Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina

Hi there. I'm Chris O'Conner, Director of The Heart Center here at Duke University Medical Center. We are proud to share with you some of the groundbreaking work that Duke does in heart care and heart research every single day.

There are lots of reasons why Duke is one of the top heart programs in the country. First, we're a leading center in research and care for heart failure patients. Right now for example, we're conducting a trial, a study sponsored by the National Institutes of Heath, examining the fundamental role of exercise as a treatment for heart failure patients. We believe this information will be especially important for heart failure patients or any cardiac patient who has important disease who can exercise.

Second, we are leaders in the use and research of heart assist devices. These are devices that keep faulty hearts strong until transplant. As one of the top transplant centers in the world, this is very important research that I think benefits our patients.

We're also leaders in heart attack care and heart attack research, especially proud of what we call the RACE project. This was a project in which we looked at hospitals, worked with hospitals throughout North Carolina, to see if we could reduce the time it takes for a heart attack patient to get lifesaving therapy. And some people have said that this should be a model for the country. I like this type of project because it not only improves the process of care, but it doesn't involve fancy technology or high-priced drugs, just a better way of doing things.

Finally, Duke has one of the biggest cardiovascular databases in the world. And we've been tracking outcomes for decades. So we have a pretty good idea of what works and what doesn't. These are just some of the reasons why Duke is so good at taking care of people's hearts.