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My Gratitude for You

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Dear Duke Health Family,
 
On this last day of our academic and fiscal year, I’m overflowing with one simple feeling – gratitude. We continued to excel in all our missions over the past year, even as we faced unimaginable challenges. I write now with a simple but significant message: thank you.

Simply, thank you for taking care of our patients, their loved ones and each other. I saw you push through fear, exhaustion and so many unknowns because of your sincere dedication to the patients and families who needed our help. No matter your role, you persevered to deliver extraordinary care during such extraordinarily difficult times. And you gave even more, comforting colleagues emotionally and – through the Caring for Each Other Fund – financially, when they most needed your help.

Simply, thank you for helping us adapt to new ways of discovering and learning. When the world shut down, you determinedly conducted vital research and fostered its timely translation. And through it all, you kept education advancing through virtual classrooms and labs, telehealth clinics and online conferences.

Simply, thank you for being there for our community through turbulent times. When COVID began to spread, you provided testing. When there was violence and unrest, you stood for peace. And the moment vaccines became available, you mobilized to educate, prepare and administer them safely and equitably – not only at our hospitals and clinics, but also at schools, churches and local businesses close to those who were most at risk.

And simply, thank you for keeping your eyes focused on our mission and so strongly positioning us to create the future. Your talent, hard work and commitment have provided us today with a momentous springboard – one that propels us into a future where we will be able to attend even better to the needs of all our people. One that ably launches us into an exciting new world of possibilities across education, patient care, research and population health. One that compels us to more fully use our phenomenal Duke Health assets to improve lives in our communities.

Yes, we should all take tremendous pride in what we achieved together this past year and celebrate where we are today. I feel elated about where we are headed.

At the core, we are people who care deeply about doing good. And this pandemic just deepened our sense of purpose. It brought out the best in us, and it was extremely gratifying to me to see you rise to the moment – but it didn’t surprise me.

Serving alongside you in my roles at Duke is a privilege and an honor. I am extremely fortunate. And again, I express my gratitude for you.  

Sincerely,

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

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