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Duke Regional Hospital History

Built on the tradition of caring of its predecessor hospitals — Lincoln and Watts — Duke Regional Hospital is proud to be a part of Duke Health and remains dedicated to providing the exceptional medical care with the personal touch and convenience only a community hospital can offer. Here are some highlights from the history of Duke Regional Hospital.

Durham County General Hospital

  • Durham County General Hospital opened its doors on October 3, 1976. A merging of Lincoln Hospital and Watts Hospital, the mission of the new hospital was to provide "health services of a uniformly high quality as economically feasible to citizens of Durham County."
  • The new hospital offered services including surgery and medical nursing units, intensive care units and operating rooms, pediatrics, psychiatry, orthopedics, neurosurgery, and laboratory and radiology testing.

Expanding in the 1980s

  • The 1980s saw a rise in new technology, and Durham County General Hospital geared up to bring these advances to its residents.
  • The new George Washington Watts Memorial Building opened, along with new emergency management services facilities, a $4.35 million Lincoln Community Health Center, and much more.

Durham Regional Hospital

  • During the 1990s, what was once a small community had exploded into a large regional area. The hospital responded by expanding its focus to also serve Orange, Person, Chatham, and Granville counties. The expanded service area resulted in changing the name to Durham Regional Hospital.

Partnering with Duke

  • In 1998, an agreement with Duke University Health System was signed and the two officially began a 20-year partnership. The agreement was amended in 2009, extending the partnership for a "rolling" 40-year term.

Duke Regional Hospital

  • On July 1, 2013, Durham Regional Hospital became Duke Regional Hospital as a result of extensive market research in the communities the hospital serves. This name change was based on feedback from residents who participated in the research and preferred a Duke-branded health care facility. 
  • As a part of the hospital's rebranding, a new tag line - "Serving our community since 1976" - is part of the Duke Regional Hospital logo. It reflects the hospital's history and tradition of caring, and also the merging in 1976 of the predecessor hospitals.