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Foster Joy in Work

To deliver excellent care, we must take care of our caregivers, so finding joy in work is about creating the conditions we need to help our top-tier talent grow and thrive. It means creating a climate of professional development and well-being that allows us to focus on delivering compassionate, high quality care for our communities and ourselves. It means working as one connected team, in which everyone’s individuality is honored and respected. It also means empowering team members to make quick, nimble decisions, so they can proactively steer the future of health. If we do all of these things, we’ll provide the foundation we need to achieve everything else.

How we define success:

  • We are a top-talent organization where all staff report an equal sense of belonging at Duke Health
  • Our Diversity in Leadership reflects the organization and community
  • We are proud of our top-tier workforce engagement with strong retention and low vacancy rates


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   Stories About Fostering Joy in Work

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Weekly dance breaks boost team member morale

One day each week, the surgical services hallway at Duke Regional Hospital (DRH) comes alive with clapping, cheering and laughing. Team members line the hallway as one by one colleagues who are being celebrated that week dance on by.

“It's like the Soul Train dance line," said Rene' Livingston Flowers, MHA, BSN, RN, CNOR, nurse manager of operations for surgical services at DRH. “It's been a busy and stressful year. This is a great way to have fun and enjoy time with each other."

The weekly celebrations are called Walks of Appreciation. They're modeled after similar observances that take place when staff line the hall to honor a patient who is going to donate an organ.

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Duke University Hospital Patient Bonds With Nurses Over Music

"There are people who are good at their job, and then there are people who are meant to make a difference in the world." That's how Molly Oldham describes the impact that our nurses had on her life after she was diagnosed with stage 3 brain cancer at the beginning of her freshman year of college. Every day, Duke nurses go above and beyond to care for our patients. And patients make a difference in their lives, too.

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Mural captures Duke Health team members supporting patient care during COVID

Duke Health COVID care extends beyond medical teams. A mural in the Duke University Hospital north concourse now depicts these members of the team who dedicated themselves to patient care during the pandemic.

The installation is an Arts & Health at Duke project supported by the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation. Artist Sean Kernick says his intent was to spotlight all of the other team members’ hard work and sacrifices over the past year.

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A celebration of their time together

Jeffrey Benesch and Sarah Myler were married at Duke University Hospital. Jeffrey's heart disease and ongoing hospitalization here kept the couple from having the wedding they hoped for, but even as he receives end-of-life care, they fulfilled their dream in a touching ceremony in the beautiful sunshine outside of the Duke Medicine Pavilion. “Just because we love each other,” Sarah said.

Members of the care team, their friends and family, hospital chaplains and musicians helped to put the ceremony together. Benesch died a week later.

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Virtual jam sessions put new spin on appreciation month festivities

“We started off one of our virtual town halls with music, and team members were dancing and really having a good time," said April Dudash, manager of internal communications at Duke Regional Hospital.

“We decided it may be fun to try and play an hour's worth of music at lunchtime, calling it Café DJ Zoom. More than 50 staff members participated in the first session, submitting requests and dancing along to the music.

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Patient transporter sings to patients as he brings them around the hospital

Patient Transporter Leon Rogers is a soothing presence for patients and an example of Duke's values in action and epitomizes joy in work.

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There's no place like home

Rachel Dye, BSN, RN, helps patients recovering from COVID return home.​

They say there's no place like home. And when you've been hospitalized for weeks for treatment of COVID-19, returning home may seem daunting.

However, Duke HomeCare & Hospice is making COVID recovery at home a reality. Their home health team launched a new program called Enhanced Home Health COVID Care in January helping patients at Duke University Hospital (DUH) safely transition back home.

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