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Duke Heart Week ending April 12th 2020

Chief’s message:

The last few months have pushed our country and healthcare system in many ways.  Hopefully, you all had a happy holiday weekend with some time to spend with family and friends.  These trying times have increased our appreciation for the opportunities and moments we have together.  This time of year is often a time of reflection.  The people in the Division of Cardiology and the Heart Center have responded to the crisis with characteristic teamwork, persistence, and creativity.  Thank you all for your continued support in carrying for our patients and each other.

Updates of the week:

Meyer Leaving Duke Heart; Heading to Prisma Health

Maggie Meyer, an administrative director with Duke Heart, is heading to Greenville, SC for the next step in her career. Beginning in May, she will join Prisma Health as Director of Executive Projects and will report to their Chief Clinical Officer. Prisma Health is the largest not-for-profit hospital organization in South Carolina.

Meyer has worked on a number of significant projects for Duke Heart, including analyses of bed capacity for Heart Services to ensure our program growth would align with long-term bed allocations as Duke Hospital grows; helping establish the Heart Safe Choices program; assisting with the bundled payment and care redesign efforts across heart services, and helping set up the Duke Heart Incubator in order to create pathways for new ideas to get launched at Duke.

Most recently, she worked to get our Mobile Cardiac Rehab app built and launched (just in time for the COVID-19 pandemic!) and helped institute a program for iPad use in the ICU so that patients could be in touch with loved ones during the pandemic.

Many of you have had the opportunity to work with Maggie over the years and know that she is an extremely caring, conscientious and dedicated person who is always looking for how she can help others.

“Over her time at Duke, she has helped countless people with projects big and small, always with the same willingness to simply make a difference for our teams and our patients,” says Sean Sondej, vice president of Heart Services. “She is someone that you can immediately trust at all levels and she made us better as a team. I couldn’t be more confident that Maggie will continue to make a difference in the lives of the people she works with and for, and that she knows that we’ll all always be here to connect, support, and cheer her on.”

Meyer has been with Duke for seven years. She served as an Administrative Fellow and as a Strategic Services Associate prior to being named an Administrative Director in 2015. Her last day with us will be Friday, April 17.

Please join us in wishing her the very best in her new endeavor! She will be missed. We hope to have a gathering this summer, when she returns for a visit to Duke and the rules for social distancing are hopefully long behind us.

It’s Official! SOM Faculty Awards Announcement

The School of Medicine formally announced their 2020 Spring faculty awards earlier this week. You can read the entire article here. We are so proud of Mike Sketch, Larry Crawford and Tracy Wang for their accomplishments and for this well-deserved recognition.

Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award

Michael Sketch

Michael Sketch has been named one of the recipients of the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award, which is designed to recognize compassion and sensitivity in the delivery of healthcare. This award is presented annually to a faculty member who demonstrates outstanding compassion in the delivery of care; respect for patients, their families, and healthcare colleagues; as well as demonstrated clinical excellence. The Arnold P. Gold Foundation sponsors this annual award for a faculty member from 99 of the nation’s medical schools.



Excellence in Professionalism Award

Lawrence Crawford has been named one of the recipients of the Excellence in Professionalism Award, which recognizes the

Lawrence Crawford

importance of promoting ethical and professional behavior within our community.  This award is presented to those who exemplify professionalism and personifies Duke’s guiding principles of respect, trustworthiness, diversity, teamwork, and learning.

Research Mentoring Awards

The Research Mentoring Awards recognize faculty members in the School of Medicine for excellence in research mentoring.  Excellence can be demonstrated in many ways such as by the accomplishments of individual mentees, by programs implemented by the mentor, or by exceptional creativity in mentoring. This year, the recipient of the Early Career Mentoring Award in Clinical – Population Health Science is Tracy Yu-Ping Wang.

Congratulations to all three of you!

Tracy Yu-Ping Wang


COVID-19 & CVD Algorithm

We want to thank all members of the Duke Heart team who have helped us formulate a management strategy for the cardiovascular complications of patients with COVID-19. We hope this will be a valuable tool to front-line providers, as we prepare for a possible increase in cases in the coming weeks. The full written document will be available to the division soon.Please let Manesh Patel or Rahul Loungani know if you have any questions or feedback.

Shout-out for Meyer, Carroll & ICU iPad Project Team

Hat tip to Maggie Meyer, Maria Carroll, Mollie Kettle, Kelly Kester, Bradi Granger and Allen Cadavero for their work on the ICU “virtual visitation” iPad project in Duke Heart. As you know, Duke University Health System implemented a “no visitor” policy on March 23rd due to the pandemic. While stepdown and floor unit patients are likely able to access personal devices to communicate with loved ones, ICU and surgical unit patients are unable to access phones and tablets.

The goal is to pilot use of iPads on 7W and 7700 to facilitate non-COVID, non-isolation patient and family communication while a “no visitor” policy is in place. The project could be expanded to other intensive care units within Duke as appropriate. The group has access to iPads purchased by DHTS for use on special projects during the pandemic.

Connection is a very big deal right now for all of us, but especially so for our cardiac patients recovering in the hospital. This is just one of many ways Duke Heart is working to make things easier for our patients and their loved ones while they’re hospitalized.  Way to go, team!


Shout-outs to Mall, Loungani, Harrington, Blumer & Arps

We’d like to give a shout-out this weekend to Anna Mall, our clinical lead RN in the adult cardiac catheterization lab. Anna volunteered to be on-call for the STEMI team for the first two events in case we had a STEMI come in that was a rule-out COVID. She came in for two STEMIs within the past week and assisted the team to ensure they had the appropriate equipment, ensure staff was comfortable with the process and with donning and doffing, and assisted with running when necessary. Thank you, Anna, for being such a terrific team member and serving in such a valuable capacity for your Duke Heart teammates. Way to go!

A shout-out to Rahul Loungani, one of our cardiology fellows, who has done a great deal of work in helping to develop care pathways around COVID-19 and cardiovascular complications. The cardiology faculty will get to see the results of this work on Tuesday as we discuss deployment plans around COVID.




And some shout-outs for Josephine Harrington (2x!), Vanessa Blumer and Kelly Arps

First, this note from Neel Kapadia, Medical Director, Duke University Health System Transfer Center and Assistant Medical Director, Duke Emergency Department, which was shared with us thanks to Jason Katz and Anna Lisa Crowley:

“I just wanted to take a moment to recognize Josephine Harrington, one of your fellows. Yesterday, there was a post-cardiac arrest patient at Granville who they were struggling with managing. I spoke with Josephine to help get the patient transferred and she was very willing to be flexible and helpful in facilitating the transfer. I had the opportunity to meet her yesterday, and thank her personally, but I wanted to share with you as well.”

Second, this note from Rob Harrison to Anna Lisa Crowley and Manesh Patel:

“I want to share some mega kudos for Vanessa Blumer, Kelly Arps, and Joey Harrington on their performance in the CICU this week. We have, as expected, taken on more general MICU type cases this week as other ICUs have taken on more COVID patients or reserved more beds for COVID rule out. All three of the fellows have been extremely receptive to other units sending patients to us, and very willing to take non-cardiac transfers from outside hospitals. They are also providing very high-level medical ICU care and intern/resident teaching – reminding me that our cardiology trainees are already world class internal medicine physicians.”

Indeed, our trainees truly are world-class. Each one of you is a shining example of this profession and we are proud to have all of you as members of our Duke Heart team.


7 East Team Spreads Cheer

Many thanks to the 7 East/CT Surgery Stepdown Unit staff for taking time to gather a bunch of snacks and gifts to share with Duke team members who are caring for COVID-positive patients on other units at Duke University Hospital. The group donated to 3200, 8200, 6E and the emergency department.

“Our nursing staff know just how stressful everything has been lately,” Ciarra Ashley, 7E clinical lead RN shared. “The thing that amazes me about the 7 East staff is that they constantly think of others and realize that in the end we are all in this together.”

Nicely done! Way to represent Duke Heart!!!

ICYMI: Palliative Care & Heart Failure

Congratulations to Shelley Thompson, Cary Ward, Midge Bowers and Tony Galanos for their article, Impact of a Palliative Care Education Module in Patients With Heart Failure, published in the April 9 issue of American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Well done!


ICYMI: AHA EPI/LIFESTYLE 2020 Scientific Sessions

Congratulations to Carolyn Lekavich and Bill Kraus for their abstract, Early Recognition of Heart Failure With Preserved Ejection Fraction (HFpEF): Ventricular Elastance as a Predictive Marker for Prevention and Treatment, which was presented last month at the American Heart Association’s EPI/LIFESTYLE 2020 Scientific Sessions. The meeting was held March 3-6 at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix in collaboration with the AHA Council on Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health and the Council on Epidemiology and Prevention. Nice work!


Kids Got Cabin Fever? Maybe YOU Have Cabin Fever…?

The American Heart Association has a suggestion… With students and families across the country adjusting to a new e-learning environment, keeping children physically active and mentally engaged is more important than ever. Enter Kids Heart Challenge Virtual, a 10-day program inviting families to “Kick Cabin Fever to the Curb!” Highlights include engaging in a daily physical activity challenge, practicing kindness and preparing heart-healthy meals together, while continuing to support the American Heart Association.  The 10-Day Challenge has been created to help parents keep kids occupied, entertained, and healthy during school closures.

You’ll receive daily challenge emails loaded with quality content for you to engage with your kids. The content within the daily challenge email messages will help prioritize mental and physical health with four key areas of focus:

  • The physical activity prompts help pass the time with activities such as hide and seek, yoga, gardening, rope jumping tricks or a dance party.
  • The community skills components allow participants to learn Hands-Only CPR, the warning signs of a stroke, how the heart works and so much more.
  • The personal growth section asks children to reflect on gratitude and individual goal setting.
  • The last component brings the entire family together for kid-friendly cooking and meaningful discussion topics such as how heart disease has touched their family.

To learn more, click here and then, search your child’s school to sign up with your school or if you can’t find your school and want to sign up for Kick Cabin Fever to the Curb, type Finn’s Mission into the search box and join Finn’s team!

Note from Tracey and Manesh: if you participate in any of the above, send us some photos for Pulse!

COVID-19 Updates:

All the latest official DUHS information regarding coronavirus/COVID-19 response at the following locations:


Upcoming Opportunities/Save the Date:

Cardiology Grand Rounds

Cardiology Grand Rounds are cancelled through May, with the exception of internal faculty gatherings to discuss information related to COVID-19. Invitations to those will come via Outlook.

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:


April 3 — John Alexander and Renato Lopes

tctMD/the heart beat

Aspirin Okay for Up to 30 Days in A-fib Patients After ACS or PCI: AUGUSTUS


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