WELCOME to our new Board members

It is with great pleasure that we introduce our new DUCCS Board members.  Please join us in welcoming them.  We look forward to their participation and their contribution to the organization.

  • Wayne Batchelor, Tallahassee, FL
  • Ken Mahaffey, Stanford, CA
  • Chris O’Connor,  Inova Health System, Falls Church, VA
  • Jean-Francois Tanguay, Montreal, Canada

DUCCS Vice President Post

DUCCS Vice President. Ricky Schneider – Feb, 2015

The DUCCS Board and Membership extend our deepest sympathy to Dr. Robert and Mrs. Susan Davidson on the senseless and untimely death of their son, Dr. Michael Jon Davidson, in Boston on January 20, 2015. Michael, a 44-year-old cardiac surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, is survived by his wife, plastic surgeon Dr. Terri Halperin, and their children, Kate, Liv and Graham.

Michael trained in cardiovascular surgery at the Brigham and in general surgery at Duke, after attending Yale Medical School and Princeton University. He was known at the Brigham for “saving lives and improving the quality of life for every patient he cared for.” Some of us had the pleasure of meeting this remarkable young man at a DUCCS dinner at the time of the LEXUS trial in 1995. Donations in Michael’s memory can be made to The Michael J. Davidson Family Fund c/o RTN Federal Credit Union, 600 Main Street, Waltham MA 02452.

Michael’s father, Bob, an interventional and general cardiologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, is a Duke cardiology fellowship graduate, a founding member of DUCCS, and a longtime friend to many of us. He is lead author of the first article about the DUCCS consortium to have been published in a peer-reviewed journal: Davidson RM, McNeer JF, Logan L, Higginbotham MB, Anderson J, Blackshear J, Chu A, Hettleman B, McGrew F, Meese R, O’Connor C, Schneider RM, Wagner GS, EXERDUCCS Investigators: A cooperative network of trained sites for the conduct of a complex clinical trial: a new concept in multicenter clinical research. Am Heart J 151:451-456, 2006

DUCCS Director Update

DUCCS Director Update.  Rob Mentz – Feb, 2015

As the Director of DUCCS, I’m looking forward to many exciting opportunities for the organization and its members in 2015. As Dr O’Connor transitions to his exciting new position, we wanted to thank him for his years of leadership and support for the organization. He is responsible for much of the success we have experienced. We look forward to including Inova in our DUCCS network.


Our plans for DUCCS in 2015 include revamping the website and making this a starting point for networking with DUCCS colleagues, highlighting prior and ongoing research success as well as new research opportunities, and enhancing CME opportunities. DUCCS members have had incredible success in multiple ongoing trials and 2015 will mark a banner year for DUCCS as our sites are involved in a number of innovative trial designs including pragmatic clinical trials with EHR based data acquisition. In particular, we are excited about the development of our rapid start-up clinical trial network designed to streamline clinical trial involvement. Another key aim for the organization is to help support fellows as they transition to their post-fellowship career. We will be working closely with the fellowship program to enhance this process. We hope to build upon the prior successes of the organization and demonstrate our position as a premier network of clinicians, educators and researchers. Please email me (robert.mentz@dm.duke.edu) with suggestions or comments.     Robert.Mentz@dm.duke.edu

President’s Pen

DUCCS President’s Pen. Brent Muhlestein – Feb 2015
As we enter 2015, I am even more convinced of the value of active participation in DUCCS.  This autumn, I had the opportunity to return to Duke University for a very enjoyable visiting professor experience. I met with both faculty and fellows and, for a time, was able to re-immerse myself in the wonderful academic culture of Duke Cardiology. This reminded me again of why I am so happy to have gone to, and to still be associated with, this wonderful institution. My experiences also provided me several interesting insights, some of which relate to the fellows I had the opportunity to meet. First, the present cardiology fellows at Duke University are just as bright and motivated as ever. They are well trained, energetic, ambitious and personable. Indeed they continue to be the cream of the crop in cardiovascular medicine. But, interestingly, as a whole, they are worried. They are worried that they will not be able to get a good job. They are worried that they will not be able to continue academic activities. They are worried that the only opportunity for a future fulfilling career lies in remaining as faculty at Duke University. But at the same time, they understand that Duke cannot absorb all of its graduates. This is one area in which I think DUCCS can really help. Those of us who were trained at Duke, but have successfully found exciting and fulfilling opportunities outside of Duke University can assist our new young DUCCS members to do the same. First, we can facilitate the hiring of Duke graduates into our own organizations. Second, we can facilitate their desires to continue academic activities wherever they are. Third, we can facilitate their successful integration into the post-graduate DUCCS culture. During this upcoming year, we, the DUCCS leadership, are going to emphasize the needs of our newest DUCCS members. With the help from Rob Mentz, our new DUCCS director, who, himself, is one of our young Duke graduates, we will identify and implement programs that are targeted to reach their needs. I encourage all of you to contact me or Rob with any suggestions you might have regarding this effort. Thanks to all of you for your active participation in DUCCS. JBrent.Muhlestein@imail.org