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Triangle Heart Associates (THA), a mainstay cardiology practice in Durham for the last 50 years, will be joining the Private Diagnostic Clinic (PDC) in the Duke Heart Center under an agreement that streamlines and enhances cardiovascular care in Durham County, Christopher O'Connor, MD, the director of the Duke Heart Center, announced today.

"We are pleased to welcome the accomplished clinicians of Triangle Heart Associates to the Duke Heart Center," O'Connor said. "They have a strong history of providing quality cardiovascular care that is in line with Duke's commitment to provide the very best in heart services to the residents of Durham."

Expanding Duke Heart Center's integrated services over a broader geographic area will help to address the pressing patient care needs and meet the growing demand from patients throughout the area.

"Aligning our services enables exploration of population health management models and other care redesign strategies that will inevitably be required in coming years in response to health care reform," said Marti Taylor, RN, associate vice president of cardiovascular services for Duke University Health System.

THA will begin operating as part of the PDC, the faculty practice plan associated with the Duke University School of Medicine and Health System, on January 1, 2011.

"Joining the Duke Heart Center is an opportunity to retain our style of community medicine while also providing our patients with access to the resources and quality of care available at one of the nation's leading cardiovascular programs," said Michael Komada, MD, president of THA.

"The PDC is the largest, independent multispecialty network of physicians in the Southeast and we are proud to welcome the distinguished clinicians of Triangle Heart Associates to our organization," said Paul Newman, the executive director of the PDC.

The THA physicians joining the Duke Heart Center include William Abernathy, MD, Robert Buchanan, Jr., MD, Timothy Donahue, MD, M. Alycia Hassett, MD, Elizabeth Henke, MD, J. Stewart Jones, DO, Michael Komada, MD, and Eric Moore, MD.

The Duke Heart Center is an internationally recognized leader in cardiovascular research and clinical care and its faculty are recognized widely for conducting research that impacts treatment guidelines, informs national quality initiatives and advances clinical care for patients.

Many of the Heart Center's faculty are part of the Duke Clinical Research Institute, the world's largest academic clinical research organization, which is known for conducting groundbreaking cardiovascular trials, managing major national patient registries and performing landmark outcomes research.

The Duke Databank for Cardiovascular Disease, the largest and oldest institutional cardiovascular database in the world, continues to inform clinical decision-making 40 years after its founding.