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Chancellor Washington thanks Duke Health employees for their response to the COVID-19 pandemic

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Good Morning Colleagues,

Heading into another week of our battle against COVID-19, I’m writing this note to simply say thank you. I also want you to know that I see you.

Whether it’s our providers caring for patients, our researchers racing to understand this novel virus, or the countless staff who are keeping our operations running effectively in these challenging times, we’ve come together to support one another and the communities we serve in ways that fill me with deep pride and overwhelming gratitude.

I‘ve seen the courage, commitment, and compassion that have long been hallmarks of Duke Health come alive in creative and inspiring ways. I see you collaborating across our healthcare enterprise, from the bedsides to the command centers. I see the policies our faculty and staff have drafted on treating vulnerable populations. I see our IT professionals, educators, students, and clinicians transitioning from classrooms and exam rooms to remote learning, working, and telehealth encounters. I see our scientists continue essential research, including ways to prevent, diagnose and treat COVID-19. I see that many of our administrative professionals are supporting the operations in new and necessary ways. You are working tirelessly under conditions we’ve never faced before. Your dedication and ingenuity are not going unnoticed.

Even under normal circumstances, balancing work and life can be challenging. That balance may seem almost impossible in our current situation, which I recognize is unusually demanding and stressful. Duke Health is committed to providing support that will help you stay physically and mentally healthy through these uncertain times. I encourage you to take advantage of the resources available, that provide free counseling support and services to our faculty, staff, immediate family members and students:

In addition to these services, a work team focused on well-being has begun gathering resources to help. This team will continue to update content and share ideas to help us all take better care of ourselves, so we can provide the best possible care for others.

What I see leaves me feeling exceedingly confident. We are all being put to the test, rising to the challenge, and demonstrating what we are capable of as we leverage our collective talents. We unquestionably have the best people working at Duke Health.  We are providing exceptional care for our patients, team members, and our entire community because of your unwavering perseverance. And we will not only get through this distressing time, but emerge as a stronger community as we advance health together.

On behalf of Duke Health, I again thank you for all that you are doing and all you are giving. Please know that we are proud to serve with you as we continue forward during this extraordinary journey. And that we are eternally grateful.

My best wishes to you and your families for health and safety.

Sincerely,

A. Eugene Washington, M.D.
Chancellor for Health Affairs, Duke University
President and CEO, Duke University Health System

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