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Duke Heart Pulse November 20th 2022

Highlights of the week:

Happy Thanksgiving to All!

On behalf of the entire Duke Heart leadership team, we wish you and your loved ones a happy Thanksgiving. During this time of reflection on our many personal blessings, we also give thanks for the incredible team we have here in Duke Heart. Together, we have persevered through some big challenges over the last several years, and also accomplished a great deal. We have a lot to be proud of. Thank you for all that you do — each member of our team makes a difference. Warm wishes to you and we hope you have some time to spend with your family, friends, and loved ones.

CVRC Announces Research Staff Appreciation Awardees

Each year, the Duke Cardiovascular Research Center (CVRC) presents research staff appreciation awards to members of their team who have made an exceptional contribution to their team. Due to the pandemic, the CVRC was unable to formally celebrate as a group last year due to the pandemic, so this year was extra special! We are excited to share with you their awardees for both 2021 and 2022. The CVRC awards were made on Nov. 9.

The 2021 awardee is Xinhe Yin of the Holley Lab, nominated by Dr. Chris Holley with support from colleague Brittany Elliott, PhD. In their summary, Holley and Elliott shared the following:

“Xinhe is a valuable member of the Holley Lab and CVRC. This is evidenced by her ever-growing knowledge base of technical expertise, the efforts she makes to care about and help the scientific endeavors in the CVRC succeed, and by being a good citizen of the CVRC by going above and beyond to maintain instrumentation within the shared CVRC resource. Xinhe brings multiple areas of expertise to the lab. First, she is an expert in managing our mouse colony, including breeding, genotyping, and tissue collection. Second, she performs a significant amount of cell culture for the laboratory, maintaining a wide variety of human, mouse, and rat cell lines, including many CRISPR-modified clonal lines. Third, she has developed the necessary expertise to prepare samples for our UPLC-MS/MS method that quantifies RNA modifications. Fourth, she has developed expertise with the Seahorse platform, which has allowed her to supervise this instrument for the CVRC. Her technical expertise contributes to every project in the lab!

“Xinhe also serves as our lab manager, taking responsibility for safety protocols, inspections, maintaining lab equipment and supplies, and ensuring that successful transitions as lab members join then eventually leave the lab. She is the primary contact for many collaborations, coordinating animal and material transfers. She serves as an emergency contact for the animal colony and the remote monitoring of our freezers. One of the things that I really respect about Xinhe is that when she sees something that seems wrong, or she doesn’t understand something, she asks about it instead of ignoring it.”

The 2022 awardee is Longquan Xu of the Rockman Lab, nominated by Dr. Howard Rockman with support from colleague Darion Rapoza, PhD. In their nomination, Rockman and Rapoza shared:

“Longquan Xu is a highly skilled small animal cardiac microsurgeon and echocardiographer in the CVRC Cardiovascular Physiology Core. He is by far one of the most conscientious technicians we have ever had the pleasure of working with. His technical expertise is exemplary. He is the go-to person in the CVRC Core for performing cardiac surgeries and the precision analyses of B mode 2D echocardiograms. He is totally dedicated to excellence and precision in performing noninvasive and invasive hemodynamic studies. When there is time available in his schedule, and on his own initiative, he will practice surgeries to hone newly acquired skills or to keep his procedural skills sharp and at the highest level of competency. Moreover, he is willing to learn new techniques and will practice new procedures until he has achieved perfection. He is always eager to be helpful. He is a supportive teacher, flexible, and always cooperative in sharing the workload to keep the core’s performance at its best for the PIs and their research programs. From COVID precautions to barrier facility protocols, he rigorously complies with guidelines and assists other in doing so as well, because, in his words, “It matters.”

Congratulations to Xinhe and Longquan!

To be eligible for a CVRC Research Staff Award, an individual must be employed by the Duke School of Medicine and must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Technicians, Lab Research Analysts, Project Leaders, or any staff member who provides exemplary support in the conduct of basic or translational research within the CVRC.
  • Current role provides technical expertise to support basic or translational research program(s) in a manner which strengthens the research mission of the CVRC.
  • At least 5 years of continuous service in a research role in the CVRC.
  • Demonstrated record of excellent performance and good citizenship.

Not Eligible: Faculty or staff members who have primary investigator status, research fellows, research associates and senior research associates, post-doctoral fellows and graduate students, administrative professionals.


Harper Recognized for Years of Service to Duke Heart

Our long-time colleague, Monica Harper, will be retiring on November 30, 2022 after more than 39 years of service at Duke. Monica has worked in the Heart Center since 1990 in varying roles including staff nurse, assistant head nurse, and — since 2000 — as 7300 Nurse Manager of Operations. Throughout her time with our team she served on many task forces and committees.

Monica is known for her calm and humble demeanor, her approachability, fair and consistent practice, and patient and staff advocacy. It came as a surprise to no one when she was named a recipient of the highly esteemed Duke Friends of Nursing Leadership Award.

On behalf of the entire Duke Heart Center Leadership team, we thank Monica for her loyalty and dedication to our patients, the faculty and staff of Duke Heart, and to Duke University Hospital.

She will certainly be missed. Please join us in wishing her well in her retirement!


National Nurse Practitioner Week, Nov. 13-19

In recognition of the Nurse Practitioner profession and the many contributions they make to Duke Health and the health of the nation. Did you know there are more than 355,000 certified NPs in the U.S. caring for patients of all ages? We are deeply grateful for the efforts and contributions these vital Duke Heart team members make each and every day.

As highly skilled team members and healthcare leaders, NPs provide exceptional patient care in virtually all health care specialties and settings. NPs are pivotal in the health care delivery of Duke Heart and Duke Health, serving in critical roles throughout clinical care, education, health administration, leadership, and research.

We hope all of our amazing Duke NPs had a great week!


High Five to Harris-Holloway!

Sandra Harris-Holloway, CCP, LP, Associate Chief, Adult Services Manager for Perfusion Services at Duke University Hospital received a High Five on Nov. 7.

“Sandra has an office close to a patient care area. She noticed a patient who was frequently sitting by the windows outside her office to get sunlight. Sandra partnered with the care team and advocated for administrative approval for the patient to go outside. During a time of restrictions, Sandra advocated for this patient’s mental health and wellbeing by going above and beyond her duties.”

We know this made a big difference for this patient. Way to go, Sandra!


Duke Heart Family Expands by One!

We are excited to share the happy news that Nishant Shah and Nikita Goel welcomed their son, Asher Jayden Shah, on November 17. Mom and baby are doing well, and big sister Amara is excited to have a little brother!

He’s adorable and we can’t wait to meet him in person. Welcome to the Duke Heart family, Asher. Congratulations to the Shah family!


ICYMI: Krasuski Featured Guest on CardioNerds

Rich Krasuski was recently a featured guest on the popular podcast, CardioNerds. A link to episode 242 appears here ACHD: Atrial Septal Defects with Dr. Richard Krasuski.

Nicely done, Rich!

ORA Holiday Deadlines

The Office of Research Administration (ORA) will operate with a reduced staff during the holiday season to allow team members time to recharge. During this period, please plan as far in advance as possible.

To help ORA respond as timely as possible to your needs, please plan in advance based on the following:

Thanksgiving Day and the Friday After

If you need something processed BEFORE the Thanksgiving holiday, please have it submitted in ready-form to ORA by Thursday, November 17. Otherwise, if it can wait, ORA will process the following week (beginning November 28).

Last two weeks of December

For any transactions with due dates between December 19 – January 2, please have submitted in ready-form to ORA by Thursday, December 15 to ensure there is adequate time and staffing to respond to your needs.

Please note: the next NIH SBIR/STTR deadline is Jan. 5, 2023, and the internal deadline is 8 a.m. on Dec. 28, 2022. Because this deadline falls in the last two weeks in December when ORA will be operating with reduced staff and because these award mechanisms are usually complex and require careful institutional coordination before submission:

  1. Please complete Intent to Submit for all planned SBIR/STTR applications no later than Dec. 5, 2022; and
  2. Please plan to route a submission-ready application no later than Dec. 15, 2022; if more time is needed, please submit a late waiver request so that ORA can plan for appropriate coverage to support these applications.

For anything submitted in the last two weeks of December that can wait until after the holiday break, ORA will be back up to speed with a full team on Jan. 3, 2023 and will look forward to managing all pending issues at that time.

This has been another year of tremendous growth in research at Duke. The Office of Research Administration thanks you for your continued partnership in support of Duke’s research mission and they send warm holiday wishes to all!

Additional Reminders:

  • It is vital that we remain vigilant with masking, hand hygiene, PPE, and other safe behaviors to prevent the spread of infection. Please pay special attention to the proper wearing and securing of gowns and be mindful of PPE compliance. Thank you for all you do to keep everyone safe and healthy.
  • November is American Diabetes Month, Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Month, and National COPD Awareness Month. Thanks for all you do to help patients with these conditions!
  • November 13-19 National Nurse Practitioner Week.

Upcoming Events & Opportunities

Cardiology Grand Rounds

November 22: Calcium Modification in Percutaneous Coronary Intervention with Ali Corley. 5 p.m., Webex.

CME & Other Events

Call for abstracts: 2023 Duke Health Quality and Safety Conference

The virtual poster submission period for the 2023 Duke Health Quality and Safety Conference is now open. The deadline for submission is Wednesday, Dec. 14. The 2023 Conference will be held the weeks of March 13 and 20, with an in-person event on Thursday, March 23.

For more information and to submit your abstract, please click here.

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. Submissions by Noon, Wednesdays, to be considered for weekend inclusion.

Duke Heart in the News: Our news coverage will return Nov. 27.

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