “She’s my patient.” I would fully trust him to care for my patients, me or my family.”

Nice job, Rahul!

DCRI Fellows Dinner:

We had the end of the year DCRI fellows dinner this week recognizing the tremendous talents and work of our amazing DCRI fellows this year.  We wanted to especially thank all of our faculty and staff that have supported our fellows this year.  Some photos from the Dinner included.

Rymer Receives 2019 Harrington Excellence in Fellowship Award

Congratulations to Jennifer Rymer, the 2019 Harrington Excellence in Fellowship Award recipient! Rymer has consistently demonstrated excellence in the care of patients and in her contributions as a Duke fellow, and overall as a highly skilled and valued member of the Duke Heart team. The award is named for Duke Heart alum Robert Harrington, former director of the Duke Clinical Research Institute and the former Richard Sean Stack, MD Distinguished Professor here at Duke. Harrington currently leads the Department of Medicine at Stanford University.

Very well deserved, Jen!

Schuyler Jones Receives 2019 Robert Califf Research Mentor Award at the DCRI fellows dinner:

The DCRI Fellows awarded Schuyler Jones the mentorship award for his unfailing honesty, integrity, and support in developing their research careers while working help them align and balance clinical and research interests.  Jon Piccini, the winner of the award last year, gave a great talk on the importance of perseverance. The award recognizes the significant amount of time and effort that many of our faculty put into training the fostering the next generation.


Dickerson Serving as Clinical Lead RN for DUH CDU and CMRI

Duke Heart is pleased to announce that April Dickerson, BSN, RN, PCCN has become Clinical Lead RN for Duke University Hospital’s Cardiac Diagnostic Unit and Cardiac MRI. Her position is effective as of April 29. April has served as a staff nurse within the CDU since July, 2011.  April joined the Duke Nursing team in 2004 as a staff nurse at Duke Regional Hospital on their cardiac step-down unit. April has been active within the CDU as a Charge Nurse, with patient education projects, staff skills validation, policy management, and Maestro improvements for the department.  She is a member of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.

April earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from University of North Carolina Greensboro in 2018 and an Associate of Science in Nursing from Piedmont Community College in 2004.

Please join us in congratulating and welcoming April to her new role!

Congratulations Shelley Thompson and Diane Sauro!

A quick note of congratulations to Shelley Thompson, one of our terrific cardiology nurse practitioners! Shelley graduated with her DNP from Duke last weekend. Way to go, Shelley!


And, Diane Sauro, MSN, ANP, Director of Advance Practice for Duke Heart, graduated from the Duke Johnson and Johnson Nurse Leadership Fellowship Program on April 28. Such great news, Diane!

AHA Go Red for Women Luncheon Held in Raleigh

A number of our fabulous Duke Heart team members attended the American Heart Association’s Annual Go Red for Women Luncheon on Friday. Held at the Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Valley, the event focuses on preventing heart disease and stroke by promoting healthy lifestyles, building awareness and raising critically needed funds to support research and education initiatives. Cardiovascular diseases, which include stroke, claim the life of a woman about every 80 seconds. If you look closely, you might see Manesh Patel in the crowd of women shown here. Thanks to all who joined us!

Culture Pulse Ends Tomorrow!

If you have not already done so, please complete the 2019 Culture Pulse survey, which closes tomorrow, Monday, May 20. Not sure what this is? It is a survey to gauge the work culture at Duke Health. Why does this matter? The climate in which we do our work significantly impacts our results—for our patients, their loved ones, and all of us. When that climate is healthy and optimized, we can get more done. If you lead a team of people anywhere within Duke Heart, please encourage each of your team members to check their email and to participate – it takes no longer than 10 minutes and is confidential. If you have any questions about the survey, please contact culturepulse@duke.edu. If you have not seen it in your email, please check spam/junk/clutter folders. Thank you!

Chief’s Message 5-12-2019

Chief’s message:

Happy Mother’s day to all of our Duke Family and Friends.  This is hopefully only one of the many days where we all can appreciate the immense self sacrifice, love and commitment to family that moms around the world have.  We have many new mothers and fathers in the fellowship and hopefully this was a great day to enjoy this time of life.  Pictured are some of the fresh strawberries and other goodies we tried to get ready for Mom around our house this weekend. We also want to congratulate all the local students who graduated this weekend from colleges in the area.

Highlights of the week:

Rogers Named President-Elect of ISHLT

We are very pleased to share that Joseph Rogers has been named President-elect of the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation. Rogers is a national thought leader on heart failure and transplantation; he is professor of medicine in cardiology and currently serves as Chief Medical Officer for Duke University Health System. His research interests focus on the clinical aspects of advanced heart failure, specifically in the pharmacologic and electrical treatments of systolic heart failure, the use of mechanical circulatory support devices, cardiac transplantation and palliative care.

ISHLT is committed to improving the care of patients with end-stage heart and lung disease through research, education and advocacy.  With 3,800 members from 45 countries, ISHLT is the world’s largest multi-disciplinary organization of its kind.

Congratulations, Joe!

Two Heart Faculty Members Receive Faculty Awards at Spring Meeting

Congratulations to Chet Patel and Harry Phillips for receiving faculty awards at the Duke School of Medicine Spring Faculty Meeting held earlier this week. Patel received the master clinician teacher award; Phillips received the professionalism award. Well deserved and great representatives of the Division of Cardiology!


 Krasuski Receives ACHA Research Grant

Congratulations to Rich Krasuski who was recently notified by the Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA) that he has been selected to receive one of six inaugural research funding grants that will help to advance scientific understanding of congenital heart disease in adults. Krasuski’s funding will allow his team to advance a pilot randomized controlled trial to evaluate the acceptability, feasibility, and efficacy of a four-month peer coaching intervention called Peer Coaching Adaptive Self-Management Interventions for Young Adults with Congenital Heart Disease (CHASM IN ACHD). We look forward to hearing more about this! Great job, Rich!

Happy Nursing Week!

This weekend concludes Nursing Week 2019. Shown here are some of our many Duke Heart nurses who participated in the events held throughout Duke.  We are so grateful for the work each of you do every day – thanks for the dedication, expertise and energy you bring to Duke Heart!


Happy (belated) Perfusion Week!

Happy perfusion week to all of our perfusionists! The American Society of ExtraCorporeal Technology celebrated Perfusion Week from April 29-May 3. We have an amazing team supporting our patients and CT surgery program! Thanks for all you do.

AATS 2019 Held in Toronto (May 4-7)

The American Association for Thoracic Surgery held its 99th annual meeting from May 4-7 at the Metro Toronto Convention Center in Toronto, Canada. A number of members of Duke Heart’s cardiothoracic team were there to present, including:

Vignesh Raman presented “surgery is associated with survival benefit in select patients with clinical N3 non-small cell lung cancer”; Dr. D’Amico was a moderator for the session.


Matthew Hartwig as expert discussant in lung transplant session at AATS.

Jill Engel presented at AATS on ERAS Cardiac Implementation Strategies.

Carmelo Milano spoke on heart transplantation and minimizing primary graft dysfunction. (He also served on the planning committee for AATS 2019)

Charles Wojnarski presented on kidney dysfunction in LVAD patients.

Great representation at AATS for Duke Heart – nice work, everyone!

Good Catch Award

Kudos to Sara Jayne Alexander, NP for her good catch award presented earlier this week for “accurate assessment and escalation of care” – Nice work and many, many thanks!




Culture Pulse 2019

The Culture Pulse survey has been issued and closes on Monday, May 20. Not sure what this is? It is a survey to gauge the work culture at Duke Health. Why does this matter? The climate in which we do our work significantly impacts our results—for our patients, their loved ones, and all of us. When that climate is healthy and optimized, we can get more done. So, please participate because everyone’s voice matters. If you lead a team of people anywhere within Duke Heart, please encourage each of your team members to check their email and to participate – it should take no longer than 10 minutes and is confidential. If you have any questions about the survey, please contact culturepulse@duke.edu. If you haven’t seen it in your email, please check spam/junk/clutter folders. Thank you!

Highlights of the Week: 5-5-2019

Abraham Selected for Strong Start New Physician-Scientist Award

Dennis Abraham, MD, assistant professor of medicine in cardiology, is one of five faculty members selected as recipients of the 2019 Strong Start New Physician-Scientist Awards. The Strong Start Program includes an annual award of $70,000 each year for a maximum of three years. This award supports outstanding lab-based clinician-scientists in the School of Medicine. In their letter notification, the committee stated that Abraham’s application was exceptional, and his research trajectory very promising.

“Receiving the Strong Start Award allows my lab to expand our work on how conditions such as hypertension and obesity result in the development of congestive heart failure,” Abraham said. “Specifically, the funds will support work investigating how adipose tissue and cardiac muscle communicate and how this affects metabolic function and cardiac performance. This award is particularly timely as we plan to expand this line of investigation to incorporate cutting-edge technologies and new scientific collaborations.”

Congratulations and great job, Dennis!

IHCC Held in Iceland

The second annual summit of the International 100K+ Cohorts Consortium (IHCC) took place in Reykjavik from April 23-24. Geoff Ginsberg served as co-chair of the event, which featured Guðni Thorlacius Jóhannesson, president of Iceland, who gave the introductory keynote. The goal of the summit is to continue the discussion and work towards enabling leaders of large-scale longitudinal cohorts worldwide to share best practices, discuss data sharing, explore standards, discuss common challenges, and the potential for larger collaborative sequencing strategy. To learn more, please visit: https://ihcc.g2mc.org/

Sunil Rao Elected to SCAI Executive Committee

Sunil Rao was recently elected to the Executive Committee as Secretary for the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI), the international professional society for interventional cardiology. This puts him on track to become President of the Society in 2022.



Kester Named COD for Intensive Care and Procedural Areas

We are pleased to announce Kelly Kester, MSN, RN, NE-BC, CCRN, as the Clinical Operations Director (COD) for Heart Intensive Care and Procedural areas effective June 1.  Kelly’s areas of responsibility will include the CTICU, CICU, Invasive Labs, CVSSU, and Cardiac Diagnostic Units.

Kelly received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Regis College and her Masters of Science in Nursing from East Carolina University. Kelly has held the Nurse Manager (NM) position of the CTICU (7W) as interim in 2013 and full-time in 2014. She has been serving as interim NM of the CICU since September 2018. Kelly has contributed to stabilizing the workforce in both Intensive Care units resulting in decreased nursing turnover and has initiated multiple quality improvement projects that have affected key quality outcomes. She is a recognized national and regional speaker at leadership and critical care conferences and a valued member of multiple hospital and health system committees.

Please join us in recognizing Kelly for her contributions to the CTICU and CICU and welcoming her to her new role as the Clinical Operations Director. Kelly will collaborate with Laura Dickerson, Clinical Operations Director of the Heart Step-down units, CMRI, and EKG as they continue to advance the excellent care provided in the Heart Center.

McVeigh Named Co-Team Lead, CAP

We are pleased to announce that Todd McVeigh, PA-C, has been named a co-team leader for the Cardiology Advanced Practice team as of May 1. Todd has worked on inpatient Cardiology since September 2016.  He is a 2015 graduate of the Duke Physician Assistant program and has experience in cardiology as well as urgent care and family medicine. Prior to joining the team at Duke, he worked as a PA for Cone Health Urgent Medical & Family Health and prior to that, he worked as a clinical exercise physiologist at Michigan Heart & Vascular Institute. Please join us in congratulating and welcoming Todd to his new role.

Pictures and Activities from the Week:

Meetings such as the great grand rounds by Cardiology Fellows Steve Greene on enrollment in CHF trials.  There was also breakfast beforehand.





Cath-CT Surgery Revascularization Heart Team Meeting






EPIC SEC was this last week and AATS is starting with our Surgical Colleagues with some presentations by CT surgery Faculty/Fellows and Cardiology Faculty – Matt Brennan on day 1.