Home » Uncategorized » Duke Heart Week ending February 14th 2021

Duke Heart Week ending February 14th 2021

Highlights of the week:

If You Are Looking for Reasons to Celebrate…

If you’re looking for a few reasons to celebrate, today happens to be Valentine’s Day – and we are, of course, right smack in the middle of Heart Month and there are lots of great reasons to continue wearing some red to drive awareness around cardiovascular disease. Just in time for the holiday, a story of companionship courtesy of the Duke Lemur Center.

This weekend is the first weekend of the Lunar New Year – a belated happy new year to all, particularly our friends and colleagues who hail from China. It’s the Year of the Ox and we wish all of you good health, happiness and prosperity.

It’s also National Donor Day. Celebrated annually on February 14th, today is the day Donate Life America has selected to spread awareness and education about all types of donation — organ, eye, tissue, blood, platelets and marrow. National Donor Day is also a day to recognize those who have given and received the gift of life through donation, are currently waiting for a lifesaving transplant, and those who died waiting because an organ was not donated in time. A hat tip to all of our team members working with patients and their families who are on this path.

Coming up on Tuesday… it’s “Shrove” or “Fat Tuesday” – so we bid you an early “Laissez les bon temp roulez!” – enjoy some traditional New Orleans fare (and we have a faculty member that makes a fantastic red beans and rice dish; one of the not-so-secret ingredients is Slap Yo Mama sauce), listen to some sweet jazz and perhaps enjoy a slice of king cake in celebration of mardi gras. To get you in the spirit, there’s this story.

In this pandemic year, there are still many things to celebrate and many stories of perseverance. Thank you for all that you do. Keep up the great work! For yet another reason to celebrate, see our next story.

Duke University Among Top 10 in Nation for Federal Medical Research Funding

Duke University continues its leadership in biomedical research, ranking 10th among the nation’s top medical schools and research institutions for funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Duke received $467 million in federal funding from the NIH in 2020, according to the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research, an independent research center that compiles an annual ranking of NIH funding for U.S. medical schools and their departments. Duke was the largest recipient of NIH grant funding in North Carolina for fiscal year 2020.

Four basic science departments and seven clinical science departments at Duke ranked among the top 10 in the country:

  • #2 for Orthopedics
  • #2 for Pediatrics
  • #3 for Surgery
  • #4 for Neurosurgery
  • #5 for Anesthesiology
  • #6 for Internal Medicine
  • #9 for Anatomy/Cell Biology
  • #9 for Genetics
  • #9 for Neurosciences
  • #9 for Pharmacology
  • #10 for Psychiatry


“Duke is home to many of the brightest and most innovative biomedical researchers in the world,” said Mary E. Klotman, M.D., dean of the Duke University School of Medicine. “Even with the challenges that the past year placed on the global research enterprise, these rankings show that our scientists persevered and continued our long history of excellence in biomedical research.”

The NIH is the largest public funder of biomedical research in the world, investing more than $41 billion a year to advance research aimed at improving health.

MURDOCK C3PI Study Contributes to NC Research Network Monitoring COVID

A Duke COVID-19 study tracking the pandemic in Cabarrus County is contributing data to a statewide research network monitoring the coronavirus in sewer systems to help inform the public health response in North Carolina.

The MURDOCK Cabarrus County COVID-19 Prevalence and Immunity (C3PI) Study in December launched a collaboration with the N.C. Wastewater Pathogen Tracking Research Network (WW PATH). The WW PATH network brings together researchers and institutions from across the state to develop tools to monitor wastewater for the coronavirus and link these sewer surveillance data to COVID-19 infections. People shed the coronavirus through their stool even before they show symptoms of COVID-19.

The MURDOCK C3PI Study is collaborating with the network by sharing results from the 300 participants who are tested for COVID-19 every two weeks. These data are shared securely using methods to protect participant identity and confidentiality. To see the full article, visit: http://bit.ly/3agVsRb.


Thakkar Headlines NIEHS Heart Disease Awareness Event

Maitreya Thakkar

Maitreya Thakkar was the guest speaker for a heart health seminar held Thursday evening, Feb. 11.  The event, You Are Your Own Best Heart Health Advocate: Women and Heart Disease was offered as part of the National Institute of Environmental Health Science’s (NIEHS) Women’s Health Awareness Virtual Series: Real Talk with the Experts seminar series. The online session was moderated by Leatrice Martin-Short, who dedicated many years of service to Duke Heart as our community outreach and volunteer coordinator. The session addressed early warning signs of heart disease and prevention of heart disease in women. The event was attended by about 150 online guests and was very well received. Thakkar has already received notes from attendees thanking him for his time; one guest (a Duke staff member & care provider) wrote,

I was on the webinar last night with Women’s Health Awareness. You gave an excellent presentation and made it easy to comprehend. It was wonderful having the story from Tonya before your presentation. It was really awesome, inspiring, and memorable. Well done. I hope we have a Part 2. I’m sure, I’m not the only one who knows, you helped change lives last night.”

Nicely done!

Two Duke Cardiology Fellows Selected as IM Chief Residents for 2022-2023

We are very excited to announce that two of our first year fellows (starting July 2021) — Lonnie Sullivan and Sara Coles — have been selected as 2022-2023 Chief Residents for the Duke Internal Medicine Residency Program. The announcement was made Friday morning by Dr. Aimee Zaas, Program Director, Duke Internal Medicine Residency Program. The three Chief Residents will be:

Lonnie Sullivan, MD — Duke University Hospital

Lonnie is a graduate of the Morehouse College and Duke University School of Medicine. He will be a fellow in Cardiology in 2021-22.

Sara Coles, MD — Durham VA Medical Center

Sara is a graduate of Azusa Pacific University and The Ohio State University College of Medicine. She will be a fellow in Cardiology in 2021-22.

Nathaniel Harris, MD, PhD — Duke Regional Hospital/Ambulatory Medicine

Nathaniel is a graduate of North Carolina State University and Duke University School of Medicine. He will be a fellow in Rheumatology and Immunology in 2021-22.

The Chief Residents are a key part of the medicine residency team, providing invaluable leadership, teaching, and support for our trainees. Our incoming chiefs join a strong tradition of resident leadership, and we look forward to their contributions to the Department of Medicine.


Congrats to Bill Cockfield of Duke EP!

We learned this week that Bill Cockfield, PA recently passed his International Board of Heart Rhythm Examiners (IBHRE) re-certification (initial certification in 2010) for EP; he is also a certified cardiac device specialist. Additionally, Bill shared his device knowledge with our Cardiology APP colleagues this past Wednesday as he gave a talk on device wound assessment, documentation, and billing.

“Bill is an excellent clinician and takes great care of his patients. He is always there for the EP team by attending meetings, working patients into clinic, sometimes even over his lunch break, or covering when people are out. To top it off, he’s been volunteering on Sundays to give much needed COVID vaccinations.

We so fortunate to have him as a colleague and are thankful for his leading example!”

Hat tip to Amber Stohl for bringing this to our attention. Congratulations, Bill!! 

Shout-out to Flores, Nanna, Pomeroy, Kong & Code Blue Team

Shout-out to the incredible efforts of several of our fellows–Karen Rosario Flores, Mike Nanna and Jordan Pomeroy; and to faculty member David Kong for their teamwork and partnership with the rest of the Code Blue team in responding to a lengthy code last week at Duke University Hospital.

In a series of notes shared with us by Anna Lisa Crowley, we learned that the quick response of our CICU and interventional teams was recognized and valued by the patient’s family and hospital leadership although the outcome was not as we all hoped.

“The entire code blue team did a remarkable job in a lengthy code yesterday on (unit withheld). While the outcome was not what everyone wanted, your leadership and the compassionate, excellent work of the team was appreciated.  Your care made a difference for that patient’s family and for the team you worked with.” – Lisa Pickett, Chief Medical Officer, Duke University Hospital

“Every single individual present had a clear role and focused on that role, which made this an incredibly well run code, including the CICU fellow and cath lab team who came to evaluate for cath lab activation based upon the patient’s EKG.” – Jenny Van Kirk (hospitalist primary responder)

We are incredibly proud of the great teamwork our Duke Heart care providers demonstrate each day. Thank you.

Shout-out to Narcisse & Cath Lab team!

In a note shared with us this week by Anna Lisa Crowley we learned that at the end of January, fellow David Narcisse helped out on a complicated and critically ill patient call in the cath lab.

“I just wanted to reach out and let you all know that Dennis saved the day last Saturday when a call came in for a very sick anterior STEMI patient. When the patient was decompensating and I felt like I needed at least 9 more arms, Dennis came over, put on lead and stepped up to help out. No one asked him to come in and assist in that way, but he did so without hesitation and honestly the whole thing went much smoother because of his help. He also called the CCU whenever we needed medications and made sure that we had the supported we needed from them. He communicated clearly and positively and I think I speak for all the staff when I say he is truly appreciated!”

“Everyone: Phillip, Emily Coursey, Laura, Adam, Dr. Kiefer and Dr. Patel worked great as a team and Dennis was so kind to come help out. Proud of our whole Cath Lab team!!!” — Elle Simpson

The note was originally sent to Schuyler Jones, Elizabeth Watts and Anna Mall, who forwarded to Crowley. To quote the now retired LV Staton, “Teamwork makes the dream work.” Great job, everyone!


Perfusion Team Update

The 42nd Annual Seminar of the American Academy of Cardiovascular Perfusion was held virtually from February 6th-13th, 2021. Rachel Gambino, CCP, presented an excellent educational seminar, “Managing ECMO Catastrophes on the Ground and in the Air.” Dr. Jacob Klapper engaged in a very interesting debate, “ECPR: What is it good for?” and our colleagues in Pulmonary Critical Care, Drs. Craig Rackley and Anne Mathews, debated optimal management strategies for COVID ARDS.  Alex Gum, MS CCP was nominated as a Fellow of the AACP, joining Academy Fellows from Duke- Ian Shearer, Greg Smigla and Desiree Bonadonna.

Congratulations to all! Thanks for representing us so well!


2020 ACLS/BLS E-books Now Available

If you’re in need of borrowing ACLS or BLS books, the Duke Medical Center Library has the updated 2020 volumes available electronically. They’re available for up to six users at a time. For more information, please visit: https://mclibrary.duke.edu/about/blog/acls-bls-pal.


Six-Part Mental Health Webinar Series to Start in February

From February 17 through April 27, the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences will be hosting a six-part mental health webinar series, “Taking Care of Yourself and Your Loved Ones.” The 30-minute topical webinars are designed to provide practical expert advice for Duke University and Duke Health community members and their families who may be struggling with different mental health challenges. Topics include general mental health, substance misuse, suicide prevention and mental health in children of color. Learn more and join the webinars. If you have any questions, please contact Susan Gallagher.


COVID-19 Updates:

NEW: Website explains how to help staff Duke’s vaccination clinics

We’ve seen an outpouring of support from students, faculty and staff who want to help out at Duke’s vaccination clinics. A new website, launched last week, should help answer many frequently asked questions, including how people can support Duke’s vaccination efforts and what to expect when they sign up. If you have any questions, email vaxvolunteer@duke.edu. Thank you. Full URL: https://covid-19.dukehealth.org/vaccination-operations


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


Upcoming Opportunities/Save the Date:


Cardiology Grand Rounds

Feb. 16: Coronary Disease Revascularization with Bernard Gersh of the Mayo Clinic. 5 p.m., Webex.

Feb. 23: Extravascular Targets in PAH: Metformin to Mobile Health with Evan Brittian of Vanderbilt University Medical Center. 5 p.m., Webex.

Mar. 2: Developing Pharmacogenomic Tools for Personalized Antithrombotic Therapy with Kevin Friede. 7:15 a.m., Webex.

Mar. 16: Advanced Cancer is also Heart Failure Syndrome:  Cardio-Oncology Including and Beyond Cardiotoxicity with Stefan Anker, Professor of (Tissue) Homeostasis in Cardiology & Metabolism at Charite Berlin. 7:15 a.m., Webex.

Mar. 23: If You Build It… (They) Will Come – Advanced Therapies in ACHD with Jonathan Menachem of Vanderbilt University Medical Center. 5 p.m., Webex.


DukeHeart On The Go Launches PAD/CAD CME Series

In collaboration with the Society for Vascular Medicine and Society for Vascular Surgery, Duke Heart has developed a certified 4-program educational series on PAD/CAD that appears on DukeHeart On The Go and MedEd On The Go, two platforms that provide micro-learning education in single learning objective episodes.

Two of the programs are available now:

Two more programs will launch in February: Translating the Evidence to Practice Gaps (Case-based Session) and Improving Clinical Outcomes in Patients with CAD/PAD – A Case-based Review on Discharge Planning, Compliance and Adherence in the Ambulatory Patient. We will provide links once the programs are available.

DukeHeart On The Go modules are free once you sign up for an account. If you have any questions about the DukeHeart On The Go CME platform, please direct them to Christy Darnell.


ASE Live Webinar: Sonographer Professional Development

Feb. 18, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m., ET. Attendees will get a brief overview of five important professional development topics from eight experts in the cardiac sonography field with different backgrounds and career paths. The goal will be to help guide early career sonographers to growing within the field of echo and within ASE. The other goal is to gain feedback from the audience about which topics sonographers want to hear more about so that future webinars can be tailored to audience needs.

Moderators: Kristen Billick, BS, ACS, RDCS (AE, PE), FASE; Ashlee Davis, BS, ACS, RDCS, FASE

Speakers: Peg Knoll, RDCS, RCS, FASE; Elizabeth McIlwain, MHS, ACS, RCS, FASE; Jennifer Tresness, RDCS (PE, AE), RDMS(FE), FASE; Colin Dunbar II, RDMS, RDCS (AE, PE, FE), FASE; Ken Horton, RCS, ACS, FASE; Richard Palma, BS, RDCS, RCS, ACS, FSDMS, FASE

This activity is FREE for ASE Members, $25 for non-members. This activity does not offer CME credit. This webinar will be posted for on-demand viewing on the ASE Learning Hub in the weeks following the live broadcast.


Reflections on Race and Medicine During the Year of COVID-19 and Beyond

Feb. 18, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. DCRI will host a special Research Forum for all Duke faculty, staff, and students. Dr. Damon Tweedy, Duke faculty member and author of Black Man in a White Coat, will:

  • Explore how medical education and the health care system have perpetuated health disparities
  • Discuss strategies to mitigate the harms of physician bias and patient mistrust on health outcomes
  • Examine the unique challenges and roles of Black physicians in the delivery of medical care

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted longstanding racial and ethnic health disparities in our country. Coupled with heightened nationwide protests during the summer of 2020, these events have sparked a renewed intensity towards addressing the dilemma of race in America. In his talk, Dr. Tweedy will explore these issues within the medical school and hospital setting, highlighting the challenges faced by Black patients and Black doctors while reviewing recent developments and reforms in the field. To attend, please access Zoom via: https://duke.zoom.us/j/93154390688?pwd=ZFpDd2s4NGI1aVlIdWxBTFkxS3ZsUT09


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 3 — Oliver Jawitz

Health Day News

Women Less Likely to Undergo Guideline-Concordant CABG



February 5 — Sunil Rao


Large Meta-analysis Confirms Survival, Bleeding Benefits With Radial Access



February 8 — Sunil Rao


Long-term CTO Data Raise Questions Over Primary Goals of Care



February 8 — Harry Severance, Jr.


Tahiti’s sudden tourism restrictions provide a lesson to people who can’t wait to travel



February 9 — Duke Univ. and Duke University Health System


America’s Best Large Employers 2021



February 11 — Jorge Antonio Gutierrez


No Paclitaxel Death Signal in VA Data Out to 3 Years


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *