Posted by: Duke Raleigh Hospital | August 7, 2020

Blood Drive

Blood donations are urgently needed. Duke Raleigh Hospital will partner with the American Red Cross to host a blood drive on campus on Thursday, August 20, from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sign up for a time slot online. As a donor, you receive a COVID-19 antibody test and a coupon for a medium Papa John’s pizza.

The blood drive will take place in front of Medical Office Building 7, 3404 Wake Forest Road, Raleigh, NC. View our website for parking information and directions to our facility.

Posted by: Duke Raleigh Hospital | August 4, 2020

Leaders Experience Day in Others Shoes

As part of Duke Raleigh Hospital’s Walk in My Shoes Day, more than a dozen leaders spent several hours going to where the work is done.

The day is designed to understand what team members deal with on a day-to-day basis—the challenges, the great things, and how it all impacts patient care. It also affords leaders time to reflect on a day through the eyes of another team member.

Elizabeth Larson, Service Line Director for Neurosciences and Behavioral Health, said her experience shadowing Katherine Henderson in Employee Health opened her eyes to what goes on behind the scenes that no one thinks about, especially during the COVID-19 response.

“Katherine is functioning as an employee health nurse, a case manager for people throughout Duke, and she’s doing it all on top of taking care of our new employees,” said Larson.

For some leaders who shadowed team members, the experience meant dressing the part. Brian Sloan, Chief Operating Officer, traded his suit and tie for scrubs and full personal protective gear to see the day through the eyes of team members in the hospital’s COVID-19 testing facility. Sloan spent more than two hours shadowing multiple team members as they ventured outside in the 80 degree heat to administer COVID-19 tests.

“It is not crazy hot, but wow, it would only take 10 degrees to be pretty warm,” he said. “We owe these folks a huge thanks. I am impressed with their positive attitudes and the way each one of our team members interacted with our patients.”

Diane Taylor, Clinical Nurse IV in the Pain Clinic, who was deployed to the testing facility during the COVID-19 response, was one of five team members that took advantage of several minutes of downtime to chat with Sloan.

“Having him here really opened the lines of communication,” Taylor said. “It was good to see. It made me feel like my voice was heard.”

Alyson Gordon, Chief Human Resources Officer, spent a portion of the day at the information desk in the front lobby of Duke Raleigh Hospital during the peak of inpatient visitation hours. There, she had a front row seat to view not only the hospital’s new visitation badge process, but the health screening efforts. The experience, she said, served as a reminder of the importance of more fully understanding everyone’s role and how the COVID-19 response has affected their jobs.   

“There are people that are excited about the opportunity to serve and to help those that are in need,” said Gordon. “They are fearless. Our team is truly fearless. I am honored to be a part of an organization with so many fearless team members.”

–By Karla Gomez (Summer Intern) and Erin McKenzie

Posted by: Duke Raleigh Hospital | July 15, 2020

Self-Images Service Changes

Due to COVID-19, our Duke Cancer Center Raleigh and Duke Women’s Cancer Care Raleigh Boutique locations remain closed, however, our services and products are still accessible.

Our self-image consultants are available for virtual consultations to assist our cancer patients with changes in body-image experienced through cancer treatment and survivorship. Product shipping and curbside pickup is also available for products from our boutiques.

For more information, call 919-613-1904 or e-mail

Posted by: Duke Raleigh Hospital | July 10, 2020

U.S. Health Officials Visit to Learn About COVID-19 Response

The nation’s No. 2 public health official visited Duke Raleigh Hospital July 9 to learn about our COVID-19 response efforts.

Eric Hargan, the deputy secretary of Department of Health and Human Services, spent the afternoon with hospital leadership to hear about new processes we have implemented to ensure the safety and well-being of our community during our COVID-19 response. In the fourth months of our COVID-19 response, Duke Raleigh Hospital—and other Duke Health hospitals and clinics—have implemented processes for extra safety precautions that include symptom screenings at all facilities, enhanced cleaning, and more telehealth options to keep our community safe and help to protect everyone from the spread of infection.

“We recognize that delaying needed medical care because of concerns about COVID-19 can have long-term consequences on the health of those in our community,” said Leigh Bleecker, interim president of Duke Raleigh Hospital. “That’s why we have made several changes to ensure the safety our patients, their loved ones, and our team during the pandemic.”

During his visit, Hargan and his team members William Brady, Chief of Staff to the Deputy Secretary; April Weaver, HHS Region 4 Director; and Ken Callahan, Deputy Chief of Staff to the Deputy Secretary, toured our Intensive Care Unit and heard about our participation in a national clinical trial to investigate a therapy to treat symptoms of COVID-19 and our use of a robot called JaMMeR to augment face-to-face patient care while our ICU case manager works remotely during the COVID-19 response.

Hargan and his team also visited the medical office building where Duke Raleigh Hospital reprocesses N95 masks. To deal with a critical shortage of N95 respirator masks across the country, Duke Raleigh Hospital teams, and others across Duke Health, are using vaporized hydrogen peroxide methods to decontaminate these masks so they can be reused. This FDA approved process uses specialized equipment to vaporize hydrogen peroxide, which permeates the layers of the mask to kill germs, including viruses, without degrading the mask material. 

Duke Raleigh Hospital was one of several stops for Hargan and his team during a visit to Wake County.

–By Erin McKenzie

Posted by: Duke Raleigh Hospital | July 8, 2020

International Coordination Leads to First for Duke Health

Dr. Kishan Parikh, Silvia Macagno and her husband in early 2020 (before COVID-19).

In December 2019, a patient visiting Duke from Argentina underwent a CardioMEMS implantation at Duke Raleigh Hospital. Silvia Macagno, who has a longstanding history of heart failure, pulmonary hypertension and multiple heart surgeries, is Duke University Health System’s first patient to receive the device for clinical use with international remote monitoring.

 “Doctors first discovered a malformation of my heart at my first physical exam in school, when I was six years old,” Macagno remembered.

Macagno was connected with Duke Raleigh Hospital for care through Dr. Alex Barbagelata, an adjunct professor in Duke’s Department of Medicine, who practices in Argentina.

“When I first saw Macagno she had already had four surgeries,” said Dr. Barbagelata. “Her heart was weakening and her pulmonary pressure was increasing.”

Macagno traveled to North Carolina to be assessed for potential advanced heart failure therapies. Once here, though, her care team decided on pulmonary hypertension care, including the implantation of the CardioMEMS.

Dr. Kishan Parikh a Pulmonary Hypertension/Advanced Heart Failure Specialist with Duke Health, lead implantation of the CardioMEMS device. The device is implanted into the pulmonary artery to measure lung pressures from the patient’s home. This allowed Dr. Parikh to more closely manage Macagno’s heart failure and pulmonary hypertension.

“Fluctuations in these pressures can predict clinical changes. If we can act on this data, we can reduce heart failure complications,” said Dr. Parikh. “The information provided by the CardioMEMS device is like having data from a right heart catheterization procedure daily.”

The data from Macagno’s device is transmitted to an online portal where Dr. Parikh monitors the readings, allowing him to work with Dr. Barbagelata to manage Macagno’s condition from Raleigh while she is at home in Argentina.

“This device helps bring care delivery from inside the hospital and clinic, to the patient’s home,” added Dr. Parikh. “It allows us to see trends, instead of just a snapshot every couple of months, so we can be proactive instead of reactive in our care of Ms. Macagno.”

Dr. Barbagelata sees Macagno as a model for future patients. “You can be 5,000 miles away and access data on your cell phone and decide the patient needs a change in their care or treatment,” Dr. Barbagelata said. “This new collaboration for the well-being of the patient is exciting and fascinating.”

Typically, this implantation is an outpatient procedure but, due to other complications, Macagno spent five weeks receiving care at both Duke Raleigh Hospital and Duke University Hospital.

“If we weren’t in North Carolina, I might not be alive,” said Macagno.

Dr. James Mills, interventional cardiologist, performed the CardioMEMS implantation. Much of the cost of the necessary procedures was covered through donations. Dr. Sean Pokorney, MBA donated his time to implant a cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillator, which was also donated. This implantation was performed at the same time as the CardioMEMS to avoid multiple procedures. The anesthesia team also donated their time for the procedure.

“In Argentina, we have very good insurance, but it doesn’t work here,” said Daniel Macagno, Silvia’s husband. “We have had to go through many steps to get here and to pay for treatment here in the United States. This means a lot.”

Members of the team that performed Macagno’s procedure in December 2019 (before COVID-19).

For Macagno, this procedure could mean fewer hospitalizations as symptoms, and new treatment strategies will now be monitored in real time.

“This has really taken a lot of coordination and teamwork,” said Dr. Parikh. “And I really appreciate Duke Raleigh Hospital leadership for their support, Abbie Faircloth in planning and organizing the care, and Duke Raleigh Heart Failure Clinical Nurse Specialist Amelia Ross for helping with the coordination of care between here and Argentina for Silvia.”

For Dr. Parikh, of the Duke Raleigh Hospital team, the hope is that this procedure leads to big improvements in Macagno’s quality of life. He hopes “this procedure leads to improving heart failure care for more patients at Duke Raleigh Hospital and strengthens our partnership with Dr. Barbagelata and his patients in Argentina.”

–By Stephen McNulty

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