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Since April 2015, I have had the great honor and privilege to serve as your Chancellor for Health Affairs at Duke University and President and CEO of the Duke University Health System. Now in my eighth year, I have decided I will step down from these roles at the end of this academic year, June 30, 2023. A formal announcement about my decision and transition plans will be forthcoming from President Vincent Price today.

Serving with you in these leadership roles has unquestionably been the best professional experience I have enjoyed in my life. Words really cannot adequately convey the emotions I am feeling at this time as I share this decision with you. Suffice it to say that I am currently overwhelmed with a sense of heartfelt gratitude.

From that first spring in Durham when you so warmly welcomed Marie and me to the Duke community, all the way up to today, I have felt your unwavering support and been emboldened by it. Your tremendous talent, creativity, deep sense of caring, dedication, and can-do attitude have bolstered and empowered my leadership tenure. Together, we have indeed advanced health, as we have elevated our excellence and amplified Duke Health’s impact locally and globally. And, because of you, Duke Health is strongly positioned to continue thriving — innovating and leading in the decades ahead. I am very proud of our extraordinary accomplishments, and I am confident in a bright future for us all as we continue to distinguish Duke Health as a leader among the very top academic health systems in the world.

Most importantly, I want to thank you! Thank you for all you have given to me. Thank you for all you have given to each other, our patients and their loved ones, and our communities. 

For those of you who are wondering why now, my decision is principally driven by my desire to devote more attention to my personal life. Last month, I turned 72 years-of-age. Young! Earlier this month, Marie and I celebrated 40 years of marriage, and we are thrilled about spending more time together. And as some of you know, we have a new granddaughter. I imagine that this personal renewal will be invigorating.

At the same time, I also believe that institutional renewal is good. In fact, in dynamic industries and organizations such as ours with rapid, dramatic change afoot, renewal is a constant imperative. We have an exceptionally strong team across Duke Health, and continued renewal at the top will only enhance the remarkable achievements and significant contributions we are already making.

Looking ahead over the next eight-plus months, please know that I am still all-in with you as we continue to advance Duke Health: Onward. Upward. Beyond. You can count on me to sprint right up to the hand-off of my leadership baton next June. My excitement and energy today are as high as when I arrived in April 2015.

With deep gratitude and admiration,

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

Events and Messages