Making a difference in cardiovascular health

Kori Harder Kori Harder

When Kori Harder was in nursing school, she made a commitment to work in cardiovascular health to help save lives.

“Heart disease is the number one killer in the world, and I want to do everything I can to change that. It is important to me to make a difference,” said Harder, a clinical nurse specialist.

That decision led her to the UC Davis Heart Center, where she works to advance clinical research, patient care and education.

In cardiovascular research, she administers clinical trials for new drugs and devices and oversees nurses who enroll and monitor patients in clinical studies.

In the hospital, she manages the heart center nursing team and instructs patients about conditions such as acute myocardial infarction and acute coronary syndrome.

As an educator, she teaches classes on cardiovascular disease, catheterization and other therapies to nurses throughout the region.

In all of her roles, she is recognized for her dedication to patients and professionalism.

“I have a great job, because I get to do a little bit of everything,” said Harder, who has a master’s degree in nursing from UC San Francisco.

Kori HarderConsistently recognized for her leadership, Harder plays an important role in promoting a commitment to high-quality patient care among the nursing team. To ensure she keeps abreast of the latest advances in medicine, she maintains certifications in advanced cardiac life support and is a certified clinical research professional. She attends national conferences focused on the care of cardiovascular patients and is active in numerous professional societies, including the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, the American Heart Association’s Cardiovascular Nursing Council and the Society of Clinical Research Associates.

In 2000, Harder was recruited by Reginald Low, chief of cardiovascular medicine, to work at UC Davis, where she has helped establish the heart center as one of the best research and treatment facilities in the western U.S.

“Dr. Low’s commitment to cardiology patients and his drive for excellence are remarkable,” said Harder, who has worked with Low throughout her nursing career. “I am proud to have had a part in developing the UC Davis cardiovascular program with him.” 

According to Harder, under Low’s direction the heart center has grown to offer a complete range of treatment approaches for cardiac patients. Those capabilities expanded further with the team’s move to new UC Davis Medical Center facilities, which include state-of-the-art diagnostic technologies.

“UC Davis is noteworthy for our comprehensive approach to cardiovascular evaluation and care. We are able to offer a full spectrum of preventive and therapeutic options,” said Harder.

With her varied duties, Harder said that taking care of patients and their families is what inspires her the most every day.

“When speaking recently with a patient’s wife, she broke down in tears while thanking me for the care we provided for her husband,” she said. “It is those moments that remind me that this is where I belong.”