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Duke Heart Update March 15th 2020

Chief’s message: Quickly Changing Times.

What a difference a week makes?  Last Saturday we had the Duke vs. UNC game and a sense that the COVID-19 virus would require some changes in our life and practice of medicine, but an amazing amount of change has occurred in one week.  The NBA followed by the NCAA and all major league sporting events have been cancelled.  All organized events with 50 people are cancelled and many Universities have sent students home, state schools are shutting down, and we are coming to terms with a new life.  We have started to quickly learn terms like social distancing, flattening the curve of the spread, and mitigating the accumulated risk to our population, patients, and our team.  Potentially the hardest for many of us in healthcare is balancing the need and want to help care for patients and to support efforts against the pandemic while determining the most efficient way and safest way to do this.  Additionally, we are also advising non-medical family and friends and sometimes describing the world we live in to our children.  So take the time this Sunday to spend a moment with those that you care about and think about ways in which we can all lean in to help our community and country fight this pandemic.  For many it will be coming up with a routine that allows some sense of normalcy while you spend time at home with family, food, and activity.  For our members on the Duke Heart Care teams, administrative and support staff, thank you all for the offers to support, the willingness to immediately organize and volunteer to step in for others, and most of all for caring for our patients and each other.  In the upcoming weeks we will have some trying times to get through, but as I often humbly say, I would not choose any other cardiovascular group in the world that I would want to be a part of to take care of patients, teach the next generation, and learn and shape the future of CV research.  There is some hope in our local and national communities around the concerted efforts of Duke Health, the PDC, and NC public Health groups.  See the figures included that show the case counts in the US similar to Italy but the case fatality rate to date closer to South Korea.  Additionally, we know as of 5 pm Sunday that the number of cases in NC is 32. According to NC Department of HHS, the state is operating as if it has community spread, but as of today all of the positive cases in North Carolina can be traced to a known positive contact. Below you will find some COVID-19 Resources and updates on the Duke Heart Activities this week.

COVID-19 Resources

All the latest official information regarding coronavirus/COVID-19 response for Duke Health entities is available on the Duke Health intranet site (NET ID required). Consistency in messaging is imperative, so please refer to the resources there for the latest information and policy updates.

  • The COVID-19 Leadership Taskforce is sending periodic emails with summaries of the latest updates. They’re short and informative – be on the lookout.
  • Additional restrictions on hospital and clinic visitors go into effect Monday, March 16.
  • You should receive a Learning Management System e-mail notification with a link to an important workforce capabilities questionnaire. Please complete ASAP.
  • Zoom video conferencing service is now available to anyone at Duke who needs access. (There are important restrictions regarding meetings that may include PHI, so review before using.)
  • Check out this handy tech resource list (NET ID required) offered by our colleagues with DHTS. It includes a particularly useful Technology Guide for Working Remotely.

Information for patients appears on DukeHealth.org; alerts are being shared via Duke MyChart and email. Information specific to Duke University’s coronavirus response can be found here.


Managing in Uncertain Times

An article in this week’s Leadership Café had some great tips for self-care. So we’ll pause for a mental health break with Michael Nanna’s new puppy, a shot of Bosco and… an Oak Island sunset.  Social isolation with pets, walks and sometime to catch up with others via phone are all good ways to be well.


Good Catch, Mitchell!

Please insert 1 photo of Mitchell here

Erica Mitchell with the heart transplant team received a “good catch award” on Thursday. She recognized that ordered labs were not done on transplant evaluation cases. Turned out there was an error in an order set. This has now been fixed and patients receive the appropriate care. Great job and congratulations, Erica! Many thanks to Murat Fudim for the head’s up!

ACC.20/WCC Goes Virtual

The free ACC.20/WCC Virtual Experience will take place Saturday, March 28 – Monday, March 30 and will offer three days of science and learning, with “live” access to 23 educations sessions that include Late-Breaking Clinical Trials, Featured Clinical Research, Young Investigator Awards and keynotes. If you were notified that you’ve been selected as a virtual presenter, please let either Jennifer Rumbach or Tracey Koepke know. Thank you!


Upcoming Opportunities/Save the Date:

Cardiology Grand Rounds

Upcoming Grand Rounds:

  • Cancelled through April
  • May 12: Michelle Kittleson, Cedars Sinai
  • May 19: Mark Newman, University of Kentucky
  • May 26: Svati Shah


Duke-J&J Nurse Leadership Program Accepting Applications

The Duke-Johnson & Johnson Nurse Leadership Program is now accepting applications for the 2020-21 program year. Advanced practice nurses (APNs) and their team members–committed to collaborating together on a health improvement initiative–are invited to participate in this program. The 10-month leadership development program trains APNs and their team members to be better equipped to meet the challenges of the evolving health care environment. Up to 35 health care teams will be selected to participate for the 2020-21 program year.

The application period will close May 11. Read more about the application process.

Informational webinars about the program will be held via Zoom 12-1 p.m. ET Tuesday, March 10 and 12-1 p.m. ET Thursday April 16.


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:


March 9 — Jonathan Piccini


People with Atrial Fibrillation Who Get Regular Exercise May Live Longer Life

People with Atrial Fibrillation Who Get Regular Exercise May Live Longer Life


March 10 — Jonathan Piccini and Christopher Granger

The Washington Post

Even with atrial fibrillation, exercise linked to longer life



March 10 — Christopher Granger


Further Support for Limiting Antiplatelets in AFib: GARFIELD-AF



March 11 — Manesh Patel


Apixaban Preferable to Rivaroxaban in AF?



March 12 — John Alexander and Michel Zeitouni

tctMD/the heart beat

New ARISTOTLE Data ‘Reassuring’ on Lower Apixaban Dose


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