Tomorrow is National Healthcare Decisions Day

April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day. This is a time to decide and inform your loved ones about your end of life wishes before difficult decisions have to be made.

On Thursday, April 16, 2015 Pastoral Services at Duke Regional Hospital will host an Advance Care Planning Table from 11:30 am-2 pm, at the entrance of the Hospital’s Cafeteria for visitors to learn about advance directives and register as an eye, organ and tissue donor.

Take the time to consider these important decisions, discuss them with your loved ones and let us help you complete the documents. It will give you peace of mind that your decisions are known and will be honored.

Don’t know how to start the conversation? Visit to learn tips on how to talk with your loved ones about advance directives: Visit our website to learn about the different types of advance directives and where you can fill out forms online.

Call Duke Regional’s Chaplain’s office at 919-470-5363 if you have questions.

National Volunteer Week is April 12-18

DSC_5545If you have visited Duke Regional Hospital, you have probably encountered a helping hand or kind word from a hospital volunteer.

This dedicated group serves throughout the hospital. Volunteers escort patients and visitors, assist with discharging patients, work in the gift shop, answer calls at the Information Desk, provide patients with reading materials, deliver mail and assist various departments with clerical needs such as collecting files and preparing patient information packets.

In fiscal year 2014, volunteers donated more than 19,000 hours of service to our patients, visitors and staff.

“Without the help of our volunteers, Duke Regional could not provide the quality of services we do,” says Carol Swanson, manager of Patient and Visitor Relations. “Theirs is often the first smile a person will see when they enter our doors, and they always ‘go the extra mile’ to make a difference in the lives of our patients and staff.”

To become a volunteer at Duke Regional, contact Volunteer Services at 919-470-4150 or download an application at

Recipe: Vegetarian Lime Orzo

Trying to limit your meat intake? Try this delicious vegetarian lime orzo recipe from

2 cups orzo pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 zucchini, peeled and shredded
1 carrot, peeled and shredded
1 (16 ounce) can stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 (14 ounce) can vegetable broth
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
Salt and black pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons grated lime zest
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese for topping

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the garlic and orzo pasta; cook and stir until pasta turns a light, golden color, about 5 minutes. Stir in zucchini and carrots; cook until vegetables soften, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, vegetable broth, Italian seasoning, and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to medium. Cover, and simmer until almost all liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Stir in the green onions, parsley, lime zest, and lime juice. Remove from heat, cool slightly, and serve sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

Canine Care Team

DSC_0614.jpgDSC_0653Since 2000, Duke Regional Hospital’s inpatient rehabilitation unit (a.k.a. Duke Rehabilitation Institute) has partnered with care team members of the furry kind to help patients in their recovery process. The program, Animal Assisted Activity/Therapy, is under the guidance and direction of recreation therapist, Betsy Roy, LRT/CTRS,

Once a week a certified therapy dog and their guardian visit with patients, focusing on the patient’s specific needs. Some patients benefit from the calming affect that petting a dog has, while others may use their weak arm to brush the dog. Many patients simply enjoy the unconditional kindness a dog brings and share stories of their own pets. Structured interactions from the therapy dog can impact social, emotional, cognitive and physical aspects for the patients.

Duke Regional currently has five active volunteer dogs. Coda, a sweet chocolate lab, has been with the program for seven years. Sophie, a German shepherd and Travis, a white standard poodle, have the unique quality of both being amputees, getting around on three legs, inspiring to all. Stella, a standard poodle, and Riley, a black-lab mix, are featured visiting with patients in the photos above.

Participating dogs reside with their owner, are certified therapy dogs and complete additional on-site testing. Their owners are dedicated volunteers committed to bringing happiness to our patients, sharing their time and the unique qualities of their dogs during each visit.

Duke Rehabilitation Institute is always incorporating proven therapy methods to help patients heal. To learn more about Duke Rehabilitation Institute, click here.

Duke Regional’s Health Care Heroes

We are proud to have five team members included on Triangle Business Journal’s 2015 Health Care Heroes list. This award honors leaders in the Triangle’s health care industry and their extraordinary achievements. Here are the Duke Regional employees who made the list:

031015b_gentry007Candace Gentry, BSN, RN, CPHQ
Title: Strategic Services Associate/Outcome Manager
Department: Patient Safety and Clinical Quality
Length of time at Duke Regional: 13 years

“I work to ensure evidence-based practice is developed and used consistently for our stroke population. I provide education to our community and staff to ensure everyone knows that stroke is an emergency.”

Mitchell, Heather - 031015d_mitchell002Heather Mitchell, BSN, RN
Title: Clinical Team Lead
Department: Emergency Medicine
Length of time at Duke Regional: 12 years

I work to improve patient experience in the emergency department by training staff to greet all patients in a friendly and professional manner. I also keep staff informed of what our patients are saying about the care we provide. We want their visit to be the best that it can be.”

031015c_murray003Melissa Murray, BSN, RN
Title: Nurse Manager, Operations
Department: Mother-Baby/GYN Unit and Special Care Nursery
Length of time at Duke Regional: 15 years

“I lead our teams on the Mother-Baby/GYN Unit and Special Care Nursery in providing exceptional care for the mothers and babies who choose Duke Regional for their once in a lifetime event. I encourage the team to always think about ways we could be doing things better and to make sure that our patients have the best possible experience during their stay.”

031015a_orto009Vicky Orto, DNP, RN, NEA-BC
Title: Chief Nursing and Patient Services Officer
Department: Administration
Length of time at Duke Regional: five years

“Nurses are essential to the success of our organization. Making sure nurses are involved in decision-making and have all the tools they need to succeed is my main priority. I want our nurses to be leaders in their area of practice and role models in our community.

Robbins, Carolyn 'Lynn' - 031115_robbins009Lynn Robbins, PharmD, RPh
Title: Pharmacy Director
Department: Duke Regional’s satellite pharmacy at Lincoln Community Health Center
Length of time at Duke Regional: 37 years

“I’m proud to work with an innovative team ensuring medication safety and access to medications for thousands of uninsured and underinsured patients. In collaboration with community partners, Lincoln Pharmacy is advancing the culture that health care for the poor does not mean poor health care.”

The finalists were honored at an awards dinner on March 12. Melissa Murray and Lynn Robbins were chosen as winners in their categories.

National Doctors’ Day

Doctor's Day social media graphic.jpg

March 30 is National Doctors’ Day—a time to acknowledge how doctors play a key role in our well being. Every day, doctors research, diagnose and treat disease and illness, and promote good health for their patients and the community. We’re grateful for their knowledge and their dedication to helping others. Join us March 30, and every day, as we thank our doctors for all they do.

Send a message of thanks to a physician.