Duke Pulmonary Vascular Disease Center Earns Accreditation from Medical Peers

Among first in the nation to focus on pulmonary hypertension

Primary pulmonary hypertension spelled out
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The Duke Pulmonary Vascular Disease Center has earned accreditation this year from the Pulmonary Hypertension Association as a center for excellence in expertise of care for pulmonary hypertension. Established in the early nineties, the program was one of the nation’s first centers focused on the treatment of pulmonary hypertension.

Duke joins approximately 50 national medical institutions accredited by the professional association, which emphasizes comprehensive patient care, research, and overall expert treatment of pulmonary hypertension patients.  The Duke Pulmonary Vascular Disease Center involves collaborative care with a team of cardiologists and pulmonologists working closely with rheumatology, cardiothoracic surgery, the interstitial lung disease program, and the heart and lung transplant programs.

Sudarshan Rajagopal, MD, PhD, and Terry Fortin, MD, MS, are co-directors of the Duke Pulmonary Vascular Disease Center. The center also includes pulmonologists Talal Dahhan, MD and Jordan Whitson, MD and cardiologist Kishan Parikh, MD.

“The significance of the accreditation is that we have had our inpatient and outpatient operations reviewed by peer organizations,” says Rajagopal. “It’s an affirming process to know that our commitment to best practices in patient care has been recognized by our peers.”

The Pulmonary Vascular Disease Center is known for its expertise in treating chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH), Rajagopal says, and patients from across the country come to Duke for pulmonary thromboendarterectomy surgery performed by John Haney, MD. “Only a few medical centers compare in terms of the number of surgical procedures we perform and the number of patients we follow,” Rajagopal says.

The center has adopted a co-management treatment model designed to promote cooperation with regional care providers to benefit patients. “Pulmonary hypertension requires a good deal of care over a long period of time,” says Rajagopal. “We insist that patients continue to see their local physicians as part of the care approach.”