Home » Uncategorized » Duke Heart Pulse — August 27, 2023

Duke Heart Pulse — August 27, 2023

Passing of Kimberley Evans, MD

The Duke Heart team joins the Department of Medicine in mourning the loss of Dr. Kimberley Evans, professor of medicine in nephrology, who died on Aug. 23. She was influential to many of our team members over the years – in teaching, mentoring, and in friendship — and we know her loss is felt deeply here and beyond Duke. In particular, we know she worked with many young faculty to help guide their research and support their career advancement.

In a message to the DOM, Drs. Kathleen Cooney, Miles Wolf, and Laura Svetkey shared, “Dr. Evans’ legacy is based on her sustained excellence and extraordinary contributions to clinical nephrology, leadership in implementing the Duke electronic health record, and creating a nurturing professional environment that fosters diversity, equity, and inclusion.

As the associate vice chair for DOM Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and chair of the department’s Minority Recruitment and Retention Committee (MRRC), she developed innovative initiatives to increase recruitment of URiM trainees, fostered career development and community, and helped the Department embed a DEI lens in all we do.”

In recognition of her contributions to diversity and inclusion within the Duke School of Medicine community, Evans was presented with the 2020 Michelle P. Winn Inclusive Excellence Award.

A GoFundMe has been established to help support her family. To read the full DOM message, please visit: https://medicine.duke.edu/news/honoring-dr-kimberley-evans.

8/29 UPDATE: Dr. Evans will be honored at a service at Duke Chapel on Thursday, Aug. 31. Visitation begins at 1 p.m.; Service begins at 2 p.m.


VA Heart Team Launches Watchman Program

Duke electrophysiologist Dan Friedman, MD and the Cardiology/Cardiac anesthesia team at the Durham VA Medical Center performed their first two Watchman cases to treat veterans with atrial fibrillation who were not ideal candidates for anticoagulation. Only a handful of VAMCs nationally are a Watchman center, and Durham is now the only VA in its regional network to offer the procedure. The Watchman procedures were performed at Durham VAMC on Aug. 21.

“I am incredibly proud of Drs. Friedman, Sun, and our EP group at the VA for their tireless efforts to initiate this program, and that our hospital leadership has supported our endeavors,” said Raj Swaminathan, VA Chief of Cardiology. “We can now offer this important procedure to veterans from our region in-house, which will reduce fragmentation of care as well as wait times.”

Congrats, Dan and our entire Durham VAMC heart team!


Kudos to Duke’s VAD Team!

Congratulations and a huge thank you to everyone involved in the Joint Commission site visit this week for VAD recertification. Our LVAD and Advanced Heart Failure teams did a tremendous job, along with the leadership of Drs. Stu Russell and Jason Katz, our medical directors, Dr. Carmelo Milano, our surgical director, and Stephanie Barnes, clinical director for advanced HF services, all of whom led the visit – all of you have been outstanding!

Duke had numerous best practices highlighted and, as the largest implanting center in America, had another year with zero findings. The multidisciplinary team across the entire Duke Heart Center – including surgeons, cardiologists, nurses, nursing care assistants, LVAD administrative team and equipment managers, APPs, nurse clinicians, perfusionists, cardiac anesthesiologists, cath lab nurses and technicians, social workers, dieticians, pharmacists, PTs, OTs, palliative care team, financial care counselors and sonographers – all of you, working together, make this possible.

Way to go!


Duke Cardiac Ultrasound Program Graduates Celebrated

Cardiac Ultrasound Certificate Program, led by Dr. Anita Kelsey and Richie Palma, graduated their third class of students on August 19. The event was held in the Great Hall of the Trent Semans Center for Health Education. Speakers included Kelsey, who is medical director for the program; Palma, director and clinical coordinator; Dr. Jill Engel, service line vice president of heart and vascular; Dr. Joe Kisslo, and student graduate Nicole Ward.

Certificates were awarded to Rosemary Davis, Ricky Dormon

, Grace McCord, Isabella Sabatini, Emily Schoendorf, Lorna Walker, Nicole Ward, and Forrest Zimmermann. Ward received the annual ‘Dr. Joseph Kisslo Outstanding Student in Cardiac Ultrasound’ award. She’s photographed below with Palma.

We’re thrilled to share that all of them passed the national credentialing exam and all of them received employment offers! Six of our graduates will be working here at Duke Health; one will be working at UNC Rex Hospital, and one will be with Atrium Health in Charlotte.

Congratulations to all!



Kittipibul, Senman Finalists for Northwestern Young Investigators’ Forum

Congratulations to cardiology fellows Mark Kittipibul and Balim Senman! Both were selected as finalists for this year’s Northwestern Cardiovascular Young Investigators’ Forum (NCYIF). The Forum will take place in Chicago from Sept. 28-30, 2023.

Kittipibul, in work with Marat Fudim, is presenting on prognostic implications of volume congestion. Senman, in work with Jason Katz and several other faculty members, is describing cardiopulmonary resuscitation and outcomes for durable LVAD patients. Svati Shah, MD, is an invited faculty member for this year’s forum.

The NCYIF is a program for clinician scientists designed to provide research and career development training through a variety of modalities, including interaction with a select group of esteemed faculty, peers, and public speaking experts. The session will include small group discussions and networking in addition to an oral presentation by each finalist. The NCYIF is presented by Creative Educational Concepts, LLC in collaboration with Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Congratulations, Mark and Balim!


Regan Receives NIH LRP Award

Congratulations to cardiology fellow Jessica Regan! We learned recently that she has been awarded an NIH Loan Repayment Program award for her project on clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential. The award is for two years.

Clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential (CHIP) is the presence of age-related somatic clones in hematopoietic stem cells and is associated with risk of hematologic malignancy and inflammation. CHIP is also associated with atherosclerotic coronary artery disease and is therefore an emerging cardiovascular disease biomarker.

Through her research, Regan seeks to determine the inflammatory and metabolic mechanisms by which CHIP impacts pericoronary adipose tissue, high-risk coronary plaque, and ultimately cardiovascular disease. Her research will be conducted using peripheral blood samples from 1800 participants from the PROMISE trial and 2300 participants from the Miami Heart Study. The long-term goal of her project is to improve risk prediction tools for patients with cardiometabolic disease and develop novel and more personalized therapeutic approaches to patient care.

Congratulations, Jessica!


Harrington Receives Mario Family Foundation Award

Congratulations to advanced heart failure and transplant fellow Josephine Harrington! She has received the Mario Family Foundation Award for her project, “The Relationship Between Obesity, Weight Loss and Heart Failure Severity.”

The one-year award includes $35,000 to support her research. The official announcement was made earlier this month by Kathleen A. Cooney, MD, the George Barth Geller Distinguished Professor of Medicine and chair, Department of Medicine.

Given annually to a physician-in-training within any of the divisions in the Duke Department of Medicine, the award has been made available thanks to the generosity of the Mario Family Foundation.

Ernest Mario, PhD, launched the foundation in his family’s name in 1997. Mario served on the Duke Board of Trustees, and was chairman of the Duke University Health System board of directors. He was named Trustee Emeritus of Duke University in 2007, and is the second longest serving trustee in the school’s history. He was awarded The University Medal in 2009, Duke’s highest recognition of service to the school.

Congratulations, Joey!


Kudos to Suleiman!

We received a terrific note this week celebrating the efforts of cardiology fellow Belal Suleiman and wanted to share it with our readers:

“Good morning, I worked the weekend shift when the huddle was first implemented and also this past weekend. The first time we huddled it was fine but it didn’t change the flow of the day/didn’t help with prioritizing. This past weekend, we arrived with ALL of the patients prioritized with numbers ranging from 1-4 based on importance by Belal. He also talked to us throughout the day as things changed and kept us updated, we didn’t actually meet at 11:30am due to patients arriving later than expected and a stat. The way he handled the list made the day SUPER efficient and easy despite regular issues that arise with transport, etc. It was the best weekend shift I have worked since starting four years ago! Kudos to him!”Dallas Gardner, BS, RDCS, RVT, Cardiac Sonographer, Cardiac Diagnostic Unit

Great job, Belal!



Shout-out to Senman!

We received a warm reflection this month regarding cardiology fellow Balim Senman and wanted to share it widely with our readers.

“Good evening Dr Chamis! My name is Haramol Gill and I’m currently an attending working in the Emergency Department here at Duke. I wanted to shoot you a quick message regarding Dr. Senman. I have had the good fortune to work directly and indirectly with her while she was on the cardiology consult pager and I have been nothing but impressed. She has a fantastic attitude and clearly loves her job as well as the patients that she cares for. Every time I come into shift and find out that she is on the consultant pager, I know our patients are going to get the best care. I hope I’m not the only person who has emailed you about her performance because I know for certain that I am not the only one who feels this way!

Just wanted to pass along those thoughts to you Dr Chamis. I hope you have a great rest of your week!”Haramol Gill, MD, Emergency Medicine

Way to go, Balim!



Kudos to Goodwin & Salah!

A big shout-out to cardiology fellows Nathan Goodwin and Husam Salah. Anna Lisa Chamis shared a note she received earlier this month:

“Good morning Anna Lisa, I was on call last night and was paged to come in around 2am. I just wanted to give a shout out to Nathan Goodwin, MD and Husam Salah, MD for their willingness to help last night. They were there with the patient when I arrived, let me know what was going on/what was needed, informed me of possible IR team coming, pushed the saline for the bubble study, and grabbed Definity from the lab while I was scanning. I am very grateful for their help as they made a midnight call super-efficient. Also, Nate did a great job of explaining why he was paging me; I didn’t have to ask any questions.”Dallas Gardner, BS, RDCS, RVT, Cardiac Sonographer, Cardiac Diagnostic Unit

Nicely done, Nate and Husam!


Celebrating Scientific Discoveries that Advance Human Health

October 2-3, 2023, Page Auditorium, Duke University

“Celebrating Scientific Discoveries that Advance Human Health” is a scientific symposium in recognition of Robert J. Lefkowitz’s 50 years at Duke. Open to the public on October 2-3, 2023, in Page Auditorium, this event will include scientific presentations from 7 Nobel Laureates as well as other eminent scientists. The event also includes a special leadership session with Coach K, Executive Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean Mary E. Klotman, President Vincent Price, and Dr. Lefkowitz, led by Dr. Sim Sitkin.

All faculty, staff, trainees, and students are welcome to attend.

For more information, the full schedule, and event registration please visit: https://medschool.duke.edu/celebrating-scientific-discoveries.


SOM Magnify: Making Pregnancy Safer

In the United States, giving birth is more dangerous than in other wealthy nations. Much more dangerous. The reasons behind the increase are many, but one important factor is the prevalence of cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular risk factors among Americans – including women of child-bearing age. 

The latest issue of Magnify includes a piece that examines maternal mortality and Duke’s efforts to make the experience of pregnancy safer.

“Despite being highly industrialized and having advanced medical care available, we have the highest rate of maternal mortality of any developed nation,” said Brenna Hughes, MD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology in the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine. “We also see that the maternal mortality rate is multifold higher in Black women than white women.” 

What’s worse, maternal rates for all racial and ethnic groups in the United States are rising. There have been ups and downs, with a significant uptick during the COVID-19 pandemic, but overall, “it’s been going up for decades,” according to Jerome “Jeff” Federspiel, MD, PhD, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology in the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine. 

A multifaceted problem requires a multifaceted approach, and Duke physicians are tackling this one in the clinic, with system-wide protocols, and through research. 

To learn more, check out the full story: Making Pregnancy Safer: Inside the Effort to Reduce Maternal Mortality, which includes Cary Ward, MD.


CME: Special Care for Pregnant Hearts, Sept. 20

A newly developed CME offering for  OB/GYN, PCPs, family medicine physicians, and anesthesiologists will take place Wed., Sept. 20 from 6:30 – 8:30. Special Care for Pregnant Hearts, a multi-disciplinary approach to pregnant patients with cardiovascular disease will be held virtually. Presenters include Drs. Jeff Federspiel, Cary Ward, Tori Spates, Sarah Snow, and Marie-Louise Meng.

To learn more and for registration, please visit https://obgyn.duke.edu/education-training/continuing-medical-education.


Join a Duke Heart Triangle Heart Walk Team – now through 8/31

Last week, DUHS issued a Heart Walk Challenge, giving all team coaches and any new registered walkers an opportunity to be entered into a drawing for a $25 Amazon gift card. We’d like to increase the number of walkers representing our Duke Heart teams! Join us and join the fun as we prepare for the 2023 Triangle Heart Walk on Sunday, Oct. 8 at the PNC Arena.

You can join one of our 10 Duke Heart teams by visiting this web page: https://duke.is/6/zzed

If you’re interested in leading a team for Duke Heart, it’s not too late to register as a coach. If you have any questions about the Walk or if you want guidance regarding building your team or fundraising, please contact Renee Potts from our local AHA affiliate.

The Challenge issued last week is for each of the Duke Health coaches to recruit all of their walkers by August 31. Every coach that hits their walker goal of 10 – 15 walkers will be entered into a drawing for a $25 Amazon gift card (walkers do not have to be Duke employees, but they do need to sign up for your team by August 31); and any walker registering with a Duke Health team during the same challenge period will also be entered for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card.

Let’s show our Duke Heart team pride as well as our support of the Triangle AHA – support one of our team captains: Manesh Patel, Jill Engel, Jason Stokes, Cathy Marlowe, Cindy Gomez, Bianca Rodriguez, Angela Ausburn, Abby Stierwalt, Erin Chambers, and Robert Stern — all of whom are showing their Duke Heart pride by leading a Heart Walk team!


PWIM: Community Gathering, Sept. 6

In honor of Women in Medicine Month, we are excited to invite all Department of Medicine faculty and trainees to the Program for Women in Internal Medicine (PWIM) Community Gathering on Wednesday, September 6 at 6:30 p.m. at the Honeysuckle at Lakewood.

The event will be a fun night of collaboration and good conversation, including:

  • “Speed Mentoring,” where faculty will be stationed at different tables to answer trainee and faculty career questions; and a pearls of wisdom moment with special guest DOM Chair Dr. Kathleen Cooney, MD, MACP
  • Beverages and snacks

Mark your calendars now and join us as we honor and recognize the contributions of women in medicine!

If you have questions or need additional information, please email Dr. Daniella Zipkin at daniella.zipkin@duke.edu.


Flu Vaccination Season

As a reminder, DUHS requires all team members to comply with our flu vaccination policy by either being vaccinated annually against the flu or receiving an approved exemption. Our vaccination campaign begins on September 21!

Sept. 21 – Flu vaccination season begins

Oct. 24 – Application deadline for medical/religious exemption

Nov. 7 – (10 a.m.) Deadline for staff vaccination (or granted exemption)

Questions about the flu vaccine? Please contact StopTheFlu@duke.edu or EOHWflu@dm.duke.edu.      


Upcoming Events & Opportunities


Cardiac Fellows Conference

 Sept. 1: Cardiac Fellows Conference. 9 a.m. Zoom only.


CD Fellows Core Curriculum Conferences

Aug. 28: Fellows Forum with Joseph Lerman. Noon, DMP 2W96

Sept. 1: EKG Review with Jonathan Piccini. Noon, Zoom only.


Medicine Grand Rounds

Sept. 1: No MGR today. Enjoy Labor Day Weekend!


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


Deadline 8/31: DOM Fellows Research Academy

In September 2023, the Duke Department of Medicine (DOM) will be kicking off the latest cohort of the DOM Fellow Research Academy (FRA). The goal of the FRA is to maximize our research fellows’ grant writing and long-term career success. The FRA includes three components: a grant writing workshop, a research-focused career development workshop, and networking initiatives within DOM. View the brochure here.

The FRA is designed for DOM fellows who aspire to a career in research (i.e., for whom research will comprise >50% of their long-term time commitment). Organized FRA activities will require ~2 hours per month. Importantly, participation in the FRA will be a critical way for fellows to build connections with Dr. Cooney and DOM research leadership.

We encourage DOM fellows who are in their research years of fellowship and are interested in pursuing a research career to join the 2023-24 FRA cohort.

Please complete the brief registration form by COB August 31, 2023 through the FRA website.

Questions? Please email Saini Pillai.


Duke Caregiver Community Event

Sept. 7: 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Sheraton Imperial Hotel, Durham, NC.

More information available. Registration required. $10 for family caregivers; $75 for professionals in the caregiving industry.


Duke Financial Fitness Week, Sept. 11-14

Duke HR invites all employees to participate in their upcoming Financial Fitness Week. They are offering a series of free webinars designed to assist you in assessing your retirement readiness, making informed financial decisions, and unlocking the potential for financial freedom.

The full schedule of events and registration links are available here: https://duke.is/c/qc2t


SOM Academic New Faculty Orientation: Oct. 16 & 17

If you were hired in the past 3 years and haven’t attended New Faculty Orientation yet, please plan to attend. While content specifically targets newer faculty, all are welcome and many topics are applicable to all faculty, regardless of career stage. Event will be held in the Trent Semans Center and is hosted by the Duke School of Medicine.

To see the agenda and learn more, visit: https://medschool.duke.edu/about-us/faculty-resources/faculty-development/our-programs/school-medicine-academic-new-faculty.

To register: https://dukefacdev.wufoo.com/forms/qr1ae7g1aoyckd/

Questions? Contact the School of Medicine Office for Faculty at facdev@dm.duke.edu.  


Black Men in Medicine: Speed Mentoring

October 24, 5:30-7:00 p.m., Trent Semans, Classroom 4

Black Men in Medicine (BMIM) is introducing a “Speed Mentoring” event, where structured conversations will facilitate meaningful connections, potentially paving the way for future mentorships, research partnerships, and avenues for career advancement. The upcoming BMIM gathering presents an opportunity to expand your network, exchange ideas, and delve into collaborative ventures with individuals who share your aspirations and experiences.

Join us for an evening of inspiration and interaction, where the power of connection awaits.

Dinner will be provided – but registration is required!

Featured Faculty:

  • Joseph Jackson, MD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics
  • Kafui Dzirasa, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences and Neurosciences
  • Kevin Thomas, MD, Professor of Medicine
  • Leon Herndon, MD, Professor of Ophthalmology
  • Opeyemi Olabisi, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine
  • Rory Goodwin, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery
  • Wilton Williams, PhD, Associate Professor of Surgery

Who Should attend? Any faculty member, trainee, or student in the Schools of Medicine and Nursing, of any race or gender, who supports the objective of BMIM are invited to attend. Black males in these roles are strongly encouraged to attend. This includes trainees and students across the continuum including medical, physical therapy, PA, MBS and residents, fellows, and post-doctoral candidates. 

Questions? Email fiona.johann@duke.edu


Duke Football Healthcare Appreciation Day: Sept 30

Duke Football invites all Duke Health employees to Healthcare Appreciation Day on Saturday, September 30 when they take on Notre Dame in Wallace Wade Stadium! As a token of appreciation, all healthcare workers, families, and friends can purchase discounted tickets here: https://duke.is/9/ne4n

Sept. 30: Duke Football vs. Notre Dame. Time TBA.


15th Annual NC RTP Pulmonary Hypertension Symposium

Nov. 17: The 15th annual NC Research Triangle Pulmonary Hypertension Symposium will be held on Friday, November 17th at the Durham Convention Center. Faculty directors will be H. James Ford, MD, director of the PH program at UNC, and Terry Fortin, MD, co-director of the Pulmonary Vascular Disease Center at Duke. Registration coming soon!


Duke’s First Century

As part of Duke’s Centennial celebration in 2024, Working@Duke will create a commemorative publication. The editors are seeking help identifying big or small milestones, staff and faculty who have contributed to the community during Duke’s first century, as well as colleagues today who are painting a bold and inspiring vision for the next 100 years.

They are especially interested in hearing about the lesser-known staff and faculty – people in campus operations, research, teaching, clinical care and more – who have made significant contributions to Duke over the years.

Please complete this brief questionnaire by Sept. 1, 2023, to be included in a random drawing for a $50 Duke University Stores gift card.

Thanks for considering!


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:

August 16 — Svati Shah

HIT Leaders & News

Duke University Health System Launches OneDukeGen, a New Precision Medicine Study


August 21 — Duke University Hospital

Becker’s ASC Review

The best cardiology hospitals in the South


August 21 — John Alexander

Greek Reporter

New Pill Cuts Cholesterol and Heart Attacks


August 22 — DUHS


America’s Best Employers By State


August 22 — Svati Shah, Daniel Parker, and Richard Lee

WBTV (Charlotte, NC)

Alzheimer’s, diabetes research using the MURDOCK Study in Kannapolis


August 23 — Stephen Greene


Sneak Peek at ESC Congress 2023 With Dr Stephen Greene


August 23 — Andrew Wang

HCP Live

Impact of Cardiac Myosin Inhibitor Class on oHCM, with Anjali Owens, MD, and Andrew Wang, MD


August 23 — Pamela Douglas


Deferred Testing in Low-Risk Patients Safe, May Curb Symptoms: PRECISE


August 24 — Kristin Newby

Everyday Health

Daily Aspirin Can Help Prevent a Second Heart Attack or Stroke, But Only 2 in 5 Adults Take It


August 25 — Nishant Shah

USA Today

New weight-loss drug Wegovy has major heart benefits, too


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