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Duke Heart Pulse June 25th 2023

Graduating Cardiology Fellows Celebrated!

Our Duke Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship graduates were celebrated at our annual End-of-Year dinner on Friday evening, June 23, at The Durham Hotel. We are blessed to have the cardiology fellows that we have, often matching 8-10 out of over 800 applicants.  These are men and women with purpose and passion as evident by the graduation dinner. It was a terrific evening and we wish all of them the best as they transition as follows:

  • J.D. Serfas, MD, is joining the faculty at the University of Kansas and Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.
  • Matthew Carlisle, MD, will begin his fellowship in Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology at Duke.
  • Ali Corley, MD, will begin her fellowship in Interventional Cardiology at Duke.
  • Jessica Duran, MD, will join the Multimodality Imaging & Women’s Cardiovascular Health faculty at Vanderbilt Health in Nashville.
  • Karen Flores Rosario, MD, will begin her fellowship in Adult Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology at Duke.
  • Josephine Harrington, MD, will begin her fellowship in Adult Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology here at Duke.
  • Cara Hoke, MD, is joining Duke as an Imaging and Prevention faculty member in the Duke Raleigh practice.
  • Anthony Peters, MD, will begin his fellowship in Adult Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology here at Duke.
  • Christopher Wrobel, MD, our chief fellow, is joining the Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology faculty at UT Southwestern.

Per tradition, we recognized a number of faculty and fellows with annual awards during the dinner. We’re pleased to share the following:

The following awardees are selected by the current fellowship team:

  • The 2023 Outstanding Service Award, awarded to a member (or members) of the hospital staff who demonstrate dedication and excellence in fellow education, goes to Brianna Small and Jeff Washam.

  • The 2023 Bashore Faculty Teaching Award for a faculty member demonstrating dedication and excellence in teaching this year goes to Fawaz Alenezi, MD.


  • The 2023 Fellow Mentorship Award for a faculty member demonstrating dedication and excellence in mentoring fellows’ careers goes to Svati Shah, MD.

The following awards are given in recognition of our fellows and are made possible by the generosity of donors to our training programs:

The Walter F. Floyd Award for Clinical Excellence goes to a fellow demonstrating the most outstanding skills and acumen. This year’s recipient is Daniel Loriaux, MD.

The Joseph G. Greenfield Award for Research Excellence goes to Josephine L. Harrington, MD.

The Cassell-Saperstein Award for Clinician-Educator Excellence goes to Cara Hoke, MD.

The Brandt and Belinda Louie Award for Excellence in all three missions goes to Matt Carlisle, MD.

Well earned! Congratulations to all of our graduates. Those of you leaving Duke will be missed – please stay in touch!


Duke’s MVRR Center Receives Recognition Award

Congratulations to Don Glower, Jeff Gaca, Andrew Wang, and our mitral valve and Center of Excellence teams! For the second year, our Mitral Valve Repair Reference Center has been notified by the Mitral Foundation (working in collaboration with the American Heart Association) that our application on behalf of Duke University Hospital again met all criteria to earn their 2023 recognition award.

The Award jointly recognizes centers in the U.S. which have a demonstrated record of superior clinical outcomes in degenerative mitral valve repair resulting from evidence-based guideline treatment. The Mitral Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board, a multidisciplinary group of leaders including surgeons, cardiologists, and imagers from around the country, developed the criteria applied in the evaluation of candidate centers. Based on their review, our center has demonstrated that it continues to meet these high standards of quality care.

Great work, everyone!


Starks Awarded AHA Funding Via Rural PRO-CARE Health Network

A number of principal investigators, including Duke Heart cardiologist Dr. Monique Starks, were alerted this week by the American Heart Association that their innovative cardiovascular research projects have been awarded a portion of $20 million in funding via the Rural PRO-CARE Health Network, newly established by the AHA.

People who live in rural areas of the U.S. are 40% more likely to develop heart disease and have a 30% higher risk of stroke than people who live in urban areas, according to data reported in the 2020 Call to Action: Rural Health: A Presidential Advisory From the AHA and American Stroke Association. At least 20% of the U.S. population live in rural areas and these people face unique health challenges related to individual risk factors, social determinants of health and lack of access to health care. To address this issue, the AHA is funding a new $20 million scientific research initiative comprised of a network of special projects focused on advancing the understanding of the factors that impact health in rural America.

The Health Equity Research Network on Improving Access to Care and other Health Inequities in Rural America is part of the multi-pronged approach of the AHA’s ongoing work to improve health in rural America. Teams of scientists from Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, OH; Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, NC; Oregon Health & Science University in Portland; VA Palo Alto Health Care System in Palo Alto, CA.; and the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle will lead the community-engaged research projects. The University of Washington will also serve as the coordinating center for the network, leveraging expertise across network sites and nationally, to help train the next generation of rural health equity researchers, providing consultation and guidance, compiling data reports and coordinating the administration of the initiative.

“Along with higher rates of heart disease and stroke, people living in rural areas of the U.S. have a 20% higher death rate than people in metropolitan and urban areas and rural Americans live an average of three years fewer than their urban counterparts,” said Michelle A. Albert, MD,  MPH, 2022-23 volunteer president of the AHA. “Rural populations have higher levels of obesity, diabetes and hypertension and higher rates of tobacco use – all factors that negatively impact heart and brain health. They have also been plagued by increasing prevalence of substance use disorders associated with opioids and methamphetamines. All of these risk factors contribute to poor health. In addition, higher rates of poverty, lower levels of education, lack of public transportation and shortages of health care facilities and providers contribute to the unique obstacles rural communities face in achieving good health. This new research initiative will explore innovative ways to address these challenges, as well as determine how tried-and-true methods can be used to make meaningful change.”

Reciprocal Innovations to Improve Cardiovascular Care in Rural America (Rural PRO-CARE) is the name of the overarching research network. The coordinating center will be managed by a team from the University of Washington School of Medicine, led by Chris Longenecker, MD

Starks’ project, Developing and Testing Drone-Delivered AEDs for Cardiac Arrests In Rural America, is one of five selected for funding. The others include:

  • Implementation and Scale-up of the American Indian Structural Heart Disease Partnership (IN-STEP), led by Dr. Andrea Beaton, Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati.
  • Rural Community Peer Partnerships for Improving Methamphetamine-Associated Heart Failure Screening and Engagement, led by Dr. Todd Korthuis, of Oregon Health & Science University in Portland.
  • Implementation and Evaluation of Pharmacist-Based Management of Chronic Heart Failure for Rural Veterans (PHARM-HF), led by Dr. Paul Heidenreich of the VA Palo Alto Health Care System in Palo Alto.
  • GROW-RURAL: A Global to Rural Innovation Network to Adapt Evidence-Based Cardiovascular Interventions to Context led by Dr. Chris Longnecker of University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle.

Congratulations, Monique!


Duke Children’s Ranked Top Children’s Hospital in NC, Peds Heart #2 in US!

Congratulations to our Duke Children’s Hospital colleagues and especially our pediatric cardiology and pediatric cardiovascular and thoracic surgery teams! Duke Children’s Hospital has been ranked the top children’s hospital in NC by U.S. News & World Report in their annual pediatric rankings for 2023-2024.

The ranking of every pediatric specialty improved this year, and all of our pediatric specialties ranked within the top 50 in the nation. We are especially excited for the recognition given to our pediatric heart team for being ranked second in the nation this year.

Congratulations to all for these outstanding pediatric specialty designations:

  • Cancer – Ranked 26
  • Cardiology & Heart Surgery – Ranked 2
  • Diabetes & Endocrine – Ranked 32
  • Gastroenterology & GI Surgery — Ranked 20
  • Neonatal Care – Ranked 14
  • Nephrology — Ranked 31
  • Neurology & Neurosurgery – Ranked 45
  • Orthopedics – Ranked 23
  • Pulmonology – Ranked 23
  • Urology – Ranked 19

These distinctions would not be possible without the remarkable work of our team members. Please take a moment today to pause and reflect on the positive difference you make in the lives of our patients and their families.

Way to go!


ICYMI: CMS Provider Enrollment and Revalidation Processes

ATTN PROVIDERS!! The following was distributed via email on Friday, June 23 from the PDC.

If you have recently received an email from CMS or if you receive an email from CMS in the future, you are required to take action in order to continue receiving payment from CMS. The email from CMS is not spam.

If you have not and do not receive an email from CMS in the future, no action is required.

As part of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) provider enrollment related to DHIP, enrollment updates and/or revalidation process, some providers may be required to login and complete a two-step process to ensure seamless billing and prescribing under CMS.  The email will be sent from CMS (donotreply@cms.gov) with the subject “CMS I&A Connection Request – Action Required.”

This is a two-step process for you to take:

  1. If you have received or receive in the future an email from CMS (donotreply@cms.gov) with the subject “CMS I&A Connection Request – Action Required“, click the link and sign-in to the portal to approve surrogacy for the Enrollment Specialist to complete the enrollment update. You must approve surrogacy as soon as possible after receiving the email from CMS. By approving surrogacy, this gives the PRMO the authority to act on your behalf with PECOS.
  2. Once you approve the surrogacy request and the Enrollment Specialist has updated your enrollment record, you will receive a second email from CMS instructing you to login to PECOS and approve the application submission. You must approve the enrollment submission as soon as possible after receiving the email from CMS.

Failure to complete both steps will result in the provider being unenrolled in Medicare and could impact patient care. See the PDC email from 6/23 for an example for the CMS email.

Please note:

Your UserID/password for CMS and PECOS is the same UserID for updating your NPI information within NPPES.

There are additional links for “Forgot Password” and Forgot User ID” if needed:

Direct questions to:

Christina Blevins, Director of Provider Enrollment, at Christina.Blevins@duke.edu or to Kristen Mascoe, Manager of Provider Enrollment, at Kristen.Mascoe@duke.edu.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this important matter.


Quick Reminders & Updates

  • DHIP Updates: The transition team released a Q&A via email on Friday, June 16 regarding Temporary Medical Leave. If you missed it, you can find all the information here, look under “Benefits Information.”

Upcoming Events & Opportunities

Cardiology Grand Rounds is on hiatus for the summer. We’ll be back in the fall!


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:

June 9 — Harry Severance


AI-driven solutions for burnout, patient empathy, and worker shortage


June 11 — Harry Severance

Medpage Today

A Manager’s Perspective on Healthcare Unionization


June 12 — Harry Severance

Becker’s Hospital Review

Viewpoint: Why this hospital administrator is pro-union


June 15 — Duke Health & Jason Banner

Geo TV/Health

Hopes for dying patients awaiting heart donation get new lease on life


June 15 — Carmelo Milano, Brandi Bottinger, and Alejandro Murillo-Berlioz


Honduras Medical Center Y El Programa Duke Heart for Honduras Realizan Brigada Cardiovascular Con El Apoyo De Grupo Financiero Atlantida


June 8 — Harry Severance

Becker’s ASC Review

Physicians are losing power. Here’s why. (Part 1)


June 16 — Harry Severance

Becker’s ASC Review

How physician can become ‘captains of their own fates’ once more (Part 2)


June 16 — Adrian Hernandez

News & Observer

Biden picks Mandy Cohen, the architect of NC’s COVID-19 response, as CDC director


June 18 — Kelly Arps

Cardio Nerds

Episode 309: Atrial Fibrillation: Situational Assessment of Stroke and Bleeding Risk with Dr. Hafiza Khan


June 19 — Jacob Schroder & Zachary Fitch

VOA News/Health & Lifestyle

Study: New Heart Transplant Method Could Save More Patients


June 19 — Adam DeVore & Jacob Schroder


Randomized Trial Supports Using Hearts Donated After Circulatory Death


June 20 — James Tcheng

EHR Intelligence

ONC Project Taps FHIR to Extract Over 40% of Clinical Data Registry


June 21 — Manesh Patel


Medicare Data on AMICS Too Muddied for Firm Conclusions on Impella


June 21 — Duke Children’s Hospital & Health Center

Becker’s Hospital Review

Top 20 children’s hospitals for cardiology, heart surgery


June 21 — Duke Children’s Hospital & Health Center

Triangle Business Journal

Duke Children’s Hospital named best in Southeast by U.S. News & World Report


June 22 — Kelly Kester

Becker’s Hospital Review

Where have all the preceptors gone? Nurse leaders offer strategies to build a pipeline


Duke Heart Pulse June 18th 2023

Chief’s message:

Happy Father’s day to all the fathers and father figures throughout our Duke Heart teams.  It is said it takes a village to raise our young, and we want to express our thanks to the fathers who provide love and support to so many.  Hopefully you all will have a good day.   Also, as we near the end of the Academic year, we will update the coming weeks with our graduating fellows and their future plans and impact on our cardiovascular program and cardiac-thoracic surgery group.

Also – we apologize as we are unable to insert the photos into the blog this week – we will include these in upcoming weeks.

Highlights of the week:

Celebrating Freedom & Juneteenth

Monday is Juneteenth, a federal holiday as of 2021. In honor of that, we are sharing the message issued last week by Chancellor Washington, as well as a short message from Dr. Fatima Zahara Syed.

“Freedom. Heritage. Remembrance. Reflection. Community. Our national holidays provide us with many opportunities to celebrate these fundamental values; and on June 19, we celebrate Juneteenth, the date that news of the Emancipation Proclamation finally made it to the formerly enslaved Black residents of Galveston, Texas — a full two years after the end of the Civil War. Juneteenth is one of our nation’s mileposts in an ongoing story of freedom and self-determination.

Juneteenth points to an essential truth at the core of our national story that freedom must be continually fought for. That is why the flag of Juneteenth is red, white and blue. Today, these colors remind us of our collective responsibility to live up to the beautiful pursuit of liberty and justice for all.

Here at Duke Health, we continue to work on behalf of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, because we believe that these ideals are the bedrock of a healthier society. While there is much more yet to achieve, both here at Duke and throughout our nation, we must also celebrate progress.

So this Juneteenth, I hope you will spend time with loved ones, volunteer in the community, and take time to reflect on the many twists and turns in our still unfolding story. In so doing, may we all feel inspired to keep pushing for progress in advancing our founding principles of freedom and equality.” — With appreciation and gratitude, A. Eugene Washington, MD, Chancellor for Health Affairs, Duke University.

“As we strive to foster an inclusive and equitable environment within our department and institution, it is essential that we take the time to reflect on the significance of this day and its relevance to the ongoing fight against systemic racism and social injustice,” said Fatima Zahara Syed, MD, associate professor of medicine in the division of General Internal Medicine and vice chief for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Duke University School of Medicine. “Let us embrace Juneteenth as an opportunity to deepen our understanding, foster empathy, and reinforce our commitment to creating a diverse, inclusive, and equitable environment within our institution and beyond.”

Also worth checking out is this video clip from Duke’s Racial Equity Advisory Council: https://duke.is/vc6d5, which features Kim Hewitt, Duke University’s vice president for institutional equity, and Abbas Benmamoun, vice provost for faculty advancement giving their thoughts on the role of the Council and helping everyone feel welcome across Duke.

Patel Formally Recognized by AHA as Physician of the Year

In a virtual event held Wednesday evening, June 14, the American Heart Association formally acknowledged the recipients of their 2023 National Volunteer Awards – among them, Duke Heart’s Manesh Patel, MD, who received recognition as their Physician of the Year.

The event was hosted by Ray Vara, AHA’s Chairman of the Board, 2021-2023; Dr. Michelle Albert, AHA President; and Nancy Brown, AHA’s Chief Executive Officer. It was emceed by Sonia Azad, health and wellness reporter.

In total, 17 people and organizations were honored, and each honoree was introduced by a surprise special guest. For Manesh, his surprise presenter was Rob Califf, MD, cardiologist, Duke alum, and Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration.

“One characteristic that I really cherish in Manesh is that he is a mentor,” Califf remarked. “If you look at the people that have come along behind him, he’s helped so many people, looked after them, advanced their careers, and they’ve gone on to do great things. I’ve always thought the best mark of a person in medicine is not the work of the person, but the work of all the people who came along afterwards – you really see what they can do.”

To see a recording of the event, you can watch it on YouTube by clicking here. The section specific to Dr. Patel begins at 1:21:30.

Congratulations to Manesh and his fellow honorees!

Graduating AHFTC Fellows Celebrated!

Our graduating Advanced Heart Failure & Transplant Cardiology fellows were celebrated at an End-of-Year dinner on Friday evening, June 16, at Hawthorne & Wood in Chapel Hill. We are excited for them as they each move into faculty positions! Jamie Diamond is heading to Emory Healthcare in Atlanta; Nima Moghaddam is joining our faculty at Duke, and Vishal Rao will head to MUSC Health.


ICYMI: JCF Series Explores How Eroding Abortion Access Impacts the HF Community

The Journal of Cardiac Failure has launched a series that will explore the intersection of reproductive health and heart failure care following the loss of federal abortion protections in the US nearly a year ago. The series debuted this week with a perspective piece, Pregnancy and Left Ventricular Assist Devices in the Post Roe v Wade Era, co-authored by cardiology fellow Karen Flores Rosario, MD; Jerome Federspiel, MD, PhD; Stuart Russell, MD; Jonas Swartz, MD, MPh; Jason Katz, MD, MHS; Beverly Gray, MD; Stephanie Barnes, NP, and Richa Agarwal, MD.

The recurring feature was announced in a JCF Editor’s Page article by associate editor Nosheen Reza, MD, of the University of Pennsylvania; Editor-in-Chief Robert Mentz, MD, of Duke, and Deputy Editor Anu Lala, MD of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Several other articles are planned over the coming months. To learn more, see the TCTMD article in our News section.

Shout-out to Shah!

Nishant Shah was quoted in USA Today last week – and received a highlight for that in The Duke Daily. Nicely done, Nishant! To see that news story and many others, see our ‘In the News’ section, below.

Kevin Shah Named CMO for Duke Primary Care

Dr. Tom Owens, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Duke University Health System announced on Monday that Kevin Shah, MD, MBA, has been named Chief Medical Officer for Duke Primary Care (DPC) and Vice President of Duke University Health System (DUHS), effective June 1, 2023.

In this new role, Dr. Shah will be the senior health system leader overseeing the DPC Network with responsibility for clinical quality and outcomes, operational excellence, and financial performance.  In close partnership with DHIP and system executive leadership, Dr. Shah will oversee the strategic direction, growth, and deployment of primary and urgent care services across the health system. Dr. Shah will lead a high performing and diverse team of operational and clinical leaders, working collaboratively to prioritize quality and safety for our patients, as well as champion the effective recruitment, retention, and wellbeing of our providers.

Kevin has served as the Interim Chief Medical Officer for DPC since June 22, 2022. He joined the DPC network in 2015 and has served in numerous leadership roles, including Associate Chief Medical Officer for Innovation and Improvement and Associate Chief Medical Officer for Clinical Operations. In these roles, he was instrumental in helping DPC achieve strong clinical quality and operational success.  Kevin has worked closely with multiple leaders across our specialty and our inpatient platforms and is regarded by his colleagues as a talented physician, leader and mentor. Dr. Shah is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine and continues to see patients at Duke Primary Care South Durham. In his new role, he will report to Dr. Owens.


Quick Reminders & Updates

  • Masking is now optional. Duke Health went masking optional as of Tuesday, June 13. Masking is optional for patients, visitors, and team members in most circumstances. NOTE: Guidelines and exceptions are available in Sharepoint.
  • DHIP Updates: The transition team released a Q&A via email on Friday, June 16 regarding Temporary Medical Leave. If you missed it, you can find all the information here, look under “Benefits Information.”


Upcoming Events & Opportunities

Cardiology Grand Rounds is on hiatus for the summer. We’ll be back in the fall!

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:


June 7 — William Kraus

The Washington Post

Forget 10,000 steps. 7 surprising tips for step counters.


June 8 — Jacob Schroder

U.S. News & World Report

New Approach to Transplants Could Boost Supply of Donor Hearts


June 8 — Duke University Hospital

Becker’s Hospital Review

This heart transplant method could increase the donor pool by 30%


June 8 — Jacob Schroder

Washington Hispanic

Al parecer puede ser todo un éxito el nuevo método de trasplante de corazón


June 8 — Jacob Schroder

Deseret News

‘Reanimated’ heart transplant method could save thousands of lives, increase donor hearts


June 9 — Jacob Schroder

Medical Daily

‘Heart-In-A-Box’: Innovative Transplant Method Deemed Safe, Could Expand Donor Pool


June 10 — Jacob Schroder

Physician’s Weekly

Survival Noninferior With Heart Donated After Circulatory Death


June 10 — Jacob Schroder

Medical Dialogues

Hearts Donated After Circulatory Death Lead to Similar Survival as Donation After Brain Death: NEJM


June 12 — Stephen Greene


TRANSFORM-HF Quality of Life Data Further Informs Diuretic Use in Heart Failure


June 12 — Nishant Shah

USA Today

Study reveals how alcohol has heart benefits. Why you should still sip with caution.


June 12 — Neha Pagidipati


Risk for heart failure in women after pregnancy underrecognized


June 13 — Jacob Schroder and Adam DeVore


Major New Study Finds Way to Significantly Expand Heart Donor Pool


June 13 — Stephen Greene


SGLT2 Inhibitor Prescription Rates Lag Behind in HFrEF, with Stephen Greene, MD


June 14 — Jennifer Rymer


Off-label DOAC Dosing Tied to Worse Adherence, More Discontinuation


June 14 — Duke Heart for Honduras

Iconos magazine (Honduras)

Fundación Lady Lee apoya brigada cardiovascular Duke Heart for Honduras


June 15 — Duke Heart for Honduras

La Tribuna

Banco Atlántida ofrece coctel a la brigada médica “Duke Heart for Honduras”


June 15 — Michael Pencina

Health Tech

Reduce Healthcare Burnout Through Data-Driven Automation


June 15 — Karen Flores Rosario and Robert Mentz


Journal Series Explores How Eroding Abortion Access Impacts the HF Community


Duke Heart Pulse June 11th 2023

Chief’s message:

Several highlights this week to demonstrate and again give pause to the amazing breadth of clinical, research and educational work that we do at Duke Heart.  The work among our heart failure and transplant leaders and team to expand the donor pool by studying the use of hearts donated after circulatory death (DCD) was published this week in the NEJM.  This work exemplifies the magic of health science that expands and informs heart care.  This can only happen when there are the highest caliber clinicians and teams working to improve and study clinical care.  We also have continued stories on the excellence of our faculty with Dr. Lefkowitz named one of the top 3 scientist worldwide by research.com.  We also have excellence in teaching as recognized by our fellows and faculty, with Dr. Anita Kelsey winning the educational award in cardiology in the Department of Medicine.  And finally service, as our multi-specialty team again goes to Honduras to support surgical cases, this time with ability to support pediatric cases with our world-class team.  By any measure, our groups continue to have local and worldwide impact on the care of people with heart disease across the entire spectrum.

Highlights of the week:

New Heart Transplant Method May Grow Donor Pool 30%

Study finds new technique is equivalent to current standard of care

For decades, doctors have used hearts donated after brain death as the standard of care for patients awaiting a heart transplant.

A relatively new method of heart transplantation, which allows for the use of hearts donated after circulatory death (DCD), could expand the annual pool of available donor hearts by a projected 30%.

Traditionally, hearts could not be donated after cardiac death. The DCD method in the study uses a machine to keep the heart pumping, making it viable for donation, but also enabling the organ to travel further.

A study led by Duke Health physicians, appearing online June 7 in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that DCD hearts were equivalent to hearts procured through the current standard of care.

“This should eliminate any barriers for transplant centers to offer this to their patients because we now have objective, randomized data showing both types of hearts are equivalent,” said Jacob Schroder, MD, corresponding author and assistant professor in the Department of Surgery at the Duke University School of Medicine. Schroder is the surgical director of Duke’s Heart Transplantation Program.

The study enrolled 180 patients, with half receiving DCD hearts and the other half receiving brain death hearts. It compared risk-adjusted survival at six months and found a survival rate of 94% for those who received a DCD heart and 90% for those who received hearts donated after brain death.

Researchers also looked at serious adverse events 30 days after transplantation, with the mean number of such events at 0.2 for DCD and 0.1 for the standard donated hearts.

Duke Health helped pioneer the use of DCD in the United States, performing the country’s first DCD heart transplant and pediatric DCD heart transplant. The company that developed the technology to keep a DCD heart pumping during transit, TransMedics, sponsored this study.

Duke is now one of around twenty transplant centers in the country that provide DCD heart transplants. Researchers believe the validation from this study should galvanize other centers to consider adopting the method.

“We’ve remained committed to studying the viability of this method out of an aggressive desire to take care of and provide life-saving options for our patients,” said Chetan Patel, MD, study author and associate professor of cardiology in the Department of Medicine.

“Our goal has always been to expand the donor pool to offer heart transplantation to as many patients in need as possible, said Adam DeVore, MD, study author and associate professor of cardiology in the Department of Medicine. DeVore serves as medical director of Duke’s Heart Transplantation Program.

“By finishing and publishing the DCD Heart study, we offer a clear roadmap for other centers to adopt this practice as well,” DeVore said. “Duke has been lucky to be able offer this treatment option to patients since 2019. This has allowed us to offer transplant to more patients in need but also earlier in their disease course – before they become so sick they have difficulty recovering from the surgery. Our goal is to offer transplant to patients at the right time where they can undergo surgery and recover, and still thrive soon after.”

In addition to Schroder, Patel and DeVore, study authors include Benjamin S. Bryner, Sarah Casalinova, Ashish Shah, Jason W. Smith, Amy G. Fiedler, Mani Daneshmand, Scott Silvestry, Arnar Geirsson, Victor Pretorius, David L. Joyce, John Y. Um, Fardad Esmailian, Koji Takeda, Karol Mudy, Yasuhiro Shudo, Christopher T. Salerno, Si M. Pham, Daniel J. Goldstein, Jonathan Philpott, John Dunning, Lucian Lozonschi, Gregory S. Couper, Hari Reddy Mallidi, Michael M. Givertz, Duc Thinh Pham, Andrew W. Shaffer, Masashi Kai, Mohammed A. Quader, Tarek Absi, Tamer S. Attia, Bassam Shukrallah, Ben C. Sun, Maryjane Farr, Mandeep R. Mehra, Joren C. Madsen, Carmelo A. Milano, and David A. D’Alessandro.

Outstanding work – congratulations to the entire team!


Lefkowitz Again Ranked in Top 3 of Scientists Worldwide

Research.com has released their annual rankings of the Top Scientists in the field of Biology and Biochemistry. Robert J. Lefkowitz, PhD, the Chancellor’s Distinguished Professor of Medicine, a professor of cardiology in the Duke Department of Medicine, and a principal investigator with the Duke Cardiovascular Research Center, currently ranks third in the world and second in the United States. He has also been recognized with Research.com’s Biology and Biochemistry Leader Award for 2023.

To see the full summary, please visit: https://research.com/careers/best-biology-and-biochemistry-scientists-2023-report.

Congratulations, Bob!!!



Duke Heart for Honduras – Third Time is the Charm!

More than 20 medical professionals representing Duke Heart and Duke Heart for Honduras are currently on their third trip to the country – this time with the capability of providing surgical interventions to pediatric patients at Hospital Maria.

For those yet unfamiliar with the program, Duke Heart for Honduras is an international cardiovascular surgical outreach partnership program between the Division of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at Duke and the Instituto Nacional Cardiopulmonar (INCP) in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Hospital Maria, the pediatric hospital, is also located in Tegucigalpa.

The goal of the program is two-fold. First, the Duke team seeks to help improve survival rates and quality of life for Honduran adults, and now children, with acquired valvular heart disease (often due to rheumatic fever that resulted in rheumatic heart disease). The program was initiated in July 2019 when a surgical team traveled to Honduras and performed surgical procedures for the first time.

The team’s second goal is to provide education and training to local Honduran healthcare providers at all levels to help them better prevent and treat valvular heart disease in that region.

Such a terrific program. We look forward to hearing all about their trip when the team returns!


Cooney End-of-Year Review Focuses on People, Accomplishments, Resiliency

Closing out her fifth year as Chair of the Department of Medicine, Kathleen Cooney, MD, focused on the many accomplishments of the members of the department on the frontlines as they continue to move us forward and advance our tripartite missions. In her End of the Year Review on Friday, June 2, Cooney noted that we are improving the health of our communities locally, regionally, nationally and abroad as a consequence. Cooney also noted the resiliency of the department’s faculty, trainees who achieved these goals while adapting to major change over the last year.

If you missed the event, a copy of the recording is available here.

Dr. Anita Kelsey was also awarded the Department of Medicine Excellence in Teaching award for Cardiology at the end of year Department Recognition Event.  This award is provided to the Faculty with highest commitment and excellence to education in the Division of Cardiology.  Congratulations Anita – well deserved.


CSRC Think Tank Meeting Held

The Cardiac Safety Research Consortium (CSRC) held their Think Tank meeting on June 7 in Washington, DC on the campus of the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). The event, CSRC Think Tank: Update on Regulatory Status of Hypertension, Biomarkers and Arrhythmia Monitoring in Clinical Trials was very well attended – despite the city having air quality not unlike that found in Beijing (see Canadian wildfires, impact on U.S.), according to Mitch Krucoff, MD. Krucoff, professor of cardiology in Duke’s Department of Medicine, is a member of the CSRC and principal investigator for the FDA-Duke Memo of Understanding founding the critical path Cardiac Safety Research Consortium (CSRC) PPP program.

The event included professionals from FDA Regulatory, EU Regulatory, Japan PMDA, Cardiac Safety Consultants, Ltd., Eli Lilly, Richmond Pharmacology, and academic trialist experts on cardiogenic shock from the University of Connecticut, Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, Cleveland Clinic, Mass General, DSI, Penn Medicine, and UCSF.


3200/2200 Great Catch Awards to Ameen & Haigh!

The 3200/2200 Cardiology Stepdown team at Duke University Hospital is very proud to recognize Melissa Ameen and Lakyn Haigh for receiving Great Catch Awards!

Melissa Ameen, BSN, RN, PCCN, identified vital signs populating on the EMR for one of her patients that were very different from the patient’s trend. After investigating, she realized that the patient was admitted to a bedside monitor in another location in the hospital and that the vital signs were actually those of another patient, who was currently attached to that monitor. She caught the problem within 15 minutes, which prevented any of the incorrect vital signs from populating into her patient’s chart. This also ensured that the other patient’s vitals were correctly routed to that patient’s EMR, and that both care teams for the patients had the correct clinical information. Melissa is a Charge Nurse & Preceptor and has been a RN on 32/22 for 7.5 years. Great job, Melissa!

Lakyn Haigh, RN, noticed that an IV medication was ordered to be administered IV push by drawing up four full vials of medication. Though the dose on the order was correct, the rate was not specified, and she recognized that this unusual administration method was not appropriate. She escalated her concerns twice, after which the formulation of the medication was changed to an IV bag. Lakyn’s willingness to escalate her concern led to a change to a safer and more appropriate administration method for the medication. Lakyn is a Travel RN who has worked on 32/22 for nearly one year. Nicely handled, Lakyn!

Thank you both for taking excellent care of our patients!


Quick Reminders & Updates


  • Masking update. Beginning Tuesday, June 13, masking will be optional for patients, visitors, and team members in most circumstances. Guidelines and exceptions are available in Sharepoint.
  • PG2 tunnel renovation is complete. New flooring was installed in the Duke University Hospital Parking Garage 2 lobby (tunnel level) throughout the walkway to Duke North. The work was completed last week, so the tunnel is once again fully open.
  • DHIP Updates:

Town Hall Held

  • On June 7th, DHIP Leadership hosted a community-wide Town Hall covering recent progress within the DHIP transition, Day 1 Expectations, a Training Overview, and Q&A. The recorded session can be found here.


  • The HR team is engaging in targeted follow-up with transitioning personnel who have not yet completed special enrollment or onboarding.
  • Information regarding Duke Benefits is available on SharePoint.
  • All benefits related questions can be sent to DHIPBenefits@Duke.edu.
  • An email was distributed on 5/30 to all faculty eligible to enroll in benefits regarding an extension to the voluntary short term and long-term disability enrollment period through 6/23.

DHIP Trainings

  • Please see the training site; you can register for upcoming trainings and view recorded sessions at PDC Intranet – Home (sharepoint.com)


  • As a reminder, individuals who are DU and DUHS Leased with PDC on the bottom of their badge will be given new badges (rolling basis in July 2023) due to access constraints. DU/DUHS Leased individuals already have horizontal Duke badges which do not need to be replaced.


  • If possible, please submit all current reimbursement requests to PDC.AP@duke.edu by June 22nd for processing.

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:

May 28 — Jacob Schroder and Jason Banner

CBS News

New method revolutionizes heart transplants


**this story originally ran in Feb. 2023; it has been updated

May 30 — Stephen Greene


Early, rapid uptitration of HF therapies after discharge reduces death, readmission risk


June issue — Geoffrey Ginsburg

Environmental Factor

Scientists talk precision medicine, environmental health at NC event


June 1 — Adam DeVore


Boosting GDMT and Improving Outcomes? No Mean Task After AHF


June 2 — Harry Severance

KevinMD.com/Medpage Today

The escalating violence in health care workplaces: a critical problem facing the nation’s health care system


June 6 — Stephen Greene


SGLT2i Still Underprescribed in HFrEF, New US Analysis Confirms


June 6 — Sana Al-Khatib


First-Line or BiV Backup? Conduction System Pacing for CRT in Heart Failure


June 6 — Rob Mentz


Combination of Sacubitril/Valsartan May Improve Heart Failure Outcomes


June 7 — Jacob Schroder

Associated Press

Newer heart transplant method could allow more patients a chance at lifesaving surgery


*this story was carried by 490+ AP outlets including in ABC News, Medscape, and in New York, Los Angeles & Chicago

AP en español

EEUU: Ubican nueva alternativa para corazones donados


En español via Telemundo:

Estudio: nuevo método quirúrgico podría expandir los trasplantes de corazón a miles de pacientes


June 7 — Jacob Schroder


Reanimated hearts donated after death work just as well for transplants, study finds


June 8 — Adam DeVore


Outcomes similar with heart donation after circulatory death vs. brain death


June 9 — Jacob Schroder


Reanimated hearts work as well for transplants and could make more organs available for patients in need, study finds



Duke Heart Pulse 6-4-2023

Chief’s message:

The Spring in North Carolina is notable for clear changing of seasons – with blooming dogwoods, graduations, and new fellows and faculty. We work every year to try to capture some of the amazing accomplishments of some many great cardiology and heart center team members including faculty, advanced practice providers, fellows, residents, and heart center nurses and staff. We will be doing this in the upcoming weeks. Hopefully taking a few moments to celebrate our accomplishments will help energize our teams as we continue to move forward to help improve the heart health of the triangle and below, improve knowledge, and train the next generation.   As with all academic years, we also have shared some news of transitions from Duke and with Duke Cardiology Alumni.  This week is no exception, as we are excited for Jason Katz as he moves to NYU and Bellevue, but also sad to see him leave us.  Additionally, we share that our notable prior DCRI director and Duke Cardiology Alumni – Bob Harrington will become Dean of Weill Cornell Medicine and provost for medical affairs of Cornell University. We look forward to continuing to work with both of them and celebrating their successes in the future.

Highlights of the week:

Katz Departing for NYU Langone Health in November

Jason Katz

As noted above, it is with bittersweet emotions, we announce that Jason Katz, MD, co-director of the Duke CICU and co-director of our Mechanical Circulatory Support (MCS) Program, will be departing Duke Health later this fall in order to take on several exciting new roles at NYU Langone Health System.

There, Katz will become professor of medicine and Associate Chief of Cardiology at Bellevue Hospital (the nation’s oldest public health institution), Director of Inpatient Cardiology at Bellevue, Associate Director of the Ventricular Assist Device Program, and Program Director for the NYU Langone Advanced Heart Failure & Transplant Cardiology Fellowship.

Katz has served as the Healthcare System Director of Cardiovascular Critical Care, Co-Director of the CICU, and Co-Director of the MCS Program. He has been influential in expanding and relocating the CICU, creating a CICU APP team, leading a multitude of educational efforts, expanding use of temporary MCS for cardiogenic shock, as well as a number of research endeavors. Katz’s efforts have helped improve the care of critically ill and mechanically-supported patients here at Duke and across the world.

“Above and beyond all of the important efforts noted above, he has been an ideal colleague and I feel fortunate to have him as a friend and mentor,” said Robert J. Mentz, section chief for Heart Failure at Duke. “He is a staunch patient advocate and has taught us all how to be better clinicians.”

In a statement shared with his section team, Mentz included a link to one of Katz’s recent Journal of Cardiac Failure articles – a perspective piece – and said he found it particularly impactful.

Jason represents the best of Duke in so many ways. He will be missed dearly across Duke Heart, and by all the teams with whom he has interacted and helped shape. We wish him all the best in this transition, and are happy to know that we will continue to collaborate across multiple fronts.

A gathering to celebrate Katz and his many successes here at Duke and beyond will be planned over the coming months. We wish him all the best as he joins the team at NYU Langone. Please join us in congratulating Jason on his new roles and in thanking him for all the work he has done on behalf of our patients, trainees, and our entire staff.

Congrats, Jason!


Alumni News: Harrington Heading to Weill Cornell Medicine

Congratulations to Duke Heart alum Robert A. Harrington, MD, cardiologist and the Arthur L. Bloomfield Professor of Medicine and chair of the Department of Medicine at Stanford University. Harrington this week was named the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean of Weill Cornell Medicine and provost for medical affairs of Cornell University. Harrington is the former Richard Sean Stack, M.D. Distinguished Professor at Duke and had served as Director of the Duke Clinical Research Institute.

The announcement was made on Thursday, June 1 by Cornell University president Martha E. Pollack. Harrington will begin his new position on Sept. 12.

Harrington, a member of the National Academy of Medicine, is a past president of the American Heart Association (AHA) and has most recently chaired Stanford’s Department of Medicine, a position he began in 2012.

“In addition to being an outstanding physician-scientist, Dr. Harrington is an energetic and proven leader, with a reputation for bringing people together to achieve shared objectives,” Pollack said. “I am looking forward to working closely with him as we continue to advance Weill Cornell Medicine’s mission as a world-class institution of patient care, scientific discovery and education of future health care leaders.”

Harrington, who grew up and attended college on the East Coast, is excited to be returning to his roots, although he terms the move as “bittersweet” after 11 years in Palo Alto, California.

“The opportunity to come to Weill Cornell Medicine was really extraordinary for us, professionally and as a family,” Harrington said. “I’m excited to help shape an already-excellent academic medical institution into its next version.”

Bob Harrington has mentored and had a tremendous impact on so many in medicine, and this new opportunity will undoubtedly allow a him to expand this impact and reach.

Congratulations, Bob! We’re excited to have you back East!


Women in Cardiology Update

The Duke Heart Women in Cardiology (WIC) group held their end-of-year event on Thursday evening, June 1 at the Washington Duke Inn.

There was a great turn-out for the event with fellows and faculty from all three hospitals across Duke University Health System in attendance – there was even a surprise appearance by Tracy Wang!

“It was wonderful to catch up and enjoy a fabulous spring night on the patio,” said Melissa Daubert, MD. “It was particularly great to see everyone in person with no masks!”

The group plans to continue offering WIC events at least twice per year. If you are not receiving updates about the WIC group or their upcoming events, please reach out to Dr. Daubert to be added to their distribution list.

Quite an amazing group of cardiologists.  Great photo, WIC team!


Kudos to 3100 Team!

Kudos and special thanks to the DUH 3100 nursing staff, VAD medical team, and to Colby and Courtney from PT/OT for arranging for a long-term VAD patient to go outside and visit with his pup, ‘Colby Joe.’ Pictured are our patient, Dale*, along with Colby Joe, and Courtney and Colby with Colby Joe.

You can tell by Dale’s smile just how much he appreciated this special visit!

Great job, everyone! What a wonderful way to spread some joy by helping a patient get a bit of fresh air and some time with their beloved pet. *Name and photos used with permission.

Shout-out to Duke EP Team!

We received an outstanding note from an EP patient this week and wanted to share it with you. The patient had seen Drs. Jonathan Piccini and James Daubert, and received care from a number of EP team members while undergoing care at Duke University Hospital.

“I saw [the patient] yesterday in clinic, said Piccini. “He is doing great and he wanted me to share how much he appreciated each and every one of you and the care you delivered. Thanks for all you do for our patients!” — Best, Jon

The text of the letter is as follows, name withheld for privacy:

I am writing this letter to inform you of my superb care at Duke University Hospital 19-20 Jan 2023. I underwent a cardiac ablation led by Dr Jonathan Piccini, Director of Cardiac Electrophysiology. Dr Piccini was referred to me by my brother who Dr Piccini had helped several years ago with a heart arrhythmia problem.

I feel very fortunate to have had Dr Piccini and Dr James Daubert as my providers. Additionally, I would like to specifically thank some of the great members of their team to include Pre-Op: Joy Lombardi and Emily Tedesco; Afib Ablation: Stewart Capps; Post-Op: Jane Schultz, Emily Tedesco, Lauren Guy, Meredith Wilkinson, Isabella Grezzi, Grace Eckler, Mackensie Bashnig, Deanna Bagalawis, and Janice Febre. Please excuse any misspellings as I was trying to capture names while recovering.

I have been lucky to be a member of a number of high functioning teams during my professional life, and you certainly have one with Dr Piccini and his Electrophysiology superstars. I want to thank you and your medical team for an exceptional care experience. – grateful patient

Nicely done, team!


Great Catch, Aiken & Branson!

Janet Aiken, CNII and Michelle Branson, Clinical Exercise Physiologist from our Cardiopulmonary Rehab team, were concerned about a patient’s report of feeling unwell during warm-up for cardiac rehabilitation.  The patient requested to go home, but they advocated for further work-up, which showed the patient to be going in and out of ventricular tachycardia. The patient was transported to the Duke Emergency Department via EMS, admitted as an inpatient, and discharged home several days later.

Way to go – truly a great catch!

This Week: DCRI Research Forum with John Scheyer

The Duke Clinical Research Institute team is excited to have rescheduled their Research Forum with special guest John Scheyer, head coach of the Duke Men’s Basketball program. Please join us on June 6, at 9 a.m. for the Forum, which will feature a fireside chat with Scheyer. This will be a virtual event; Scheyer will discuss his journey and the philosophy that keeps him focused on success — both his personal success and the success of his team. We’ll also address how his philosophy and resilience translates to healthcare and our approach to enhancing human health.

What: DCRI Research Forum: A Conversation with Duke Men’s Basketball Head Coach Jon Scheyer

When: Tuesday, June 6 from 9-10 a.m. ET

Zoom Link:  DCRI Research Forum


Quick Reminders & Updates

  • PG2 tunnel closure begins tomorrow, June 5. New flooring is being installed in the Duke University Hospital Parking Garage 2 lobby (tunnel level) throughout the walkway to Duke North. The work will take place between the hours of 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. on Monday, June 5 and Monday, June 12. Signage will be posted for awareness about the construction area.


Upcoming Events & Opportunities

Cardiac Safety Research Consortium Think Tank Meeting, June 7

The Cardiac Safety Research Consortium will hold a Think Tank meeting on June 7. The event,  CSRC Think Tank: Update on Regulatory Status of Hypertension, Biomarkers and Arrhythmia Monitoring in Clinical Trials will be held at the FDA.

In Session 1, these leading industry professionals will speak on panels discussing:

  • Regulations for ECG/QT
  • The double-negative conundrum
  • Alternative methods for assay sensitivity assessment in routine Phase 1 QT Studies
  • Covid-19 and prolonged QT

In Session 2, we will discuss:

  • Small increases in blood pressure and CV risk I
  • Intermittent versus chronic use hypertension drugs

In Session 3, the meeting faculty will dive into:

  • Biomarkers

In Session 4, the panelists will discuss hot topics in the field such as:

  • Biologics/cardiomyopathy and vaccine development
  • MACE
  • Gene therapies
  • Wearables

The event will include professionals from FDA Regulatory, Cardiac Safety Consultants, Ltd., Eli Lilly, Richmond Pharmacology, University of Connecticut, Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, Cleveland Clinic, Clario, Mass General, DSI, Penn Medicine, and UCSF.

There is a registration fee for attendance, for academics it is $275. Registration and more information is available here: https://cardiac-safety.org/

The meeting will be held in person; a recording of the meeting and slide presentations will become available a month after the event occurs.


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:

News coverage will return next weekend!