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Duke Heart Center Pulse – March 5th 2024

Highlights of the week:

March & ACC.23

We hope everyone is having a great weekend – on this first weekend of March, what could be better than seeing our colleagues in person at #ACC.23 in New Orleans? That Blue Devil win over Carolina last night was just the icing on the cake!

A few things to know as we kick off the month: U.S. News Best Hospitals Voting is currently open and underway in Doximity. Check your account and vote! Also, March is National Nutrition Month, Women’s History Month, and Wednesday (3/8) is International Women’s Day. A shout-out to all the women throughout Duke Heart!

In ACC.23 news thus far, across Duke Heart and Duke Clinical Research Institute: 

  • 2 Late-Breaking sessions
  • 6+ Presentations
  • 19 Moderated sessions
  • 26+ Poster sessions
  • 25+ Speaker/Oral contributions

Regarding the work our fellows are presenting throughout ACC, please try to attend their session if you are able to do so:

Sunday 3/5:

9:00 am-12:00 pm: Willard Applefeld, Balim Senman; Learn By Doing: Immersive Simulation Experiences in Critical Care Cardiology, Telemedicine, HOCM, and Syncope Management (session 303-02, 303-25 Personalized Skills Center Simulation Station).

12:15-12:20 pm: Kelly Arps; Electrical storm: Interdisciplinary Approach to Care (case presentation & panelist session 673, Rm 357)

12:45-1:30 pm: Anthony Peters; Characteristics and outcomes of trial-eligible vs ineligible patients with heart failure with mildly reduced or preserved ejection fraction (session 1560-161, Poster Hall, Hall F)

Monday 3/6:

9:00-11:00 am: Balim Senman; Learn By Doing: Immersive Simulation Experiences in Critical Care Cardiology, Telemedicine, HOCM, and Syncope Management (session 305-1, Personalized Skills Center Simulation Station).

9:45-9:55 am: Jamie Diamond; Characterizing the digital divide & access to mobile health interventions in heart failure: insights from the CONNECT-HF MHEALTH substudy (session 1081-03 Pulmonary Vascular Disease/Valvular Heart Disease/Special Topics Moderated Poster Theater 4_Hall F)

9:45-9:55 am: Karen Flores Rosario; ACC Complex Clinical Cases: Mimicking the great mimicker: LMNA cardiomyopathy presenting as isolated cardiac sarcoidosis (session 1084-03, Complex Clinical Cases Moderated Poster Theater 6_Hall F)

10:00-10:10 am: Joe Lerman; Early post-transplant outcomes in LVAD patients undergoing heart transplant via use of the SherpaPak Cardiac Transport System as compared with traditional cold storage: Insights from the GUARDIAN registry (session 1077, Heart Failure and Cardiomyopathies Moderated Poster Theater 9_Hall F)

3:20-3:30 pm: Willard Applefeld; Top Developments in Critical Care Cardiology (session 454-11, Rm 245)

Congratulations to the follows who presented yesterday, 3/4:

Willard Applefeld; Decoding the ABCs of the Cardiac ICU and Learn By Doing: Immersive Simulation Experiences in Critical Care Cardiology, Telemedicine, HOCM, and Syncope Management

Josephine Harrington; Applicability of the GALACTIC-HF trial and omecamtiv mecarbil to patients hospitalized for heart failure in the United States: from the GWTG-HF registry and Proteomic markers of cardiac fibrosis and endothelial function associated with heart failure in patients with diabetes: an EXSCEL biomarker sub-study

Jessica Duran; Bedside Risk Prediction of Adverse Outcomes in Medically Treated Patients with Severe Tricuspid Regurgitation


Duke Periop Echo is First in U.S. to Receive IAC Accreditation

Alina Nicoara

We are excited to share that our perioperative echocardiography service has received accreditation by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC). In a letter sent this week by Katherine Gibson, RDCS, director of accreditation – echocardiography for the IAC to Dr. Alina Nicoara, cardiac anesthesiologist and director of the Perioperative Echocardiography service, Gibson wrote, “I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate you on seeking and achieving Echocardiography accreditation by the IAC. You and your staff are to be commended for demonstrating your facility’s pursuit of excellence in documenting quality patient care in the field of Echocardiography. Upon receipt and review of recently submitted material, your facility has been awarded accreditation in Perioperative Transesophageal Echocardiography.”

Gibson went on to add, “Duke University Medical Center is the first to achieve this designation. Congratulations!”

“We are thrilled to have received the seal of accreditation from the IAC and grateful for a legacy of excellence in perioperative echocardiography starting with Dr. Fiona Clemens and Dr. Joseph Kisslo, and continuing with Dr. Joseph Mathew, and Dr. Madhav Swaminathan,” said Nicoara, who is Director, Perioperative Echocardiography. “This could not have been achieved without sustained collaboration with our colleagues, cardiologists, and sonographers, and support from the Heart Center. We are also looking forward to working together with other imaging modalities accredited by the IAC within the Duke Heart Center towards achieving a Center of Quality status through joint quality improvement programs.”   image

We reached out to both Madhav Swaminathan, MD and Mihai Podgoreanu, MD for their thoughts on the accreditation news.

“IAC accreditation in perioperative echo is a significant milestone in the rich history of Duke Echocardiography. From pioneering echo in the operating room in the early ‘90s with Joe Kisslo and Fiona Clements, to the establishment of quality improvement guidelines led by Joseph Mathew, to now being the nation’s first periop accredited echo lab, Duke CT Anesthesia remains a leader and beacon of excellence in perioperative echo. Dr. Alina Nicoara led this effort with remarkable perseverance, while Ashlee Davis, in the CDU, was instrumental in helping us achieve this milestone. Congratulations to the entire group!” — Madhav Swaminathan, MD

“The evolution of the Duke Perioperative Echocardiography Program is a history of firsts. From the early pioneers who introduced echocardiography to the cardiac surgical operating rooms (Drs. Norbert de Bruijn, Fiona Clements and Joe Kisslo), to national leadership in standardizing image acquisition and interpretation, to development of the first digital database and reporting for perioperative echocardiography (Dr. Joseph Mathew), to the first anesthesiologist president of the American Society of Echocardiography (Dr. Madhav Swaminathan). Befittingly, as a continuation of its trailblazing tradition, Duke is the first program in the nation to be accredited by the IAC under the leadership and vision of its current Director, Dr. Alina Nicoara. Congratulations to the team and all the Duke Heart collaborators!” — Mihai Podgoreanu, MD

Duke’s rich history in and contributions to echocardiography continue! Well done, all!

D’Amico Selected for TBJ Award

Please join us in congratulating thoracic surgeon Thomas A. D’Amico, MD! On Friday, we learned he has been named one of 14 winners of the Triangle Business Journal’s 2023 Health Care Leadership Awards. D’Amico, the Gary Hock Endowed Professor of Surgery and a faculty member within Duke’s Division of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, is one of four award winners from across Duke University Health System. The winners will be celebrated during an awards dinner on April 13th, when they will also learn more details about their nomination and the category in which they are being awarded. We look forward to sharing more details at that time.

Congratulations, Dr. D’Amico!

CTO 2023 Held

The 2023 Chronic Total Occlusion (CTO) conference, organized by the Cardiovascular Research Foundation, was held Feb. 23-24 at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York City.

Jennifer Rymer, MD, presented research conducted by herself and Drs. Izzy Othman, Caitlin Drescher, Schuyler Jones, and Anna Lisa Chamis on the use of MRI to assess viability for CTOs; their abstract, Utilization of Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging for Management of Coronary Chronic Total Occlusions, received top abstract designation by the conference and was presented during the Award-winning Abstract Presentations section of the conference.

Way to go!


Update: Relocation of DUH Unit 7100 Scheduled for April

The relocation date for Duke University Hospital Unit 7100 has been scheduled for April 14th. This is for the renovation of DUH bed tower 100, which is currently in the process of being renovated. Unit 7100 will be relocated to Duke North 2200 (a 16-bed unit) and 3200 (also a 16-bed unit) in April.


Kudos to McVeigh, Kamneva & Members of 2F2G

Several members of our Heart Failure multidisciplinary team in 2F2G were called into action this week for a code blue. We received comments about several team members for how well each of them handled a difficult situation:

“Having Oksana (Kamneva) in clinic today was a godsend and she did an amazing job in the support of our clinic staff and medication administration. We cannot thank her enough for her support, especially being brand new in her role. Todd McVeigh absolutely deserves recognition for everything that he did throughout entire code, and his follow up care and compassion with the family after. He was truly remarkable in his care, and we were lucky to have him here.” – Jamie Hilton, nurse manager, operations

The 2F2G team demonstrated excellent teamwork and compassionate care – thank you for all you do, especially during difficult experiences.

Kudos to Diaz!

We received a note this week from Dr. Mihai Podgoreanu regarding one of our perfusion team members, Sebastian Diaz, who serves as associate chief of Extracorporeal Life Support (ECLS).

“The recent OR case with a high-risk patient reminded me to highlight Sebastian’s many contributions to our overall Duke Heart team work. His knowledge, engagement, professionalism and communication style are superlative, whether in the CTOR or CTICU. He is a model of compassion, and always willing to pay it forward by educating others. I wanted to take a moment to recognize and celebrate him.” – Mihai Podgoreanu, MD

Excellent work, Sebastian! Well-deserved praise!


Shout-out to MRI team!

We received some warm feedback this week from a patient regarding members of our MRI team. The patient has a background in clinical care and wanted to send their thanks. In a note to Jill Engel and Mary Lindsey, the patient wrote:

“Good morning, I wanted to share with you the wonderful experience I had with my stress MRI last Thursday morning. I was pretty nervous, as sometimes our experience working in the clinical world causes our minds to go places we wish they wouldn’t. 

I had the best experience with Tracy, as the nurse who got me prepped and ready for the MRI, she was the first person to put me at ease.  Nester was awesome as well.  He explained everything, and everything he said was exactly what I experienced.  He and Julie made me feel very comfortable throughout the MRI, as did Tracy when we did the stress portion of the exam.  I do not recall the names of the Radiologists but they were also so great at explaining exactly what was going to happen and it made the entire experience much easier, being my first time having any type of MRI.

I just wanted to let you both know, being clinical in my previous life I know the clinical teams don’t always hear when they are doing a great job and I wanted to share.  Thank you.”a grateful patient (name withheld to protect their privacy)

We have the best teams throughout Duke Heart! Keep up the great work!


Dean’s Distinguished Research Series 2023

The Duke University School of Medicine’s Dean’s Distinguished Research Series showcases groundbreaking research from the basic, clinical, and translational sciences. Formerly called “Research Week”, the reimagined series will be held in-person and live-streamed. All faculty, staff, trainees and students are welcome to attend.

March 9:

Trainee Poster Session, 2:30 – 4 p.m., 6th Floor, Trent Semans Center for Health Education

Faculty Lectures, 4 – 5 p.m., 6th Floor, Trent Semans Center for Health Education.

Chris Beyrer, MD, MPH, director of Duke Global Health Institute, and Keisha Bentley-Edwards, PhD, associate director of research, Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity will present. Light bites and refreshments provided on a first-come, first-served basis. (live stream available: https://duke.is/vgf7u)

For the full schedule, please visit https://medschool.duke.edu/research/deans-distinguished-research-series-2023.

DHIP update

Distribution of Employment Agreements for transitioning members is ongoing. Please monitor your inbox for critical communication from DHIP@duke.edu, your department chair, and Adobe Sign.

Reminder: The Duke Guarantee offers the minimum compensation each Member can expect to receive. Additional compensation opportunities which exist today will continue to be available to members within DHIP.

All members will be given four weeks to consider employment and sign their Employment Agreements.



All other questions can be sent to DHIP@duke.edu, and all DHIP updates can be found at https://dhip.org.


Upcoming Events & Opportunities

Cardiology Grand Rounds

March 14: Topic TBA with Italo Biaggioni of Vanderbilt University Medical Center. 5 p.m., Zoom.

Duke REACH Equity Center Funding Opportunities:

Research Voucher, Scholars Development, Transdisciplinary Think Tank

Now accepting applications through March 17 for July 2023 funding.

The Duke REACH Equity Center awards support students, trainees, and faculty who are interested in conducting research that promotes health equity. All proposals should broadly address the REACH Equity theme: to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in health by improving the quality of patient-centered care in the clinical encounter across diseases, stages of illness, care settings, and throughout the life course. Proposals may include any research topic and method (quantitative, qualitative, etc.).

There are four funding opportunities:

The Research Vouchers Program will supplement currently funded research or support standalone research projects conducted by faculty at any level. Funding: One year, up to $12,500 per award.

The Research Scholars Development Program is intended to support early-stage investigators (residents, fellows, postdoctoral students, nursing trainees, and other trainees at a similar career stage). Scholars work with a faculty mentor (identified by the trainee) to develop a research proposal and complete a project. Funding: Up to $5,000 for one- or two-year project per award.

The Transdisciplinary Think Tank (TTT) provides support to bring together faculty across disciplines who have a common interest in addressing racial and ethnic disparities in the clinical encounter. The TTT’s aim is to catalyze and support research related to the REACH Equity theme and to foster collaboration among health disparities researchers across Duke University. Funding: One year, up to $1,500 per award.

The Medical Student and Nursing Student Research Award is intended to support a third-year medical student or a third-year PhD nursing student conducting research related to the REACH Equity theme. Scholars work with a faculty mentor (identified by the student) to develop a research proposal and complete a project. Funding: Up to $5,000 for one-year project.


  • Full Medical Student Research and Nursing Student Research Award and application instructions are available here.
  • Current awardee list is available here.

Application submission deadline: March 17 for July 2023 funding.

Email reachequitycenter@duke.edu with questions.


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:

February 23 — Duke University School of Nursing


Best Nursing Schools For 2023: Top 5 Schools Most Recommended By Experts


February 24 — Joseph Turek

WFMY CBS-2 (Greensboro)

Grey’s Anatomy features Duke Health Surgery in mid-season premiere


February 27 — Stephen Greene

HCP Live

Heart Failure Community Argues for Omecamtiv Mecarbil Approval, Citing Unmet Need


February 27 — Duke Health/RACE CARS

WGPH Fox-8 (Greensboro)

CPR Awareness Saves Lives*


*clip begins @ 09:23:10

February 27 — Duke School of Medicine

Becker’s ASC Review

10 top-ranked medical schools for surgeons, per US News


March 1 — Joseph Turek, M. Louise Markert and Laura Hale


A New Heart-Thymus Transplant Could Someday Let Kids Live Without Anti-Rejection Drugs


March 1 — Brittany Zwischenberger

Medpage Today

Women Still Face Higher Risks for Mortality After CABG


March 1 — Brittany Zwischenberger


Large Study Finds Women Are (Still) Much More Likely to Die or Have Complications After Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery Than Men


March 2 — Adrian Hernandez

Medpage Today

Stella Immanuel Highest U.S. Prescriber of Ivermectin and HCQ


March 2 — Duke Cardiology/Duke University Hospital


World’s Best Specialized Hospitals 2023


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