Home » Uncategorized » Duke Heart Highlights week ending February 9th 2020

Duke Heart Highlights week ending February 9th 2020

Highlights of the week:

AHA Go RED for Women: Wear Red Day

Thanks to all those who wore red on Friday (Feb. 7) to support Wear Red Day! Here are a few shots shared by our team members throughout Duke Heart.

February is heart month, so keep sharing your photos with us as you find ways to celebrate!

Also on Friday, Neha Pagidipati was the guest speaker at the American Heart Association Triangle area Go Red Breakfast. Thank you for representing Duke Heart!

Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week

This week is Congenital Heart Defect Awareness week (Feb. 7-14) and we’d like to give a big shout-out to Andrew Lodge, Rachel Gambino, Chris Lappe and Michelle Figuerres who just returned from a medical mission trip in La Paz, Bolivia. The team travelled to the Hospital del Nino in La Paz under the sponsorship of Gift of Life International to provide heart defect surgery to underprivileged children who otherwise would not receive this type of care. The team performed ten surgeries in five days (nine pump cases and one coarctation).

Upon their return, Dr. Lodge shared the following about his team members with their respective leadership within Duke Heart:

Rachel Gambino, perfusionist: “First, it was an absolute pleasure to work with her. Second, her preparation for the mission was meticulous. She looked into every conceivable detail before we left and spent weeks salvaging tubing that would have been otherwise discarded to bring with her to construct circuits and/or donate to the hospital there. Third, on site she was extremely conscientious in her preparation for each case and worked seamlessly with the local perfusionist there (who was also excellent). Rachel shared much of her knowledge and practice with Valeria, her Bolivian counterpart, but did so in a constructive and educational manner, never making the local staff feel inadequate or substandard in any way. She was able to troubleshoot any problems that arose, including adapting to the high altitude physiology that we encountered. (La Paz is at about 12,000 feet above sea level)

Chris Lappe, respiratory therapist:  “From the first day, he made an immediate impact on the care of the patients in the ICU. Not only did he help to take care of the patients that underwent surgery as part of the mission, but he also participated in the care of all of the other patients in the unit. Two notable examples were his involvement with a chronically ventilated patient who underwent heart surgery in October of last year and a patient who had repair of a tracheo-esophageal fistula some weeks ago. This latter infant has had problems with right lung collapse and the surgical team was contemplating pneumonectomy. Within hours of Chris’ involvement with the patient, the lung was re-expanded. He worked tirelessly throughout the mission, frequently putting in 14 hour days, and worked seamlessly with the local staff and the rest of our team.”



Michelle Figuerres, OR nurse: “Michelle has accompanied our team on previous mission trips to the Philippines. To her credit and as an indicator of her level of performance on these prior missions, she was requested by name by the sponsoring organization for this trip. She spent weeks ahead of time gathering supplies and helped me tremendously by keeping a detailed inventory for us and for the sponsor. Her performance in the OR was excellent as usual. She also worked closely with the local operating room staff. She had a big impact on their practice there, helping them to learn how to set up for a case quickly and efficiently to the point that they now will be comfortable using one scrub nurse instead of two for cardiac cases.”


Our congenital heart surgery team is incredibly gifted. Thank you for all that you do to make Duke Heart one of the premiere programs in the country and for sharing your gifts with those who would not otherwise receive this type of care. Way to go!

Heart Failure Awareness Week

This week also happens to be Heart Failure Awareness Week (Feb. 9-15). In recognition of our heart failure team and the work they do, we’d like to share that in 2019, the Duke Heart Transplant Program transplanted 93 people and led the nation with innovative techniques such as donation after circulatory death (DCD) transplantation. This was our highest volume year for heart transplants since the program began in 1985 and we have now successfully transplanted just over 1,400 people.

Another impressive fact? The team implanted 102 HeartMate 3 Left Ventricular Assist Devices (LVADs), making Duke the largest LVAD center by volume in the United States. Amazing work continues to be done at Duke on behalf of patients with heart failure!

If you’re on Twitter, share your love of our heart failure team this week! #HFWeek2020

Shout-out for Duran

A shout-out this week for cardiology fellow Jessie Duran from Dan Mark:

“I rounded with Jessie Duran on her first ever Duke CICU fellow call day/night a few days ago and just wanted to comment that she hit it out of the park. I am not easily impressed but she handled herself in such a calm, organized, assured way, even teaching a bit on rounds, that I thought I should mention it to you. Her clinical thinking on complex patients is very advanced for her level of training. She did the double black diamond run like she had been skiing it for years.”

Way to go, Jessie! Many thanks to Anna Lisa Crowley for sharing this note with us. Keep up the great work, fellows!


Good Catch Award for Dorris!

Upcoming Opportunities/Save the Date:

Cardiology Grand Rounds

This week, Cary Ward will be speaking on an important topic to the entire division, clinician wellness. The title of her talk is, “Where did all the Wellness Go?” Please join us on Tuesday, Feb. 11 at 7:15 a.m., DN 2003.

Upcoming Grand Rounds:

  • February 18: Chris Longenecker, Case Western
  • March 24: Carolyn Lam, Duke-NUS
  • April 14: Ryan Tedford, MUSC
  • May 12: Michelle Kittleson, Cedars Sinai

Upcoming Duke Heart sponsored CME Events:

February 22: Third Annual Cardio-Oncology Symposium: Improving Cancer Outcomes and Optimizing Cardiovascular Health. Washington Duke Inn & Conference Center, Durham, NC.

April 18:  Seventh Annual Duke Sports Cardiology Symposium. Trent Semans Center, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC. (Registration coming soon.)

May 2: Twentieth Anniversary Andrew G. Wallace Symposium in Preventive Cardiology: My How Times Have Changed. Washington Duke Inn & Conference Center, Durham, NC.

June 4-5: Duke-Stanford Cardiovascular Research Symposium. Trent Semans Center, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC.

July 8: Heart Safe Choices. Trent Semans Center, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC.

Have news to share?

If you have news to share with the Pulse readership, please contact Tracey Koepke, director of communications for Duke Heart at tracey.koepke@duke.edu. We would love to hear about your latest accomplishments, professional news, cool happenings, and any events or opportunities that may be of interest to our Duke Heart family. Please call with any questions: 919-681-2868. Feedback on Pulse is welcome and encouraged.

Duke Heart in the News:

January 31 — Monique Starks

The New York Times

CPR, by Default

January 31 — Yuichiro Yano

Medical News Today

Blood pressure: Why averaging readings may be dangerous


February 4 — Michael Nanna


Why a Woman’s Heart Disease Is Different From a Man’s


February 5 — Duke is mentioned

MD Magazine/HCPLive

Inactivity Causing Problems for Older Adults


1 Comment

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *