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Duke Heart Pulse — January 21, 2024

Highlights of the week:

Bloomberg Grant Funds Innovative Partnership for Early College High School in Durham

A partnership between Duke Health, Durham Technical Community College, and Durham Public Schools has been awarded a transformative $29.5 million grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies to establish an early college for high school students interested in pursuing healthcare careers upon graduation.

The grant is one of 10 awarded nationally through Bloomberg Philanthropies’ “Student-centered, Market-driven Healthcare Education Initiative.” The initiative’s goal is to address critical healthcare workforce needs while preparing young adults for successful careers in the field.

“For too long, our education system has failed to prepare students for good jobs in high-growth industries,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and Bloomberg LP and 108th mayor of New York City. “By combining classroom learning with hands-on experience, these specialized healthcare high schools will prepare students for careers with opportunities for growth and advancement. America needs more health care workers, and we need a stronger, larger middle-class – and this is a way to help accomplish both goals.”

The Durham partnership will provide the preparation needed for careers in nursing, allied health, surgical tech, and clinical research. The key elements of the partnership are:

  • Interested Durham Public Schools (DPS) students in grades 9-12 will attend the early college high school and simultaneously earn both a high school diploma and an associate degree or workforce credential for aligned healthcare occupations.
  • The Middle College at Durham Tech will expand to an early college high school and will be housed at Durham Tech (DTCC) in a newly renovated space, with the school opening in the fall of 2025.
  • Upon graduation, students will have an immediate pathway to jobs or research roles at Duke Health.

“This partnership is about much more than an innovative educational approach,” said J.B. Buxton, president of Durham Tech. “It’s about creating a high-quality pathway to some of the most important jobs in our community. It’s about making sure our healthcare workforce looks like the patients it serves. It’s about improving the quality of patient care and the health outcomes for all. It’s about the role of education and health in improving people’s lives.”

The program is expected to open in the fall of 2025 with an initial class of 100 ninth graders, then enroll additional classes of 100 students for each of the next three years.

The Bloomberg Philanthropies grant will allow Durham Public Schools to further increase Durham’s talent pipeline in the healthcare sector. The district currently offers medical career-focused courses and experiences through its City of Medicine Academy.

“This innovative partnership marks a significant milestone in our collective commitment to provide students with unparalleled opportunities and prepare them for successful futures in the dynamic health sciences sector,” said Pascal Mubenga, superintendent of Durham Public Schools. “This will also help us keep qualified talent right here in Durham to strengthen our network of care.”

Students will graduate with one or more credentials required to fill high-demand positions, including certified nursing assistant, emergency medical technician, phlebotomist, and central sterile processing technician.

Duke University Health System (DUHS), which comprises Duke’s hospitals, clinics, and other patient care services, is expected to hire at least 60 students directly after graduation from the early college high school, fulfilling a critical need for a diverse and skilled workforce. To promote retention and career advancement, the health system will provide mentoring, flexible scheduling, and assistance with other support services such as transportation or childcare.

“This exciting new partnership encompasses education, research, patient care, and community enhancement to advance a bold and innovative healthcare education model for Durham,” said Vincent E. Price, president of Duke University. “We are grateful to Bloomberg Philanthropies for supporting this vital work, and thankful for our innovative regional partners as we create compelling new opportunities for Durham students and address critical workforce shortages.”

This initiative reflects Duke’s broad commitment to forging partnerships to support strategic community priorities such as college and career readiness. Through Bloomberg Philanthropy’s generosity, this innovative model of collaboration will provide significant opportunities for young people to be prepared as the next generation of leaders in health care as well as advance the overall well-being of communities.

“Through this collaboration, we will advance economic stability and economic mobility within our communities by expanding educational and career opportunities while addressing critical workforce shortages,” said Craig T. Albanese, chief executive officer of Duke University Health System. “Duke Health’s engagement in this partnership, led by Debra Clark Jones, our associate vice president for Community Health, is one of many DUHS initiatives aimed at improving the overall health, both clinically and socially, of the communities we serve.”

“Duke Health is committed to health equity where everyone in our community has a fair and just opportunity to be their healthiest,” said Debra Clark Jones, associate vice president for Community Health at Duke Health. “Working collaboratively with our community partners to remove barriers to education and good jobs is critical to advancing health equity. I cannot be prouder of leading this important effort on behalf of Duke Health. This initiative is a great example of how we improve overall community health by partnering with intention and leveraging our respective strengths and assets.”

In addition to providing a direct pathway to healthcare jobs, an apprenticeship program through the Duke University School of Medicine will offer a direct route for students to pursue clinical research.

“We are delighted by this opportunity to extend and deepen our work with local education partners,” said Mary E. Klotman, Duke University’s executive vice president for health affairs and dean of Duke University School of Medicine.

“Duke brings strength to this partnership not only as the lead employer for this program but also because we are especially well-positioned to support learners,” Klotman said. “This initiative’s innovative apprenticeship program will offer a more direct pathway for talented young people to enter the profession in clinical research units across Duke. This helps address acute talent shortages while allowing students to gain professional experience in a supportive learning environment.”

The early college high school could help ensure that a significant percentage of new frontline healthcare workers reflect the Durham communities served by DUHS. Because Durham Public Schools is one of the most diverse districts in the region, with approximately 81% non-white students, the graduates of the early college who join DUHS could help improve healthcare access, patient care and engagement, and equity in health outcomes.

“The Bloomberg grant provides a unique opportunity for Durham Public Schools, Duke Health, and Durham Tech to create a transformative educational partnership that will be a “win” for everyone in our community,” said Tara Fikes, Durham Tech Board of Trustees chairwoman. “As a result, DPS students will have a pathway through Durham Tech to well-paying jobs in health care, helping to address the shortage of workers in the field while providing greater access to health care for all residents.”

Administratively, the early college high school will be part of the DPS system, operated jointly by the public school system and Durham Tech. DPS will provide high school teachers, a principal, support staff, student services, and curricular resources. Students will also be dually enrolled at DTCC, which will begin renovating a building on-site to house the new school.

DUHS will also contribute employee time to engage with students in classroom projects, co-teach, and supervise work-based learning opportunities. In addition, the health system will evaluate the program and calculate its overall value and measures of success.

“The plans and aspirations of our partnerships align with the Bloomberg initiative’s vision,” said Bettina Umstead, chair of the Durham Public Schools Board of Education. “Together, we will create innovative education models, prepare young adults for successful career opportunities, and address critical shortages in health care talent, ultimately ensuring our DPS students connect with health care career opportunities in their home, the City of Medicine.”


ICYMI: The Heart Surgery That Isn’t as Safe for Older Women

We want to draw your attention to an excellent consumer news article on an important topic published in Saturday’s issue of The New York Times. ‘The Heart Surgery That Isn’t as Safe for Older Women’ features the experiences of several women who underwent coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) procedures; the piece includes a quote from Duke cardiothoracic surgeon, Brittany Zwischenberger, MD, and references two 2023 publications – one a retrospective cohort study published in JAMA Surgery, the other is the accompanying editorial to that study. Zwischenberger, along with Jennifer Lawton of Hopkins, is a co-author of the editorial. 

A Call to Action to Improve Outcomes in Women Undergoing Surgical Coronary Revascularization, by Zwischenberger and Jennifer S. Lawton, MD.

Operative Outcomes of Women Undergoing Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery in the US, 2011 to 2020, by Mario Gaudino, MD, PhD, MSCE (Weill Cornell Medicine), et al.


Duke Culture Survey Launching Jan. 29

In his 2020 Juneteenth address, Duke University president, Vincent E. Price committed to surveying all faculty, students, and staff to assess and inform Duke’s progress in addressing bias and promoting respect, meaningful inclusion, and true equity in our community.

As a result, Duke University staff, faculty, and students were asked to respond to an April 2021 Duke Campus Survey. Nearly 13,000 of us did so. That effort helped identify areas of concern and priorities as we moved forward in our racial equity work. That first survey was an essential step to document where we were.

On Jan. 29, the second Duke Campus Survey will launch — this and all surveys to follow — will ensure we are continuing to move toward equity. The survey will be repeated every three years to track our progress.

If you would like Duke to be a place where everyone has an equal chance to thrive, please take the survey. By sharing your experience, you will help Duke leaders understand our progress as we strive to create a more equitable Duke. The survey is anonymous and will be open between Jan. 29 and Feb. 16.

Keep an eye out on your email for further information. Thank you!


Shout-out to Conway

A big shout-out to cardiology clinical pharmacist, Monique Conway!

“Monique is amazing—consistently helping to make sure our patients are on appropriate therapies and teaching the house staff (and sometimes the attendings!) about new studies and evidence. Her support and participation are an essential part of providing excellent care to our inpatients. 

What truly inspired me this week is that she also goes out of her way to care for the patients by making sure they can purchase their medications, and she even helped one of our patients find clothes to wear home on a cold day. We are very grateful to have her as part of our team!”Cary Ward, MD

Nice job, Monique!


Kudos to Gaca & Zwischenberger!

We received terrific feedback on Drs. Jeff Gaca and Brittany Zwischenberger via the Patient & Visitor Relations monthly report this week.

“Patient stated that despite the busy unit Dr. Gaca and Dr. John help saved patient’s life.”

“Patient stated that Dr. Brittany Zwischenberger is one of the best doctors he has ever had. She is very knowledgeable and has a good personality. She made him and his wife feel confident.”

Well done, Jeff and Zwisch!


Shout-outs to Members of Duke’s Heart Failure Team!

We wanted to share a large group of shout-outs regarding team member efforts in clinical research trial recruitment! Congratulations to Lacey Taylor and Stephen Greene for enrolling the first patient into GOALS-HF and to Kim Biever, Aferdita Spahillari, and Marat Fudim for enrolling a patient into FASTR!

Additional gratitude from Kim Biever: “To Tracy DeWald for approaching the patient for the FASTR trial and filling multiple furosemide syringes over the course of a few days- most impressively, the last one on Sunday evening; to Isha Amin, Shelley Thompson, John Lazzari, Jaime McDermott, Aferdita Spahillari and Stephen Greene for coordination of care, chart documentation and for answering my endless questions about fluid volume; to Marat Fudim for promptly signing what seemed to be at least a hundred orders, and last, but not least, to Ashley Frazier, Laura Dickerson and the nursing staff for ensuring proper staffing levels and for going above and beyond their clinical duties to ensure that our research efforts went smoothly. I appreciate your assistance more than you could ever know! Thank you!

Way to go, team!!!


Duke My Chart is Now My Duke Health

Last week, Duke My Chart transitioned to My Duke Health. Neither patients nor staff need to make any changes – login information will remain the same. However, accessing My Duke Health via smartphone or tablet will require downloading the new app which is now available in Google Play and in the Apple App Store, or by visiting MyDukeHealth.org.


Reminder: Tier 2 Status

We are currently in Tier 2 visitation status throughout Duke University Health System. Information is available on Duke Health Now.


Upcoming Events & Opportunities

  • Duke Culture Survey: Jan. 29-Feb.17
  • National Wear Red Day is Friday, Feb. 2!
  • February is Heart Month


Cardiology Grand Rounds

Jan. 23: All you need to know about the new AF guidelines in the new year! with Jonathan Piccini. 5 p.m., DN 2002 or via Zoom.

Jan. 30: Unraveling ketone metabolism in the failing heart with Senthil Selvaraj. 5 p.m., DN 2002 or via Zoom.

Feb. 6: Implementation strategies to address the burden of Heart Failure with Harriette Van Spall of McMaster University. 5 p.m., DN 2002 or via Zoom.

All 2023 Duke Cardiology Grand Rounds recordings are housed on Warpwire. To access recordings please visit: https://duke.is/DukeCGR; NET ID and password required. Enjoy!


CD Fellows Core Curriculum Conference

Jan. 24: EP Case Presentation with Andrew Andreae, MD and Damarcus Ingram, MD. Noon. DMP 2W96 (in-person only).

Jan. 26: Cath Lab Math with Thomas Bashore, MD. Noon. Zoom only.


Office of Faculty — Event with Israni of Stanford Medicine, Feb. 26

Academic Medicine, with all its complexities, naturally includes conflict amongst its crucial collaborators – trainees, faculty, staff, communities, and more. 21st century leadership skills require all of us to strategically leverage components of this conflict for constructive change, with intentional and thoughtful actions. This talk will weave together themes from restorative justice and design thinking; and how they can be applied to artificial intelligence and JEDI (justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion), offering a case for new ways of leveraging conflict to advance a culture of connectedness and belonging. The featured speaker will be Sonoo Thadaney Israni of Stanford University’s Presence Center.

February 26: Leveraging Conflict for Constructive Change. 4-5:30 p.m., DN 2002. Presented by the Office for Faculty. Refreshments will follow. To learn more and register: https://duke.is/8/8d7f.  


Upcoming CME Symposia for Spring, 2024

March 8: Cardio-Oncology/Amyloid Symposium

The Southeastern Cardio-Oncology Conference, The Future is Now will take place on March 8 at the JB Duke Hotel in Durham, NC. Event registration is open; the registration deadline is March 5.

Cardiologists Drs. Michel Khouri and Ravi Karra of Duke’s Precision Cardiomyopathy Program will be presenters during the symposium.

Keynote to be provided by Dr. Avirup Guha, director of cardio-oncology and assistant professor of medicine at Augusta University’s Georgia Cancer Center.

The symposium is presented by Duke Cancer Network (DCN) in collaboration with Duke Cancer Institute. For more information, please contact Beth Tanner of DCN.


April 12: Duke Sports Cardiology & Sudden Death in Athletes

May 4: Duke Heart Failure Symposium

Registration is not yet open for the April 12 or May 4 symposia, but if you have questions about either event, please reach out to Christy Darnell.


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:

January 12 — Amanda Craig

Cardiovascular Business

Heart transplant recipients face increased risk of maternal complications when giving birth


January 12 — Brian Duscha

Healio/Cardiology Today

Each cardiac rehab session attended cuts readmission, death risk by 2%


January 12 — Joseph Turek


Un trasplante parcial de corazón salva la vida de una bebé: te explicamos cómo es este procedimiento


January 15 — Kristin Newby

Consumer Reports

Best Checkup for Your Heart


January 16 — Joseph Turek and the Monroe family

El Pais

El hito del pequeño Owen: el trozo de corazón trasplantado para curarle un fallo cardíaco crece con él


January 16 — Adrian Hernandez


Beyond breathing: How COVID-19 affects your heart, brain and other organs


January 16 — Cynthia Shortell

Vascular News

We still have a lot more work to do


January 17 — Duke Health

Becker’s Hospital Review

13 major health systems partner with high schools in $250M Bloomberg initiative


January 17 — Duke Health

Healthcare Innovation

Bloomberg Workforce Initiative Connects Health Systems, Public Education


January 17 — Adrian Hernandez

Associated Press/Sinembargo.mx

La COVID no es “vencer el resfrío” y ya. Deja daños en corazón, cerebro y más órganos


January 17 — Pamela Douglas


Doctors on Overdrive: Fewer Breaks Equal More Burnout


January 17 —  Joseph Turek

La Nacion (Argentina)

“El hito de Owen”. El tejido de corazón trasplantado que crece con el bebé que lo recibió


January 17 — Adrian Hernandez


What’s New With COVID-19?

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