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Thanksgiving Week 2020 – Duke Heart Updates

Updates from the Week:

Mentz Named Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Cardiac Failure

Robert Mentz

We are happy to share that Rob Mentz has been named the new Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Cardiac Failure, the official journal of the Heart Failure Society of America and the Japanese Heart Failure Society.

Mentz is an associate professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology and is our Chief of the Heart Failure Section. He assists with the care of patients with heart failure, cardiac transplants, and ventricular assist devices at Duke University Hospital. He is an NIH and industry-funded clinical trialist involved in ongoing trials designed to inform the care of cardiac patients.

Author of more than 300 peer-reviewed publications, Mentz has also authored several book chapters (including Braunwald’s Heart Failure textbook), was a topic editor for the Heart Failure Self-Assessment Program (HF-SAP) and a writer for the ACCSAP on heart failure. He has also served as an Associate Editor for Circulation: Heart Failure.


“I am honored to take on the role of editor-in-chief of the Journal of Cardiac Failure,” said Mentz. “I look forward to serving the HFSA members as well as the broader heart failure community as we work to publish high-quality original research, reviews, scientific statements and position pieces that are interesting and practice changing. I’m eager to collaborate with the talented editorial team and HFSA leadership to elevate the journal to new heights and bring increased awareness to the field.”


Launched in 1994 and a joint endeavor by the Heart Failure Society of America and the Japanese Heart Failure Society, the Journal of Cardiac Failure publishes peer-reviewed manuscripts of interest to clinicians and researchers in the field of heart failure and related disciplines. These include original communications of scientific importance and review articles involving clinical research, health services and outcomes research, animal studies, and bench research with potential clinical applications to heart failure. The Journal also publishes manuscripts that report the design of ongoing clinical trials and editorial perspectives that comment on new developments pertinent to the field of heart failure or manuscripts published in other journals.

Mentz will begin his term as Editor-in-Chief on December 1.

In Memoriam: John J. Gallagher, MD

We were saddened this week to learn of the passing of Dr. John J. Gallagher, a pioneer in clinical cardiac electrophysiology and a beloved mentor and former faculty member at Duke.

We are grateful to Drs. David Benditt and Eric Prystowsky for sharing the following tribute with Pulse:

John J. Gallagher, MD was born in Brooklyn, New York on March 3, 1943. He received a B.S. in physics from Holy Cross in Worcester, MA, and an MD Cum Laude from Georgetown University School of Medicine in 1968. Thereafter, John moved to Duke where he completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine in 1970, after which he joined the US Public Health Service as a research associate in the Cardiopulmonary Laboratory at Staten Island. It was there that he became strongly influenced by the early advances in clinical cardiac electrophysiology taking place in Dr. Anthony Damato’s laboratory.

In 1972, John returned to Duke as a Fellow in Cardiology, and joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor of Medicine in 1974. Under the guidance of then Chief of Cardiology, Dr. Andrew Wallace, John quickly became a principal driving force behind Duke’s rapidly growing reputation as a world leader in basic science and clinical cardiac electrophysiology. In this setting, allied principally with Will Sealy, MD of the Department of Surgery, John pioneered electrophysiological evaluation and surgical cure of patients with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome and related forms of ventricular preexcitation.  Working with a talented technical (in particular Jackie Kassel) and surgical team (notably Dr. Sealy, as well as Robert Anderson, MD; Jimmie Cox, MD; and Steve Ring, MD), John devised the ‘sock-map’ technique for computer-based epicardial activation sequence mapping, and was among the first to innovate the use of cryoablation in arrhythmia surgery.

In 1980, John was appointed Edward S. Orgain Professor of Medicine at Duke University attesting to his many accomplishments. In the years leading up to and following this appointment, John’s efforts attracted worldwide attention, and his laboratory became a magnet for post-graduate trainees. We count ourselves fortunate to have been among these; some others in alphabetic order included Gust Bardy, MD; Ronnie Campbell, MD; Larry German, MD; Roosevelt F. Gilliam, MD; Augustus Grant, MD; Stephen Hammill, MD; Charlie Kerr, MD; George Klein, MD; Douglas Packer, MD; Edward L.C. Pritchett, MD, and Andrew Tonkin, MD to name a few. Many of John’s students subsequently became noted teachers, innovators and thought leaders in cardiac electrophysiology around the world.

In 1983, John moved to Charlotte, NC, where he became Director of Electrophysiology at the Carolinas Medical Center and Carolinas Heart Institute. In that position, he continued to be regarded internationally as one of cardiac electrophysiology’s most masterful analysts of complex arrhythmias. Later in life, John became an avid horseman and enjoyed the country life. Despite multiple health issues over the years, John maintained an extensive hospital-based practice until his untimely death this past month.

As a teacher, John Gallagher was unfailingly passionate and uncompromising. He always demanded clear thinking, detailed analysis, precise writing, and the most attentive patient care. He demonstrated to us how one could pursue physiologic research in the clinical electrophysiology laboratory with the same rigor demanded in basic research. He was never easily pleased. These qualities, and a sometimes unpredictable demeanor, combined to incite trepidation even among his most talented trainees. Nevertheless, his students also recognized the quality of education they were receiving, and that their mentor was in fact a warm and thoughtful individual, with a marvelous sense of humor, and a nose for a good time. John’s passing is a great loss to cardiology, and especially to the worldwide EP community that has long admired his skill and intellect.

We offer our sincere condolences to his family, colleagues and many friends. May his memory be a blessing.

David G. Benditt, MD

Professor of Medicine, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Eric N. Prystowsky, MD

Consulting Professor, Duke University Medical School

St. Vincent’s Medical Center, Indianapolis, Indiana

Duke Heart to Serve as Presenting Sponsor of 2021 NC Walk for Victory

We are pleased to share that Duke Heart, on behalf of the Duke Center for Aortic Disease, will again serve as the Presenting Sponsor for the North Carolina Walk for Victory. The event raises awareness of and funds to support The Marfan Foundation. Dr. Chad Hughes, director of the Duke Center for Aortic Disease will serve as the 2021 Medical Chair of the event, which is scheduled for April 17, 2021 from noon to 3 p.m. at Laurel Hills Park in Raleigh. If it becomes evident that a safe in-person, physically distanced event is not possible at that time, the event will be held virtually on the same date.

COVID-19 Updates:

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

NOTE: Pulse will not be published on Dec. 27 or Jan. 3 so that we may enjoy some time off.

Upcoming Opportunities/Save the Date:

Nov. 30: Translating Duke Health-CV Symposium. 9-11:15 am. Virtual. To register, please visit: https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eXSYvFY7Luu2LJ3

Please try to attend – should be a good update on our progress with TDH-CV.

Cardiology Grand Rounds

Dec. 1:  Fellow presentation with Vishal Rao. 5 pm, Webex.

Dec. 8:  Heart Center Grand Rounds (multi-disciplinary): DCD Heart Transplantation. 5 pm, Webex.

Dec. 10:  Cardio-Pulmonary Joint Grand Rounds: Ryan Tedford of MUSC, Assessment of Right Ventricular Function: The Role of RV-PA Coupling and RV Reserve. 12 pm, Webex.

Dec. 22:  No Cardiology GR. Happy Holidays!

Dec. 29:  No Cardiology GR. Happy Holidays!

Conferences, Symposia & Webinars

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:

November 23 — L. Kristin Newby


Many Patients With Type 2 MI Don’t Get Cardiologist Evaluation


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