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Duke University Hospital History

We put the person who needs our care at the center of everything we do.

In 1925, James B. Duke willed $4 million to establish Duke Uni­versity Hospital (DUH) and its medical and nursing schools. His goal: to improve health care in the Carolinas, then a poor rural region lacking in hospitals and health care providers. Two years later, construction began on the original hospital (now known as the Duke Clinic), which opened in 1930 with 400 beds. Through the years, DUH has continued to honor James B. Duke’s vision by bringing extraordinary discoveries to clinical fruition, delivering cutting edge clinical services to patients, applying care and compassion that brings dignity and respect to all stages of care, and maintaining an unwavering focus on making the individuals and communities we serve healthier. 

Today, DUH is the flagship of DUHS and a full-service, 957-bed, three million square foot tertiary and quaternary academic medical center. DUH is a recognized leader in providing the highest quality care to the people we serve. This care is delivered with inspiring passion and a deep commitment to put the person who needs our care at the center of everything we do.