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Duke Heart Pulse — February 18, 2024

Highlights of the week:

Loring Receives Career Development Award

Zak Loring

Congratulations to Duke electrophysiologist Zak Loring, MD, who has been awarded a Veterans Health Administration (VHA) VISN 6 Career Development Award (CDA) for his study Improving Disparities in Atrial Fibrillation Care Through Development of Machine Learning Risk Models. Loring’s research will implement an ECG-based machine learning model to identify high-risk Veterans in the rural community with atrial fibrillation.

Through early identification and timely delivery of advanced treatment strategies, such as catheter ablation, Loring aims to prevent the development of heart failure. J. Antonio Gutierrez, MD will serve as Loring’s primary mentor for this award.

VISN 6 is the VA’s Mid-Atlantic Health Care Network, one of 23 Veterans Integrated Service Networks of the Veterans Health Administration. VISN 6 is comprised of eight VA Medical Centers (including Durham VAMC) and 15 community-based outpatient clinics.

VA Section Chief, Raj Swaminathan, MD, noted that this project directly builds on work Loring is completing through a VA ADAPT COIN grant award.

Gutierrez also holds a full CDA award, so this represents two CDAs awarded to our faculty in the last three years!

Congrats, Zak!!


Pauly Begins as DUH President

Tomorrow, Feb. 19, we welcome Greg Pauly to his new role as president of Duke University Hospital. Pauly will also serve as group president of Acute Care Services for Duke University Health System and as Duke University School of Medicine’s Vice Dean for Clinical and Academic Integration.  

In these roles, Pauly will provide oversight of the strategic direction, fiscal management, and program development for all acute care services across DUHS, including Duke University Hospital, Duke Regional Hospital, and Duke Raleigh Hospital campuses.

Pauly is joining Duke after serving as executive vice president and chief operating officer for Massachusetts General Hospital.

Please give him a warm welcome when you see him!


Jessica May Joins Heart Development Team

Please join us in welcoming Jessica Baga May, a major gifts officer for Duke Health Development and Alumni Affairs (DHDAA), to our Duke Heart team! May is now serving as one of our primary team leads focused on increasing and managing philanthropic support of Duke Heart. May joined Duke Health’s development team in 2021; her transition to Duke Heart officially began on February 1.

May’s efforts while at Duke Health have focused on grateful patient fundraising within the Department of Surgery. She will continue to support several of those surgical areas but will expand her focus to include the Heart team.

 May says she is excited to be part of our team and that she hopes to serve as an asset to building philanthropic support for the work we do. We asked her what she’d most like our faculty to know about grateful patient fundraising.

“One of the most important things for faculty to know specifically about grateful patient philanthropy is that it’s a relationship-building process. Part of a development officer’s role is establishing a rapport and a connection with our faculty partners, and identifying if and how each faculty member wants to be involved in the fundraising process.”

May says that her initial goal is to speak with members of the faculty, get to know them, and learn about the experiences they have had with philanthropy. She’ll answer any questions you have about the fundraising process and will look to understand how you prefer to be engaged over time.

“I am here to enable a process for those who want to be engaged with philanthropy, both on the donor side and the faculty side, in a way that is fully respectful of patient care as the top priority. 

Before joining Duke, May served as Senior Development Officer for Leadership Gifts at Wellesley College in Wellesley, MA. She has also served as a major gifts officer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, and Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY. Although her professional experience is largely rooted in higher education, her background includes growing up as a child of a cardiologist. She says her father, a now-retired private practice interventionalist, taught her how to work an EKG machine and let her play with pacemaker models as a child.

We are excited to have Jessica working with us in Duke Heart. You can anticipate hearing from her as she starts reaching out to introduce herself to faculty members.

Welcome, Jessica!


Thank you, Residents & Fellows!

Duke is celebrating Graduate Medical Education Week from Feb. 18-26, a time to recognize all our residents and fellows and those who work to lead and support these programs, including program directors, associate program directors, program coordinators, and all vice chairs of education. Enjoy the week!


Califf Recognized with Duke Centennial ‘Spotlight’

Duke alum and cardiologist Robert Califf, MD was highlighted this week in a ‘centennial spotlight’ as part of Duke University’s Duke 100 Centennial Celebration. To view the current FDA Commissioner’s spotlight and all those who will be recognized throughout the year, please visit the Duke 100 site.


Cardiac Surgical Innovations Highlighted in SOM’s Magnify

This week’s feature story in Magnify, Duke School of Medicine’s online magazine, covers recent innovations in pediatric heart surgery for congenital heart defects including partial heart transplantation, “domino” transplants, and the recent heart-thymus co-transplant. Told through a series of interviews with Drs. Joe Turek, Doug Overbey, Louise Markert, and Allan Kirk, Saving More Babies Through Innovation in Pediatric Heart Surgery, looks at lives saved, the challenges of congenital surgery, and hope for the future.


ICYMI: Fuller Delivers Sanford Lectureship

Dr. Stephanie Fuller, the Thomas L. Spray Endowed Chair in Pediatric Heart Surgery at Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania delivered the Sanford Lectureship on Wed., February 14th as part of Duke Surgery Grand Rounds. A recording of her lecture, Congenital Heart Surgery: Outcomes, Innovation and Adults can be viewed in Duke Box.

She gave a terrific presentation – the recording is well worth watching.


Early Voting Begins for 2024 Primary Elections

Early voting for the March 5 Primary Elections is now open! The early voting period runs through Saturday, March 2. Duke University has an early voting location on campus at Karsh Alumni and Visitors Center. During the early voting period, voters can cast their ballot at any early voting location in the county where they are registered. Other early voting locations across NC can be found here. Voters who missed the registration deadline last week can also register and vote on the same day at early voting locations. On Election Day, voters must cast a ballot at their assigned polling location.

The primary elections in NC include candidates for President, Governor, all 170 members of the state legislature, 14 congressional seats, one NC Supreme Court seat, various judicial positions, and other Council of State positions including Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Commissioner of Agriculture, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Commissioner of Labor, Commissioner of Insurance, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, and State Auditor. Registered Democrats, Republicans, or Libertarians must vote their party’s primary ballot, but Unaffiliated voters can choose which party’s ballot to vote.

NC voters are now required to provide photo ID at the polls. A list of acceptable forms of ID can be found on the State Board of Elections website. Duke University students still have the opportunity to request a student voter ID card approved by the State Board of Elections last year. Additional information on registering to vote, voting, and voter ID requirements can be found on the Duke Votes website.


Upcoming Events & Opportunities

  • February is Heart Month and Black History Month.
  • It’s GME Week 18-26

Cardiology Grand Rounds

Feb. 20: Closing Arguments on the Management of Atrial Septal Defects with Richard Krasuski. 5 p.m., DN 2002 or via Zoom.

All Duke Cardiology Grand Rounds recordings are housed on Warpwire. To access recordings please visit:

NET ID and password required. Enjoy!

CD Fellows Core Curriculum Conference

Feb. 21: DHP Case Presentation with Eric Xie. Noon. DMP 2W96 (in-person only).

Feb. 23: TBD with TBD. Noon. Zoom only.

Virtual: AHA Hands-Only CPR Demonstration

For team members at Duke who are not required to have BLS certification, please consider participating in the upcoming virtual AHA Triangle Hands-Only CPR demonstration, being held at Noon on Feb. 22. To register please click here. You’ll then receive a confirmation with the Zoom link.

Help us reach 100+ participants from Duke Health!

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.

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

Keynote to be provided by 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:

February 10 — Duke University


Top 20 Universities For NIH Funding; Johns Hopkins Ranks First Again

February 12 — Jen Weber (lung tx patient)

Bonnell Foundation Podcast

All things lung transplant with Jen Weber

February 12 — Elisabetta Politi (Lifestyle & Weight Management Center)

Everyday Health

Using a Salt Substitute Can Slash Risk of Developing High Blood Pressure

February 12 — Marat Fudim


More Mortality Reduction Signals With Implantable Hemodynamic Monitors in HFrEF: Meta-analysis

February 13 — Reid Chamberlain

WFMY Greensboro (NC) – CBS News 2

Greensboro 8-year-old becomes first in the world to receive this heart surgery

February 15 — Gerald Bloomfield

NIH News/Fogarty International Center

Finding causes of heart failure in Western Kenya


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