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Duke Heart Updates – June 28th 2020

EP Team Conducts First-in-Human Case with HisPro System

Brett Atwater

Duke electrophysiologist Brett Atwater performed the world’s first-in-human use of a new conduction system pacing (CSP) lead implantation system, called the Agilis HisPro, on Friday afternoon at Duke University Hospital. The system was used twice on Friday. The first case was in a patient with an existing defibrillator/pacemaker with a lead in the right ventricular apex. Due to advancing disease of the heart’s natural conduction system, the patient required pacing from this lead and had developed worsening shortness of breath, leg edema and fatigue as a result of worsening heart failure. Atwater hopes that a successful CSP implantation using the HisPro catheter will help the patient regain energy and improvement with their heart failure symptoms. (The second case was performed in a patient receiving their first placement.) Both cases were live-streamed from the Duke EP lab to Abbott Laboratories.

In 2016, Atwater began a protocol in collaboration with Abbott Medical to completely rethink the design of CSP implantation equipment. The team used previously acquired CT data to reconstruct 3-dimensional models of a variety of patient anatomies, simulating the variations seen in the normal course of patient care (photo 1). Scientists at Abbott medical then used 3D printing to produce replicas of our patients hearts, complete with valves, ridges, and veins entering and arteries leaving the heart chambers. The location of the conduction system, acquired from prior electrophysiological testing was then marked carefully inside the models (photo 2). Using these 3-dimensional models, production engineers then designed a variety of catheter shapes and tested them with thought leaders from around the world.

The final design, now known as the Agilis HisPro catheter (photo 3) received FDA 510k approval two weeks ago. The design incorporates active catheter deflection and mapping electrodes to identify the characteristic electrical signals produced by the conduction system.  By using the electrical signals identified on the HisPro sheath electrodes, we believe the implantation should be faster, use less radiation, and have a higher likelihood of success compared to CSP implantation procedures using existing implantation systems.

This is a huge achievement and reflects years of work, persistence, and innovative creativity. Atwater helped design and develop this catheter, including its pre-clinical work in animal models. Approximately 50 labs were competing to get this distinction. This is a terrific accomplishment and wonderful example of the incredible work taking place within Duke Electrophysiology. Great job and congratulations, Brett!


Duke EP Performs First NC Use of SBRT to Treat VT Patient

Two weeks ago, our Duke EP team celebrated another remarkable first – two years in the making and under the stewardship of Al Sun, Jason Koontz, Zak Loring and Manisha Palta (radiation oncology), the Duke team successfully performed Duke’s first non-invasive Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) treatment of refractory ventricular tachycardia (VT).

The use of SBRT at Duke is not new, of course. This technology is used daily for the treatment of patients with brain tumors and other cancers. However, the use in patients with hard to reach and/or difficult to treat arrhythmias such as refractory VT has only been done at a few select centers worldwide. This is the first time the treatment has been used for a VT patient in North Carolina.

The team performed their case on Thursday, June 18 in a patient for whom no other treatments were working, and the patient was experiencing daily runs of irregular rhythms, not improving and feeling awful. The EP team was basically out of options and, after lengthy discussions with the patient and their family members, opted to try SBRT.

We look forward to sharing more on this story in the coming weeks. We know the availability of SBRT to our EP team will be great benefit to our patients with VT that is resistant to antiarrhythmic drug therapy and catheter ablation. Congratulations to the EP team for their outstanding dedication in seeking new ways to provide help to Duke Heart patients. You’re doing incredible work!


Lewis Named Director, Lead Management Program for Duke EP

We are pleased to announce that Robert Lewis, MD, PhD will be assuming the role of Director of the Lead Management Program in the Division of Cardiology and Duke Heart Center, which was effective last week. Lewis completed his electrophysiology fellowship at Duke and worked at the University of Alabama at Birmingham after fellowship before returning to Duke in 2015.  The Duke Lead Management team, comprised of Linda Lewek, RN; the Duke CT Surgery and Anesthesia programs; Jonathan Piccini, MD, MHS; Donald Hegland, MD; Sean Pokorney, MD, MHS; and Dr. Lewis, have made several important contributions to the field, including pioneering the implementation of CT imaging to facilitate procedural planning and safety of lead extraction. They are recognized authorities in lead extraction and host highly regarded quarterly on-site training sessions with U.S.-based and international attendees.

We thank Dr. Piccini as the outgoing director of the Lead Management Program, a role he assumed in 2013. His leadership has been instrumental in building the lead management program at Duke to its current status as a world leader in both research and clinical volume.  We are excited to benefit from Dr. Lewis’ continued vision for the lead management program, from a programmatic, clinical, research, and educational perspective.

Congratulations Rob!


CVRC’s Headley Family Award Funding Announced

Sudha Shenoy, PhD, has been named the first recipient of the Headley Family Award for research within the Duke Cardiovascular Research Center (CVRC). The award to Shenoy, in collaboration with Jon Campbell, PhD, of the Duke Molecular Physiology Institute, is for her project ‘A novel approach to treat Diabetes Mellitus: Modulation of glucagon receptor ubiquitination.’

The project is focused on how a particular protein tag called ubiquitin can effect certain types of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and how they communicate signals. Her lab has been exploring how ubiquitin tagging affects the glucagon receptor (a type of GPCR), which regulates blood glucose levels. While doing so, they stumbled upon a new and unexpected finding that had not happened with other GPCRs they’ve tested.

“This award comes at a time where we have sort of stumbled onto a new finding that is of great interest to me, and there was no external funding available to support further investigation,” said Shenoy, an associate professor of medicine in the Duke division of cardiology. “I cannot put into words just how good this timing is for me, for my lab and for my work. I’m very happy and grateful to receive this funding.”

The funding is particularly important with suspension of research due to COVID-19.

“Scientific funding is incredibly competitive, says Maria Price-Rapoza, executive director of the Duke CVRC. “To have an additional tier of research support thanks to philanthropic donors is very meaningful, particularly with the impacts that COVID-19 has had on the research community. We are delighted to provide this award to Dr. Shenoy.”

The Headley Family Award was established earlier this year and made possible through the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Harry and Dorothy Headley in support of basic cardiovascular research at Duke. The CVRC used an invited application process which began in early March. The award will provide annual one-year seed grants of $25,000 (plus indirect costs at 15 percent) targeted toward CVRC researchers who are conducting innovative research into the causes and treatment of hypertension, atherosclerosis and related cardiovascular diseases. The Headley’s, who celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary in May, have lived in Durham since 2004. The CVRC is grateful for the support they have provided to our research team.

The award is effective July 1. Congratulations, Dr. Shenoy!


Interventional & Structural Fellows Celebrate Year-End

On Thursday evening, the Duke Interventional Cardiology and the Duke Structural fellowship programs held their annual year-end celebration via Zoom. Schuyler wrapped up his first year as the interventional cardiology fellowship director and did a great job with the event, which included multiple costume changes and a photo montage for each fellow, as well as dinner from Convivio for each of the honorees.

The 2020 Walter Newman Award, dedicated by Mr. and Mrs. Walter Newman (a patient of Dr. Robert “Jess” Peter), is voted on by the faculty and given annually to the ‘outstanding fellow’, was awarded to Angela Lowenstern.

Congratulations to the completing fellows who were celebrated on Thursday evening:

Adam Banks (Structural); Jennifer Rymer (Interventional); Angela Lowenstern (Interventional); and David Manly (Interventional).

Shout-Out: Good Catch, Newman!

A shout-out this week to Joanna Newman, PA, of the Cardiothoracic Step-Down Unit in Duke University Hospital for her recent Good Catch Award. Her unit was caring for a post-heart surgery patient experiencing hypotension and dwindling urine output. Providers had already tried several things to treat the patient, but issues persisted. Newman’s daytime colleagues had noted their concerns prior to her starting an evening shift with the patient. It occurred to Newman that the patient could be experiencing cardiac tamponade, so she escalated the situation and it was determined that the patient needed to be returned to the OR. Although the Good Catch was awarded to Newman, she is quick to point out that problem-solving for complex patients, including this one, is a “team sport” and that everyone on the unit takes a turn carrying the problem and attempting resolution. We know this is true each and every day in Duke Heart – thank you for the time you and your colleagues took to troubleshoot and think deeply about our patient. Congratulations for this good catch and for the many others that go without an official award!


Poster Presentation, AAPA 2020

Todd McVeigh and Jordan Hausladen, two of our Duke Cardiology APPs, are authors of a poster selected by the American Academy of Physician Assistants for podium presentation at AAPA 2020, which was originally scheduled for May 16-20 in Nashville (but cancelled due to COVID-19). Their poster Developing Standardized Note Templates for Inpatient Rounding Teams was instead presented virtually and can be viewed here: https://www.aapa.org/research/eposters-2020 (scroll to 4th row under ‘workforce gallery). The poster illustrates findings of the Cardiology APP survey data collected regarding documentation templates.

The team sent a survey to inpatient APPs and physicians as well as outpatient APPs in cardiology to get a sense of how people viewed the documentation templates. They then worked with internal teams to determine what was liked/disliked in order to develop a more efficient documentation template that maintained what was needed for compliance and billing purposes.

Results showed that overall, people’s biggest complaint was that the old templates took too long to complete, leading to job dissatisfaction. The new template allows providers to spend less time on notes, which has led to overall better balance between documentation times and actual provision of patient care.

Great work, Jordan and Travis — what a terrific honor to be selected for an AAPA podium presentation! We know you’ve made an even greater impact on your colleagues by helping with their work satisfaction. Way to go!


ICYMI: ACC & SVS Registry Announcement

The American College of Cardiology (ACC) and Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS) announced this week they are collaborating on a single vascular registry to harness the strengths of both organizations in improving care and outcomes of patients with vascular disease.  Effective January 2021, the ACC’s National Cardiovascular Data Registry (NCDR) will collaborate with the SVS Vascular Quality Initiative (VQI) to support and steer a single vascular registry. This registry will be operated by SVS, creating a co-branded VQI program that will be a unique, comprehensive resource for measuring and improving the care provided to a growing population of patients with vascular diseases. To read more about it, visit this article on Healio.


COVID-19 Updates:

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


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:

June 19 — Joseph Rogers

WUNC 91.5/NC Public Radio

NC Hospitals Have Capacity For COVID Patients — For Now



June 19 — Oliver Jawitz


SAVR Following TAVR May Present Extra Risks



June 20 — Sunil Rao

tctMD/the heart beat

Newer TAVR Devices Reassure in Failed Surgical Valves



June 22 — L. Kristin Newby

WBTV (Charlotte, NC)

Duke’s MURDOCK Study launches COVID-19 research in Cabarrus County



June 23 — L. Kristin Newby

WRAL Tech Wire

Duke launches COVID-19 research project in Kannapolis, Cabarrus County



June 24 — Joseph Rogers

Bloomberg Law

Hospitals Are Counting Beds Again With Virus Cases Rising



June 24 — Joseph Rogers


ABC 11 Eyewitness News at 11 p.m.


Week ending June 21st 2020 – Fellow graduation ceremonies, father’s day, and “closing time”

Chief’s message:

Happy Father’s day to all of our fellows, faculty and staff families.  This is an incredibly difficult time within our state and for the country.  Hopefully you all got to spend time with your families and if you are lucky enough – some time to connect with your father.   May be affected by many of the current issues, but I was happy to be able to spend speak with my father and ensure he knows the role model he has been for me.   His work ethic, moral compass, calm demeanor in challenging times, and humor have been the guiding lights.

Highlights of the week:

Duke Cardiology Fellows Celebrate Year-End

On Friday evening, the Duke Cardiology fellowship program held their annual year-end celebration a bit differently this year thanks to COVID-19, but the evening held many surprises and the event will certainly be remembered. The fellows were celebrated by division leadership along with special guest video remarks from guests across the world, including Robert Harrington, Zainab Samad, Ivor Benjamin, Rob Califf, Wayne Batchelor, and Michelle Kittleson, who provided several #kittlesonrules for future guidance, including the recommendation to stay connected to your Duke family and to remember that “bad outcomes will make you grieve; bad decisions will change your practice.” The evening included a special musical performance by Rob Mentz and musical fellows who performed a rewritten version of Semisonic’s “Closing Time” about our collective challenges during the age of COVID, as well as video remarks from all mentors of our completing cardiology fellows. Although we somehow haven’t yet convinced Beyoncé to drop in for one of our events, David Justice joined us with a special tribute for completing fellow Michael Nanna. It was a fun and entertaining event and we thank all who joined us. Kevin Friede, Arlene Martin and Anna Lisa Crowley did an outstanding job with planning the event and video collection and development. Michelle, Vishal and Sipa produced an outstanding fellows video.



















The following year-end awards were presented by the fellows:

  • Outstanding Service Award to Dawne Smith
  • Faculty Teaching Award to Rob Harrison, MD
  • Mentorship Award to Chris Holley, MD, PhD and Neha Pagidipati, MD

And the following awards were presented to our fellows:

  • Walter F. Floyd Award to Rahul Loungani
  • Joseph G. Greenfield Scholar Award to Zak Loring
  • Cassell-Saperstein Award to Jeff Dixson
  • Brandt & Belinda Louie Award to Michael Nanna

Congratulations to the graduating fellows who were celebrated on Friday: Adam Barnett, Eric Black-Maier, Jaidip Chakravartti, Sarah Goldstein, Zak Loring, Rahul Loungani, Michael Nanna, Michael Rehorn, Sounok Sen, and Jedrek Wosik.

We’ll be providing additional information and news on all graduating fellows across the next two weekends, including our extraordinary surgeons who are completing their training with our cardiovascular and thoracic surgery team. It has been an outstanding year!

Duke Cardiac Diagnostic Unit IAC Accreditation

We are pleased to share with you the great news that our Adult Echocardiography Lab and Cardiac Diagnostic Unit has been granted Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) Accreditation for a new three-year period for Adult Echo, Stress Echo, and Transesophageal Echocardiography. There are many factors that contribute to an accurate diagnosis based on echocardiography. The training and experience of the sonographer performing the procedure, the type of equipment used and the quality assessment metrics each facility is required to measure — all contribute to a positive patient outcome.

The process of accreditation includes an intensive application and review process and the team is to be congratulated for all of their hard work. Ashlee Davis, chief technologist in the CDU, said, “Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s accreditation. It really takes a team and there is none better than the CDU! Special thanks to the QA team for pulling this together and getting it submitted even during these turbulent times. We will plan a celebration as soon as we are able.”

IAC accreditation is a “seal of approval” that patients can rely on as an indicator of consistent quality care and a dedication to continuous improvement. Great job, everyone — congratulations!

Shout-out: Cardiac Ultrasound Certificate Program

We’d like to offer a shout-out this week to Richie Palma, director of the Duke Cardiac Ultrasound Certificate Program and Anita Kelsey, medical director of the program. We learned this week that they have filled all eight slots for the inaugural year of the program, which starts with the fall semester. Palma says that although there is still much to do to prepare for the incoming students, he knows it will be an amazing group and a terrific program. Great job!

Anita Kelsey



CYMI: The Mask

Duke Cardiology second-year fellow, Francis Ugowe, has authored a personal commentary, The Mask, published online last week by the American College of Cardiology, in the Fellows In Training section of their website. It is definitely worth reading. Thank you to Francis for adding his important voice to this national conversation on racial injustice.



New Textbook Includes Contributions from Duke Sonographers

Congratulations to Alicia Armour, Jayne Cleve, Ashlee Davis and Richie Palma. Each of these cardiac sonographers are contributors of written chapters in the newly published textbook Basic to Advanced Clinical Echocardiography. A Self-Assessment Tool for the Cardiac Sonographer. Way to go!


8 East and 8 West Relocating to Duke Central Tower

Over the past few weeks, there has been an upward trend of COVID-19 cases at Duke University Hospital and an increase in patients requiring ICU care. To prepare for the surge in patients, DUH leadership has worked closely with the construction team for Duke Central Tower to reprioritize work to transform the new building into a safe environment to care for patients.


This weekend, patients and their care teams on 8 West relocated to the new Duke Central Tower. Patients and care teams on 8 East will move to the Central Tower on Saturday, July 18. This change will allow us DUH to increase ICU capacity by 56 beds.


COVID-19 Updates:

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


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:

June 12 — Guillaume Marquis-Gravel and Sreekanth Vemulapalli

tctMD/the heart beat

Most US Patients Have TAVR Options Nearby, but Proximity Isn’t Everything



June 12 — Pamela Douglas


CT Coronary Angiography More Accurate Than Exercise ECG in Stable Angina



June 16 — Adrian Hernandez

The New York Times

A Mad Scramble to Stock Millions of Malaria Pills, Likely for Nothing


June 16 — Mohammad Shahsahebi (Duke Cancer Institute)


Cardioprotective Meds Underutilized in Patients With Cancer History



June 18 — Joseph Rogers

North Carolina Health News

Amidst COVID-19, some NC hospitals may soon run out of room

Amidst COVID-19, some NC hospitals may soon run out of room

Duke Heart Updates Week ending June 14th 2020

Highlights of the week:

Engel Completes Post-Doctoral Scholars Program

Congratulations to Jill Engel, Associate Vice President for Heart Services for Duke University Health System! In May, Engel completed a one year post-doctoral Quality Implementation Scholar’s program at Duke University School of Nursing. Duke’s program is one of the first in the country and aims to further enhance doctorally-prepared nurses in formal quality improvement and implementation science in health care. The first Duke cohort, which included Engel, was comprised of four Duke Health leaders. Duke Heart’s Dr. Bradi Granger serves as a faculty member supporting the scholars program. Congratulations, Jill!


Shout-out to Vishal Rao!

We heard a wonderful compliment this week regarding Vishal Rao, one of our cardiology fellows. Callie Tennyson wrote, “I wanted to give a shout out to Vishal Rao who was a pleasure to work with on the VAD service the past couple weeks. He took great initiative to provide teaching during rounds while we are orienting a new PA colleague. He even circled back by emailing the papers/resources discussed. The APP team appreciates him!”

Way to go, Vishal! Thanks for all that you do!

Quality Awards from AHA

We are very excited to share with you the following American Heart Association Quality Awards recently achieved by our three Duke University Health System hospitals. These will be formally presented and recognized (virtually) during the AHA’s Quality Awards Celebration on June 24. Congratulations to all Duke Heart members for the work you do to help us achieve these award levels.

The awards are listed by hospital, then AHA program and then the award level.

Duke University Hospital

  • GWTG Heart Failure, Target Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll
  • GWTG Heart Failure, Target HF Honor Roll
  • GWTG Heart Failure, Gold Plus
  • GWTG Stroke, Gold Plus
  • GWTG Stroke, Target Stroke Elite Honor Roll
  • GWTG Stroke, Target Stroke Advanced Therapy Honor Roll
  • GWTG Stroke, Target Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll
  • Mission: Lifeline STEMI, Silver Receiving Plus
  • Mission: Lifeline NSTEMI, Silver

Duke Raleigh Hospital

  • GWTG Stroke, Gold Plus
  • GWTG Stroke, Target Stroke Honor Roll
  • GWTG Stroke, Target Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll

Duke Regional Hospital                    

  • GWTG Stroke, Gold Plus
  • GWTG Stroke, Target Stroke Elite Honor Roll
  • GWTG Stroke, Target Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll


ICYMI: Vascular Nursing Updated Clinical Practice Guidelines

Debra Kohlman-Trigoboff

Congratulations to Deb Kohlman-Trigoboff on her recent publication! She has been serving for the past several years on a team tasked with reviewing and updating the Society for Vascular Nursing’s endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm repair practice guidelines to reflect current evidence-based changes. Their final article has just been published in the Journal of Vascular Nursing. Kohlman-Trigoboff is corresponding author. The article can be accessed by clicking here: Society for Vascular Nursing Endovascular Repair of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Updated Nursing Clinical Practice Guideline. Many thanks to Allen Stephens for bringing this to our attention!



ICYMI: Genomic Medicine Updates: Many thanks to Geoffrey Ginsburg, co-chair and founder of both the Consortium and G2MC, for sharing these items with us!  These updates and work have helped our division and heart center stay connected with the Genomic Medicine Consortium and work going on.

COVID-19 Updates:

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

Upcoming Events & Opportunities

Wednesday, June 17: Walk for Solidarity, 10:30 – 11:00 a.m.

The executive team of Duke Regional Hospital has invited all interested Duke employees to join their Walk for Solidarity event on Wednesday morning. Please gather at the employee entrance near outpatient services just before 10:30 a.m. Employees are invited to walk together in solidarity. Following the walk, Duke Regional Hospital President Katie Galbraith will share brief remarks.

Any team member is welcome to participate, as long as doing so does not disrupt patient care. Managers are asked to work with their teams to ensure essential coverage for clinical areas. If you cannot participate in person, the event will be streamed via Facebook Live on Duke Regional Hospital’s Facebook page and available for later viewing.

Tuesday, June 16: Living While Black, 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.  

The entire Duke community is invited to join this online event with a distinguished group of speakers from our Black community at Duke. Faculty scholars will discuss the background, dimensions and impact of racism and racist policies and structures, and students and staff will share their perspectives and insights. We will also discuss actionable steps to move forward. This will be a first step to fully engage all members of our community to consider new ways to advance Duke’s goals toward achieving racial justice and equity. The details of this event were sent via email to all employees last week.

Registration is required for this online event. If you do not have a Zoom account on duke.zoom.us using your netID[at]duke.edu, you must create an account before registering. Please go to duke.zoom.us and create an account using your netID[at]duke.edu. Then, when registering for the event, it is critical that you use your netID[at]duke.edu email address rather than an alias (e.g., firstname.lastname[at]duke.edu). Please register here.

Sponsored by the Office for Institutional Equity and the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement  

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:

June 5 — Eric Peterson

tctMD/the heart beat

One Less Pill in Elderly Hypertensive Patients Safe in the Short Term


June 7 — Adrian Hernandez

NBC News

Hydroxychloroquine is not dead yet


June 9 — Joseph Rogers


As COVID hospitalizations hit new high, NC hospitals ready to pivot away from less-urgent care


June 9 — Svati Shah


American Association of Physicians Selects 3 Indian Americans as 2020 Members


June 10 — Oliver Jawitz

tctMD/the heart beat

SAVR After Failed TAVR: Rare and Risky, Registry Study Finds


June 11 — Joseph Rogers


State health officials say hospitals can now handle the rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations


Duke Heart Week ending June 7th 2020

Chief’s message:

Another week of challenges to our Duke Heart community from longstanding racial injustice and health inequality to global pandemic.  It was nice to be  taking care of patients in our cath lab and on our wards by weeks end. Great to be with fellows and faculty in working in tangible ways to help our patients.  I am also struck by the end of year festivities and how this year we will have so many of our great resident and fellows moving on at a time of change. More to come on how we aim to make this a fun and memorable experience for our fellows.

This week was notable for awards to some of our great Duke Heart Fellows.  Rahul Loungani received the fellows teaching award from the medical residents.  A well-deserved award that highlights a dedication to educating our residents in medicine. Matthew Carlisle” one of our incoming carediology fellows won the medical student education award – the Appleseed award.  Matt will be joining Duke Cardiology from the residency and we are excited.  A quote on his nomination if found here “Even after the rotation ended, Matt continued to be a mentor. He helped me connect to residents in other fields I was interested in, and even took time on a Saturday to come in and teach me how to suture before I start my surgery rotation. Taking time out of their personal days to teach is by no means something I expect in any resident I work with, but it speaks very highly of Matt’s dedication to his students.”

Finally – the Department of Medicine gave Ralph Corey longstanding Global Health, infectious disease physician and resident / fellow educator the Lifetime Service Award on Friday. Ralph will be retiring to spend time with his family.  He has trained generations of great physicians and we are all indebted to Ralph’s work in both Duke Medicine and with Duke Cardiology residents and fellows.  Zainab Samad now the Chair of Medicine at Aga Khan in Pakistan posted these rules for being a good physician from Ralph Corey.









Highlights of the week:

Shout-outs to Jawitz, Richards

Please join us in congratulating the following Duke Heart team members:

Oliver Jawitz, a Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery resident and a DCRI fellow, has joined the editorial board of the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery as a deputy statistical editor. Terrific news!

Carolyn Richards, our charge nurse for Duke Cardiology at Southpoint, has graduated from the University of Mount Olive RN to BSN program. (She is shown here with Annette Moore). Way to go, Carolyn!!! Special thanks to Christine Beyer-McFarlane for bringing this to our attention.

ICYMI: Genomic Medicine Updates

Nature wrote up a news brief on the International 100K Cohorts Consortium held (virtually) last month. The event featured Francis Collins, Jeremy Farrar, Elias Zerhouni, and Soumya Swaminathan as keynotes. Check it out here.

And Paloma Guzzardo, a molecular biologist, posted a piece on Medium regarding her first experience attending a virtual conference in the age of COVID-19 — the Global Genomic Medicine Collaborative (G2MC).

Both are worth a read! Summaries of both meetings as well as videos and slide decks will be posted to https://g2mc.org.


Safe Choices Update

We have postponed the July 8 and August 19 Heart Safe Choices events due to COVID-19; these will be rescheduled for a later date once we’re able to safely gather together. The Safe Choices event scheduled for November 11 in the Great Hall of the Trent Semans Center has not been changed. If you’d like to register for that event, please visit: https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_byjHXJyNzeulaJv. For more information on Heart Safe Choices, please contact Christy Darnell.


Cardiology Fellowship Dinner: Going Virtual

It’s hard to believe, but another year has come full-circle and we’re getting ready to celebrate our graduating fellows over the next few weeks. Our annual End-of-Year celebration dinner for cardiology fellows – traditionally held at the Washington Duke Inn – will instead be a “virtual banquet” held online Thursday, June 19 at 6 p.m. For those of you who will join us, we look forward to gathering with you to celebrate the many accomplishments of our outstanding trainees. Stay tuned for lots of news regarding those who are wrapping up their time with us!


Go Red for Women “Lunch-In” – Thanks for Joining Us!

Thanks to those of you who joined the local Go Red for Women virtual “Lunch-In” on Friday. The event was hosted by Tisha Powell of WTVD and featured Svati Shah during the Q&A session; it also featured Lauren Dungan, a local SCAD heart attack survivor. The event is held annually to celebrate women and their “go red” efforts as well as to elevate awareness of women’s heart health, celebrate survivors of heart disease and stroke, and equip attendees with the knowledge to take control of their heart health. Duke Heart continues to be a proud sponsor of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement.








COVID-19 Updates:

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


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:


May 26 — Eric Peterson


BP control in older patients feasible with medication reduction



May 26 — Ann Marie Navar


75 Things You Should Never Do For Your Health



May 27 — Eric Peterson

MedPage Today

Pulling Back BP Meds Feasible in the Elderly



May 30 — L. Fernando Gonzalez (Neurosurgery)


Why Have The Number Of Strokes Fallen During The COVID-19 Pandemic?



May 30 — Adrian Hernandez

The New York Times

Scientists Question Validity of Major Hydroxychloroquine Study


June 3 — Pamela Douglas

MedPage Today

CT Angiography Helpful in Suspected Stable Angina, but Not Needed for All



June 3 — Adrian Hernandez

MedPage Today

Surgisphere Data Used in Two COVID Studies Called Into Question



June 3 — Karen Alexander

Philadelphia Inquirer/phillytrib.com

Your Cardiovascular Health After 50



June 3 — Sean Pokorney

Reading Eagle (Reading, PA)

Don’t ignore heart attack symptoms, even during coronavirus



June 4 — Amit Patel

USA Today

Authors retract study that raised questions about drug used to treat COVID-19



June 5 — Adrian Hernandez

MSN.com/The Wall Street Journal

Authors Retract Studies That Found Risks of Antimalaria Drugs for Covid-19