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Highlights of the Week – February 23rd 2020

Chief’s message:

How do we keep up with it all?

Every week I am asked how do you/we keep track of all the things that the Cardiology Division, Duke Heart is doing.  In fact, this is often after someone has highlighted either something that we missed or something that we were able to capture and highlight for our faculty and friends of Duke Heart.  This weekend for instance – we had the following events:

  • The Duke Cardio-Oncology Symposium with Oncology leaders like Susan Dent partnering with Chiara Melloni, Michel Khouri, Igor Klem and others to present the evolving science and care to 151 registrants
  • Visit from Richard Schatz, a duke medical student and mentee of Joe Kisslo, who gave a great talk Friday night to faculty and fellows on his toughest cases including lessons learned. Amazing cases, saves, and technology in one of our Pioneers in interventional Medicine
  • CRT Meeting in Washington DC with many of our Faculty and Fellows attending – including a Shock Symposium on Saturday with Sunil Rao, Mitch Kruckoff, Marc Samskey, Jason Katz, Jacob Schroder and other in attendance.
  • American College of Cardiology SAP and MOC question writing in DC with Cary Ward and Maitreya Thakkar attending
  • CTO2020 meeting in NYC with Izzy Othman and others in attendance
  • Duke playing Virginia Tech at Home with lots of enthusiasm and interest after our last game against NC State.

Of course this list is not complete and doesn’t capture all the faculty and fellows who were on-call and taking care of the sick patients that we all strive to help.  I got so see several of them in action on STEMI call this weekend and would say again – we are blessed by the faculty, fellows, and staff that we have the opportunity to work with.

Nevertheless, its humbling to see the amazing interactions, impact and passion that turns into action from Duke Heart.  Each week Tracey Kopke diligently helps me try to wrangle all the stories and news and we hope that this brief update and set of highlights provides all with a bit of community to share and celebrate our collective work.

Highlights of the week:

U.S. News/Best Hospitals Voting is Open

Voting is now open in Doximity for U.S. News & World Report “Best Hospitals”. Please visit your Doximity account and enter your vote. Thank you!

Sketch to Receive Humanism in Medicine Award

We are pleased to announce that Michael Sketch has been selected as a recipient of the 2020 Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award. This award is sponsored by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation and has been supported by Leonard Tow since 2003. Winners of this award demonstrate compassion in the delivery of care, respect for patients, their families, and healthcare colleagues, as well as clinical excellence. The committee found this year’s nominees exceptionally impressive, making it extremely difficult to select just one recipient for this award, so the committee decided to award the prize this year to two recipients (Sketch and Adeyemi Olufolabi of Duke Anesthesiology).

The award will be presented by Dean Mary Klotman at the annual Spring Faculty Celebration, which will be held at the Doris Duke Center, Duke Gardens on May 5.

We can think of no better choice for this award. Congratulations, Mike! You are a gifted clinician and a wonderful colleague.


Wrapping Up Heart Month

This is the last week of February… Thanks again to all of you who have helped celebrate Heart Month throughout Duke! Every single member of the Duke Heart team is a contributor to our success – from those who schedule appointments to those checking patients in; from those who transport them, to those providing imaging tests and direct care; from those who keep calendars for our busy MDs, to those who collect and interpret data for the many registries in which we participate; from those who schedule OR time to those who are managing our spaces and teams within the clinics and hospitals; from those who help support us with grants and contracts to those who mentor trainees…

We could go on, but you get the picture: we’re a huge squad doing some pretty amazing work. Maybe take a minute to recognize one another for the good stuff. You could make someone’s day!

Many thanks to our team in Lumberton for sharing some of their heart month photos with us! Chris Walters was the guest speaker at a community event held on Thursday, Feb. 13 at Biggs Park Mall. He presented “Heart Disease: Fact or Fiction” and participated in a community mall walking event called “Walk with a Doc”. The event was offered as part of a health fair sponsored by Southeastern Health. Walters is a Duke cardiologist providing non-Invasive cardiology services at Southeastern Health hospital’s Heart & Vascular clinic.

And finally, a shout-out to Jill Engel and Manesh Patel for sporting their red footwear during February!


CTICU Earns AACN Beacon Award, Gold Level

The Duke Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit (CTICU) at Duke University Hospital has earned a gold-level Beacon Award of Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN).

The Beacon Award for Excellence — a significant milestone on the path to exceptional patient care and healthy work environments — recognizes unit caregivers who successfully improve patient outcomes and align practices with AACN’s six Healthy Work Environment Standards. Units that achieve this three-year, three-level award with gold, silver or bronze designations meet national criteria consistent with Magnet® Recognition, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and the National Quality Healthcare Award.

The AACN will honor the Duke CTICU and other Beacon Award for Excellence recipients with announcements in AACN Bold Voices, their monthly magazine, and will honor awardees at the 2020 National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition (NTI), the world’s largest educational conference and trade show for nurses who care for acutely and critically ill patients and their families. The NTI will be held May 4-7 in Indianapolis.

This is an outstanding achievement by the Duke CTICU. They earned the gold-level as first time applicants! There are more than 150 RNs on this unit, plus pharmacists, intensivists, surgeons, respiratory therapists, perfusionists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, nutritionists and other staff members who comprise the CTICU team at Duke. This is a great example of Duke Heart teamwork in action.

The Duke CTICU is currently the only Beacon Award recipient unit at Duke. They are one of nine gold level ranked units, and one of only two ICU units, in North Carolina. To see a list of Beacon units, please visit: http://bit.ly/32kM4Xk.

Wonderful job, CTICU team. You make us proud!


Shah Elected to AAP

Congratulations to Svati Shah for her recent election to the Association of American Physicians (AAP). The AAP was established in 1885 as an elected society of America’s leading physician-scientists who exemplify the pinnacle of pioneering and enduring, impactful contributions to improve health. It was established by seven physicians, including Dr. William Osler and Dr. William Henry Welch, for “the advancement of scientific and practical medicine.” The competitively selected membership currently includes more than 1700 active members and approximately 600 emeritus and honorary members from across the world. The current AAP president is none other than Duke’s Mary Klotman.

This is great news and well deserved, Svati!



Shout-Out to Southpoint Sonography/CDU team

Thanks to a note from Andrew Wang to Sreekanth Vemulapalli, we learned about the great teamwork shown by our sonographers and CDU team – this time at the Southpoint clinic.

“Just want to give some positive feedback for the sonographers and CDU staff at Southpoint clinic. In the last two days, there have been three cases where I’ve been very impressed with the quality and access of echo studies:

  • Patient who came for TTE to r/o structural heart issue and the images were so thorough and high quality, including visualization of the coronary ostia origins as requested. Had exercise treadmill test too. Jamie also called me about the results in real time. Family member commented on how attentive staff was.
  • Patient for whom we made a late request for stress echo which was performed with very helpful info
  • Late request for echo (during snow fall, no less!) to evaluate AS severity b/c of patient travel distance; echo was done

“Please extend my appreciation to the staff.  Also, as we think about CDU services at other clinics in the near future, hopefully this level of clinical care can be duplicated in those new settings.”

A big shout out to the full sonography and CDU team at Southpoint clinic! Shown here are a few of the team members: (L-R) Noelle Abbott, Amanda Morley, Stephen Shipman, Brenda Sedberry, Carter Davis, Jayne Cleve. Way to go, everyone!

Thakkar, Ward Serving on ACC SAP MOC Committee

Maitreya Thakkar was recently invited to become a performance question writer for the American College of Cardiology Self-Assessment Program Maintenance of Certification (SAP MOC) exams. The performance question writer committee is at the Heart House in Washington this weekend. Thakkar says it was a pleasant surprise when he met Cary Ward at the airport on his way to DC. Ward has been on the SAP MOC committee as a question writer and is it the same sub-group as Thakkar this weekend. “It has been a great experience being on the other side writing, reviewing and editing the questions,” Thakkar wrote to us. “Appreciate the support and encouragement from Cary. Proud to be a part of such a wonderful group of people at Duke!”



Duke CTSI Expansion

Duke Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) celebrated their expansion with a ribbon cutting and celebration on Wednesday, Feb. 19 on the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis, NC. Duke doubled its presence on the campus to 10,100 square feet, all of it home to the Translational Population Health Research Center, or “TransPop.”

Read more about it here. Congratulations to Kristin Newby, Ebony Boulware and team. Great job!


Heart Transplant Team Celebration

As we mentioned a few weeks ago, the Duke Heart Transplant team in 2019 performed the highest number of heart transplants in the history of the program. As a combined adult, pediatric and multi-visceral program, the team performed over 90 heart transplant procedures.

The outcomes of these procedures have, to date, been excellent. They continue to expand their experience with transplantation in patients with congenital heart disease and use of the Transmedics Organ Care System. The team also became the first program in the U.S. to perform a Donation after Circulatory Death heart transplant and have completed five such procedures.

These are significant accomplishments due in no small part to incredible teamwork and a foundation of surgical and medical excellence built over many decades at Duke. In celebration of their banner year, the team held a celebration Thursday, Feb. 13 at Cucciolo Osteria in Durham. Incredible work, team!


ACC Scientific Sessions

Are you presenting at the ACC 2020 Scientific Sessions in Chicago? Please drop a note to Tracey Koepke, director of communications so that she can track your work. If you are on a late-breaker and you think there may be some press coverage, give her a head’s up. Thanks!

Upcoming Opportunities/Save the Date:

Cardiology Grand Rounds

This week we’ll be having a faculty meeting. Please join us on Tuesday, Feb. 25 at 7:15 a.m., DN 2003.

Upcoming Grand Rounds:

  • March 3: Anthony Carnicelli, Clinical Reasoning Conference
  • March 10: Heart Center Grand Rounds
  • March 17: Faculty Meeting at 5 p.m.
  • March 24: Carolyn Lam, Duke-NUS
  • April 14: Ryan Tedford, MUSC
  • May 12: Michelle Kittleson, Cedars Sinai


Update: ACC DCRI/Duke Heart Annual Reception

We are looking forward to seeing the Duke team at the upcoming ACC Scientific Sessions in Chicago! The location of the DCRI/Duke Heart annual reception has changed. It will be held in the Regency A Ballroom. Please make sure you update your calendar! Also, gentle reminder, this is a Duke-only event.

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:


February 14 — Renato Lopes


GI Bleeding on Oral Anticoagulants in Atrial Fib Foremost a Colon Cancer Red Flag



February 15 — Monique Starks

ThePilot.com (Southern Pines, NC)

Column: Do You Have the Heart for Life Quality Over Quantity?



February 17 — Andrea Coviello (Endocrinology)

WRAL Tech Wire

Personalized digital wellness helping people prevent, manage chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease



February 19 — Brett Atwater


Declining Physical Activity May Herald HF Hospitalization, Death



February 20 — Manesh Patel

MDmag.com/HCP Live

Manesh Patel, MD: Lessons Learned from the Beaumont Conference



February 20 — L. Kristin Newby and Ebony Boulware

Salisbury Post

Duke University doubles office space at NC Research Campus in Kannapolis

Duke University doubles office space at NC Research Campus in Kannapolis

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