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Highlights week of July 28th 2019

Pokorney Named Director, Arrhythmia Core Laboratory

We are pleased to share that Sean Pokorney has been named director of the Arrhythmia Core Laboratory (ACL), effective July 1. Pokorney has been instrumental in its growth and leadership over the years, most recently serving as its associate director. The announcement was made last week by John Alexander and Jon Piccini.

The Duke Clinical Research Institute founded the Arrhythmia Core Laboratory in 2012 with the support of Drs. Robert Harrington, Kenneth Mahaffey, and the CEC Leadership. Seven years later, the ACL is now an established core laboratory having completed several projects. The DCRI ACL conducted the first prospective study to demonstrate a reduction in atrial fibrillation burden with treatment of sleep disordered breathing in a clinical trial. Moreover, the Duke ACL was the core laboratory for the first pharmacogenetic trial of a rhythm control therapy for atrial fibrillation in patients with heart failure. The ACL is currently the core lab for the largest ICD clinical trial to ever be conducted (APPRAISE ATP). Moreover, the ACL is engaged in ongoing discussions with several ambulatory monitoring and device-monitoring industry organizations, regarding longitudinal collaboration on clinical trial services. While the ACL is still young compared to other core laboratories at Duke and DCRI, it is in a growth phase with a lot of potential for the future.

Thanks to Pokorney’s efforts, our industry relationships have improved and solidified, leading to clinical trial work outside of the ACL. In short, he has done an excellent job during his time with the ACL and we know it will be in excellent hands and that he will take it to even greater heights.

Please join us in congratulating Sean!

Rajesh Swaminathan named Chair, SCAI QI Committee

Congratulations to Raj Swaminathan! He has been named chair of the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) Quality Improvement Committee (QIC). SCAI is the international professional society for interventional cardiology, and currently has more than 4,000 members. The SCAI QIC works with internal committees and other professional cardiovascular organizations to establish procedural standards for coronary, structural, and peripheral procedures. Swaminathan has been an active member of the QIC since 2012, when Sunil Rao served as Chair. Some of the projects he has completed through the QIC include establishing protocols for best practices in the Cardiac Cath Lab, leading a collection of QI Toolkit Modules, developing educational modules for the SCAI PAD Resource Center, and contributing to several consensus documents on device selection for treatment of PAD.

Raj is currently the co-Chair of the QIC and will now serve a two-year term as its Chair.  If any faculty or fellows are interested in getting involved with SCAI or the QI Committee, please contact him directly to learn more.

Way to represent Duke Heart, Raj!

Adam DeVore to take on new Role.

Adam DeVore will assume the role of Associate Medical Director of Heart Transplantation, joining Chet Patel (Medical Director) and Jacob Schroder (Surgical Director) in leading this large and rapidly growing program. The heart transplant program is a national leader in clinical care, research, teaching, and innovation.
Congratulate Adam when you see him.


Fellows’ Journal Club Kick Off

Many thanks to Jon Piccini for hosting our first fellows’ journal club of the year on Monday evening. Zak Loring did a great job presenting the RACE 7 ACWAS trial comparing early versus delayed cardioversion for early onset atrial fibrillation. A great discussion was had by all.

Our next fellows’ journal club will be on September 26 hosted by Svati Shah with discussion led by Navid Nafissi.




EP/Cath Waiting Area Renovation Update

Construction that began earlier this year to renovate and enhance the waiting area for the Adult Cardiac Catheterization and Electrophysiology Labs on the 7th floor of Duke University Hospital is going well! We are entering phase two of the construction project and expect to reach completion by the end of November. We are happy to report that a portion of the new space is already in use; patients and their families are able to utilize a section of the new waiting area, which holds 23 seats as well as a consult room. It looks beautiful, and is sure to enhance overall waiting area comfort and privacy.

You will continue to see changes to the hallway over the coming weeks. If you have any questions regarding this project, please contact Greg Shelton, Administrative Director for the Cardiovascular Invasive Labs.

Shown here are the new consult room and a section of the new waiting area. Great job, everyone!




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