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Updates – Duke Heart Week Ending April 18th 2021

Chief’s message: Global Health

This past year, more than most years over the last quarter century has made all of the public and those of us in medicine look carefully at our relationship with global health and health care, and specifically at how we deliver care and train the next generation.  With this background, we were blessed to have one of our former Duke Cardiology Faculty, Zainab Samad, now the Chair of Medicine at Aga Khan University in Pakistan, virtually give our cardiology grand rounds this week as our visiting Global Health Lecture.  Gerry Bloomfield has led the Duke Cardiovascular Global Health group partnering on work with Zainab and also colleagues at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Kenya with bilateral educational exchanges with Duke and Kenyan Faculty and Students.  Zainab’s grand rounds was notable for her own journey from Pakistan to Duke for residency, fellowship, and early faculty life, and now returning to lead the Department of Medicine at Aga Khan.  Additionally, she highlighted measuring the clinical outcomes, building programs, and most notably developing specific pathways to reduce health inequities for women in Pakistan and worldwide.  This included the work she and others have instituted around training, where now over 50% of the medical students are women.  In addition to the inspiring talk and work, it was wonderful to see a colleague and friend working to make the world a healthier and more equitable place.

Highlights of the week:

Thomas to Receive Excellence in Professionalism Award

Kevin Thomas

Congratulations to Kevin Thomas, MD, Associate Dean for Underrepresented Faculty Development at Duke and associate professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology, who has been selected as the 2021 recipient of the Duke School of Medicine’s Excellence in Professionalism Award. The award recognizes a faculty member who exemplifies professionalism and personifies Duke’s guiding principles of respect, trustworthiness, diversity, teamwork and learning.

“I am incredibly honored to receive this award,” said Thomas.

The Excellence in Professionalism award is normally given during the Spring Faculty Celebration, but due to the continuing pandemic, an alternate virtual event is being planned. Since we’re unsure of when that will take place, we thought we’d share some of the comments made by colleagues in support of his nomination.

One faculty member shared, “Kevin is one of Duke’s most stalwart champions of professional equity and fairness. Work on the anti-racism committee is often emotional and requires faculty members to bring a certain amount of vulnerability ‘to the table’ in order to advance a meaningful dialogue. Kevin is tremendously adept at helping individuals share this vulnerability while creating a safe professional space for the intellectual and emotional growth that anti-racism work requires.”

Another wrote, “He leads with integrity, compassion, empathy and a palpable respect for both dismantling racism and for those with whom he labors to do so. As a respected leader, I have confided in Dr. Thomas on countless occasions over the years. His private words and actions mirror those made in public; a testament to his consistent character and a model of professionalism for the faculty at large.”

Yet another added, “In these difficult times, it has never been more important to have colleagues who embody principles of compassion, grace, and professionalism. The struggle to redefine our approach to systemic racism will particularly require engagement of faculty members with deep knowledge and commitment coupled with the ability to engage in hard conversations in a respectful manner. Kevin Thomas has all of these attributes. Moreover, at this moment where addressing racial inequality effectively is paramount for the survival of our university, I believe that Kevin is among a very small set of the most important and impactful faculty members that we have. He is richly deserving of this award, and he has my deepest support.”

Kevin, your contributions to Duke are seen, valued and deeply appreciated and will undoubtedly have a transformative and lasting impact at Duke. We congratulate you on this well-deserved recognition!

School of Medicine Awards Duke Cardiology Winners 2021:
Kevin Thomas, MD – Excellence in Professionalism

Rob Mentz, MD – Early Career Mentoring Award in Clinical – Population Science

Terry Fortin, MD – Master Clinician Award

Brock Elected Associate of the ACC

Gail Brock

Gail Brock, one of our wonderful nurse practitioners, has been elected to Associate of the American College of Cardiology. She will take the official oath during the Convocation ceremony at the 70th Annual ACC Scientific Sessions taking place May 15-17. The Sessions will be held virtually this year due to the ongoing pandemic.

Her nominators, Kristen Bova Campbell and Rebecca Yapejian, noted that they are pleased to see Gail receive the professional validation she deserves for her contributions to cardiology and electrophysiology. We agree! Gail, we are very happy for you – congratulations!



Butler Honored During TBJ Virtual Celebration

Kiersten Butler was honored on Thursday, April 15 during the Triangle Business Journal‘s virtual 2021 Health Care Heroes Award Ceremony. Butler is a nurse on the 7E/Cardiac Intensive Care Unit. We are so proud of you, Kiersten! Congratulations.

NC Walk for Victory Held

The North Carolina Walk for Victory to support families of Marfan patients was held yesterday at Laurel Hills Park in Raleigh. Duke Heart and the Duke Center for Aortic Disease served as the presenting sponsor with Dr. G. Chad Hughes as the medical chair for the walk. We had a great time cheering on and supporting the families who attended – from those with Marfan syndrome to those with Loeys-Dietz (LDS), Vascular Ehlers-Danlos (VEDS), and related conditions.

Thanks to all who helped support this event!

Triangle Go Red Luncheon – Registration Open

The American Heart Association’s 2021 Triangle Go Red for Women Luncheon digital celebration will be held on May 14th from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Join us as we celebrate the impact of Go Red for Women in the Triangle, learn tips to structure self-care into your day, participate in a series of health and wellness breakout sessions, and hear from inspiring survivors who are “Living Fierce” and not letting cardiovascular disease stand in their way. Registration is free and open to all. If interested, please visit https://events.bizzabo.com/301164.


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

April 20: Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection with Esther (Soo Hyun) Kim of Vanderbilt University Medical Center. 5 p.m., Webex.

April 23: A Tale of Two Callings with Robert J. Lefkowitz. Noon, Zoom. All Medicine Grand Rounds attendees will have the chance to win a signed copy of Dr. Lefkowitz’s book, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Stockholm.”

April 27: Cardio-Oncology: Moving Forward in 2021 with Daniel J. Lenihan, Director, Cardio-Oncology Center of Excellence, Washington University in St. Louis. 5 p.m., Webex.

April 29: A celebration of Joe Rogers with Duke faculty, alumni & friends. 5 p.m., TBD.


Upcoming (Virtual) 2021 Duke Heart CME

We have dates set for two upcoming virtual symposia; registration is not yet available.

October 8: Duke Advanced Heart Failure Symposium. Course director is Richa Agarwal

November 5:  13th Annual NC Research Triangle Pulmonary Hypertension Symposium. Course directors are Terry Fortin and Jimmy Ford (UNC).


Final Mental Health Webinar in Series

Apr. 27: Mental Health in Children of Color. Noon-12:30 p.m. Led by Erikka Dzirasa, MD, MPH, consulting associate in Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences (Link below).

This is the final webinar of a six-part series, “Taking Care of Yourself and Your Loved Ones,” for all Duke University and Duke Health community members and their families. The 30-minute topical webinars provide practical expert advice on topics including emotional wellness, substance misuse, suicide prevention, and mental health for children, adolescents and teens.

The webinar series runs through April 27. Learn more, watch past webinars and join upcoming webinars:  http://bit.ly/DukeMHSeries.


AGS/NIA Conference on Cancer & CV Disease – Application Available

The American Geriatrics Society has announced that “Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease”– the third in a three-part series of U13 Bench-to-Bedside Conferences — will be held at the Heart House – American College of Cardiology in Washington, DC on Monday, October 18 and Tuesday, October 19, 2021. A preliminary agenda for the conference can be accessed HERE.

The conference, sponsored by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the American Geriatrics Society (AGS), will provide attendees the opportunity to learn about cutting edge research developments, participate in the creation of recommendations for future research, and network with colleagues and leaders in the field. Learn more here.

The application for the conference is now available; applications are due by MONDAY, JUNE 14, 2021 and applicants will be notified if they are invited to participate by the end of July. Please review the following eligibility criteria before applying.

Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  1. At least 1-2 years of research experience in a related field.
  2. Hold an MD, PhD, PharmD or equivalent degree (e.g., DO, OD, DPT, DDS, Psy.D).
  3. Have an academic appointment as a research fellow, instructor or faculty member.

If you are interested in participating or learning more about the conference please contact Elisha Medina-Gallagher, AGS Manager for Special Projects, egallagher@americangeriatrics.org or 212-308-1414.


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 7 — Sunil Rao


Radial Superior to Femoral Access in Patients With Prior CABG


April 9 — Theresa Bayless; heart patient wedding

The New York Times

A Final Celebration of Their Life Together

April 9 — Nishant Shah

Cardiology Advisor

Managing the Interplay of Familial Hypercholesterolemia and COVID-19


April 12 — Mollie Kettle and Kelly Kester

Healthcare NOW Radio (podcast)

iPad workarounds for COVID visitation restrictions


April 13 — Cary Ward

Spectrum News

Pregnancy Complications & Heart Disease


Division of Cardiology Publications Indexed in PubMed April 8-14, 2021

Carnicelli AP, Al-Khatib SM, Xavier D, Dalgaard F, Merrill PD, Wojdyla DM, Lewis BS, Hanna M, Alexander JH, Lopes RD, Wallentin L, Granger CB. Premature permanent discontinuation of apixaban or warfarin in patients with atrial fibrillation. Heart 2021;107:713-720. PM: 32938772.

Gargiulo G, Cannon CP, Gibson CM, Goette A, Lopes RD, Oldgren J, Korjian S, Windecker S, Esposito G, Vranckx P, Valgimigli M. Safety and efficacy of double vs. triple antithrombotic therapy in patients with atrial fibrillation with or without acute coronary syndrome undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention: a collaborative meta-analysis of non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants. Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Pharmacother 2021;7:f50-f60. PM: 33119069.

Gaudino M, Di Franco A, Bhatt DL, Alexander JH, Abbate A, Azzalini L, Sandner S, Sharma G, Rao SV, Crea F, Fremes SE, Bangalore S. The association between coronary graft patency and clinical status in patients with coronary artery disease. Eur Heart J 2021;42:1433-1441. PM:33709098.

Kochav JD, Kim J, Judd R, Kim HW, Klem I, Heitner J, Shah D, Shenoy C, Farzaneh-Far A, Polsani V, Kalil R, Villar-Calle P, Nambiar L, Sultana R, Parker M, Cargile P, Khalique OK, Leon MB, Karmpaliotis D, Ratcliffe M, Levine R, Zoghbi WA, Devereux RB, et al. Ischemia-Mediated Dysfunction in Subpapillary Myocardium as a Marker of Functional Mitral Regurgitation. JACC Cardiovasc Imaging 2021;14:826-839. PM: 33744130.

Malik J, Loring Z, Piccini JP, Wu HT. Interpretable morphological features for efficient single-lead automatic ventricular ectopy detection. J Electrocardiol 2021;65:55-63. PM: 33516949.

Povysil G, Chazara O, Carss KJ, Deevi SVV, Wang Q, Armisen J, Paul DS, Granger CB, Kjekshus J, Aggarwal V, Haefliger C, Goldstein DB. Assessing the Role of Rare Genetic Variation in Patients With Heart Failure. JAMA Cardiol 2021;6:379-386. PM: 33326012.

Sullivan K, Doumouras BS, Santema BT, Walsh MN, Douglas PS, Voors AA, Van Spall HGC. Sex-Specific Differences in Heart Failure: Pathophysiology, Risk Factors, Management, and Outcomes. Can J Cardiol 2021;37(4):560-571. PM: 33383166.

Urban P, Gregson J, Owen R, Mehran R, Windecker S, Valgimigli M, Varenne O, Krucoff M, Saito S, Baber U, Chevalier B, Capodanno D, Morice MC, Pocock S. Assessing the Risks of Bleeding vs Thrombotic Events in Patients at High Bleeding Risk After Coronary Stent Implantation: The ARC-High Bleeding Risk Trade-off Model. JAMA Cardiol. 2021;6:410-419. PM: 33404627.

Weissler EH, Aboyans V, Bauersachs R, Brodmann M, Nikol S, Debus S, Patel MR, Jones WS. The Role for Combined Antithrombotic Therapy With Platelet and Coagulation Inhibition After Lower Extremity Revascularization. JACC Cardiovasc Interv 2021;14:796-802. PM: 33826501.


1 Comment

  1. Hello Kevin,
    Congratulations on your award. It is much deserved.
    Miss you all.
    Rebecca Johnson

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