COVID-19 Updates


AUGUST 4, 2020


JULY 23, 2020

Duke Orthopaedics Page Road has new wall art with special and unique messages of thanks and gratitude, courtesy of local children. Thanks to Elizabeth Turner for facilitating and making sure the messages reflect each member of the care team, including cast techs, radiology, and more. Photos submitted by Tiffany Howell

JULY 21, 2020


Happy 90th Birthday

Duke University Hospital

Since it opened on July 21, 1930, PDC physicians and providers have been a part of Duke University Hospital's rich history of improving healthcare through North Carolina and nationwide. Congratulations on this remarkable milestone.



JULY 16, 2020

Feeling Sick? Do Not Come to Work.

One thing we've learned is that any symptom - from mild sinus congestion, runny nose to a low grade fever and cough - can mean you may be COVID positive. If you have ANY symptoms, DO NOT COME TO WORK. All physicians, providers and staff must be diligent about reporting any level of symptoms when they arise. It is the only way to protect yourself, your colleagues and your patients. Thank you for helping prevent the spread of illness.

To report your symptoms, call the Duke Health COVID-19 hotline from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 919-385-0429, option 1. Also, be sure to inform your manager or immediate supervisor. 



JULY 4, 2020

Wearing a mask allows all of us to show leadership without ever saying a word. This simple act is an important gesture of kindness and respect and can help save lives by reducing the spread of COVID-19 in our community.





JULY 2, 2020


Wishing you and your families a relaxing, safe, and peaceful Independence Day weekend.







Wishing you and your families a relaxing, safe, and peaceful Independence Day weekend. 

JUNE 30, 2020

           Download Posters and Digital Signs to support Duke Health's new masking campaign.

JUNE 23, 2020

Feeling Sick? Do Not Come to Work.

One thing we've learned is that any symptom - from mild sinus congestion, runny nose to a low grade fever and cough - can mean you may be COVID positive. If you have ANY symptoms, DO NOT COME TO WORK. All physicians, providers and staff must be diligent about reporting any level of symptoms when they arise. It is the only way to protect yourself, your colleagues and your patients.   Thank you for helping prevent the spread of illness.

Call the Duke Health COVID-19 hotline from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 919-385-0429, option 1 to report your symptoms.



JUNE 18, 2020

Since the beginning of the COVID outbreak, the PDC has been committed to keeping you informed of the most up-to-date information, changes, and data that impact you, your practice and your patients.

As the acute phase of COVID is - hopefully - coming to an end, we're asking for your input on the information you need and want to receive from the PDC. Please answer these four questions and provide comments to guide us in developing meaningful communications that are most valuable to you. 

The deadline for completing the brief survey is Friday, June 26 at 11 pm. Thank you.


JUNE 11, 2020

The PDC and Duke Health are working together to ensure all of our physicians and team members have the protective equipment you need to keep everyone safe. It is your professional and ethical obligation to use it correctly all the timeNo exceptions. 



JUNE 9, 2020

Join Me Tomorrow at the Duke Health Solidarity Walk


Wednesday, June 10 at 12:15 pm | Print sign

Please join me on Wednesday, June 10* for a walk of solidarity. We’re walking to take a collective stand against systemic racism and injustice and to show the world that we are stronger together. All providers who have them are encouraged to wear their white coats as a visual display of the slogan "White Coats for Black Lives". Print this sign as a show of unity.

We will gather in the courtyard between Duke Medicine Pavilion (DMP) and the Duke Cancer Center at noon, and begin our walk at 12:15 p.m. Following the walk, we will gather for brief remarks on the Duke Medicine Circle lawn. Please remember to properly wear your mask and maintain appropriate physical distancing at all times. 

For those who are off-campus and unable to attend, we encourage local efforts to show solidarity and have dialogue about injustice, inequity and racism. Look for additional resources about this critically important topic over the coming weeks.

JUNE 4, 2020

Zero Tolerance for Disrespectful, Aggressive Behavior toward our Staff, Providers 

In recent months, we have all felt a range of new emotions, including tension, anxiety, and, at times, anger. There is a productive way to manage those emotions, and unproductive ones. Recently some staff and providers in our clinics have experienced an increase in hostile and often racist behavior from our patients and visitors. I want to be clear… the PDC will not tolerate anyone, including patients, visitors, staff or providers, who makes threatening, racist or hostile comments or actions in our clinics.

The PDC takes seriously its obligation to create a healthcare environment in which everyone feels safe, protected, and respected. When patients are disrespectful or belligerent toward staff and providers, whether it be because of an unwillingness to comply with new screening and masking requirements or deliberate racist attacks, we will not hesitate to take swift action, including having the patient removed from the premises or, if needed, discharging the patient from the practice. (Read PDC Patient Discharge Policy; DUHS Disruptive Patient Policy)

Should you have an aggressive encounter, the first goal is to attempt to diffuse the situation with calm, direct words. To help you handle such circumstances appropriately and with confidence, we have prepared scripts for you to use (below). If you feel threatened, the proper escalation path should be:

  • Notify 911 or police if there is an urgent, immediate threat or danger
  • Attempt to diffuse the situation using suggested scripting - Wearing a MaskRacial Comments (UPDATED LINKS)
  • Notify the clinic medical director or HCA if behavior continues. They should immediately contact PDC Operations, or, if needed, call PDC Legal.

Receiving care at Duke comes with an expectation that patients and visitors treat our staff and providers with respect. We have not and will not tolerate anything less. 

As I said in my message to you earlier this week, the PDC is a family. We protect, support and respect one another.  Please also take advantage of the wellness resources, stress management, and other tips available to you on the PDC Intranet

Do not hesitate to contact me or anyone in the PDC if you have concerns.  

JUNE 2, 2020

Quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Over the past week, our nation has witnessed human tragedy, injustice, violence, and unity. It is in these times that we search for the right actions, words, and remedies.

As healthcare providers, when a patient says "I can't breathe" we rush to provide lifesaving care. When a fellow human being like George Floyd makes the same plea and is senselessly killed at the hands of police, we are disgusted, saddened and feel powerless. For certain, the response should never be violence and destruction. In turn, our silence should also not be tolerated or accepted. 

The PDC stands in solidarity with leaders across Duke, Durham, and our nation to call for peaceful demonstrations, open dialogue, and effective, immediate solutions to the deeply rooted issues that many in our community face every day.

The PDC family is just that... a family. We respect, value, and celebrate our similarities and our differences. I ask you to join me in being a healing voice in our community... not just healing through our medicine, but by supporting one another and peacefully acknowledging that we are one family. May our individual and collective actions be an example to our community every day.

MAY 28, 2020

*** Don't forget to wear your mask in all common areas, including when entering and exiting from clinics or hospital to your cars. Do not remove masks in elevators or when walking through the tunnel at Duke Hospital. ***

MAY 26, 2020

The ambulatory reopening continues to go well thanks to the continued incredible work from the Clinical Vice Chairs and Access Champions in partnership with the operational teams. Over the last few weeks we tested our operations and processes and have increased from around 55% of normal volume in April to 86% of pre-COVID arrived visits last week utilizing in person and telemedicine. During our phased reopening our arrivals as a percentage of pre-COVID arrivals were at 66% week of 5/4, 69% week of 5/11 and 85.7% for last week (5/18). It is important to note that approximately 20-25% of the pre-COVID arrivals are from telemedicine, so in-clinic arrivals are at 41% week of 5/4, 46% week of 5/11 and 63% yesterday.

Thanks to Simon Curtis and team for tracking this data closely and providing weekly updates.

MAY 21, 2020

Commemorating Memorial Day

This Memorial Day holiday weekend, I hope you take the opportunity to remember the brave men and women who gave their lives to protect our country. 

May their courage, selflessness and sacrifice inspire and guide us to make the world a better place for all. 

Warm wishes to you and your family on Memorial Day. 

Memorial Day Clinic Hours of Operation

The next issue of PDC COVID Update will be published Tuesday, May 26 

Photos courtesy of Duke Home Care and Hospice (DHCH). The Fallen Soldier Table exhibit will be on display in the DHCH lobby until May 29. Thanks to their team for sharing this touching tribute.


MAY 18, 2020

It's Welcome Back Day... and you knocked it out of the park! 

Our advanced calls indicate the PDC expects to see 80-85% of scheduled patients over the coming weeks, and you're doing all the right things to keep them, our team members and yourself safe. Thank you for your outstanding work, willingness to make quick adjustments, and to do everything you can for our patients. 

If you are ever in a situation where you don't feel safe or think more could be done, speak up and let us know

We also look forward to welcoming back our learners in a phased, safe and appropriate manner. Fourth-year medical students are phasing into clinical rotations this week; graduating PA students will restart on May 25; and second-year medical students will return June 15. Physician leaders should ensure a positive transition back into your care teams. 

Click the image above to watch a short safety video intended to help patients feel safe when returning to our Duke clinics and facilities.

On Friday, a second letter was sent to all Duke Health patients via email.

MAY 7, 2020

Thank you, PDC and Duke Health Nurses ~ the very best

In celebration of National Nurses Week, we want to recognize and honor all of our nursing staff for how truly important you are to us and our patients.

More than ever before, you are displaying your unwavering courage, dedication to your calling, and commitment to delivering quality patient care. 

Our nurses are essential members of our care teams, and Duke's outstanding nursing talent is one of the many reasons patients entrust their care to Duke.  

On behalf of PDC members and administration, we send our sincere thanks for all that you do each and every day.


MAY 4, 2020

Starting this week, the PDC Update will be distributed on Mondays and Thursdays at 6 PM. If there are urgent updates between these days, we will keep you in the know.

The Operations and Telehealth Resource pages continue to be your best source for the latest in updates and operational information.

Redefining our "New Normal" - watch this short video


Click the image above to watch a short safety video intended to help patients feel safe when returning to our Duke clinics and facilities.


On Friday, a second letter was sent to all Duke Health patients via email

MAY 1, 2020

There will not be a PDC Update this weekend unless there is urgent news.


Enjoy the weekend.

Use it to disconnect, recharge, and renew for another busy week ahead.


APRIL 24, 2020

Planning for a deliberate, measured transition back to delivering care

Much of this week has been focused on planning for a deliberate and measured transition back to delivering outpatient care to our community. As I said earlier, the most important part of this transition is ensuring the safety of our providers, staff, patients and visitors. Through partnerships with clinical department leaders, PRMO, DHTS, DHAS, Infection Prevention, Clinical Laboratories, Procurement and many other groups across Duke Health, we are finding novel ways to ensure safety, maintain social distancing, limit time patients spend in clinic, and extend clinic hours, telehealth and more. 

These new processes and workflows will allow us to begin slowly reopening our perioperative platforms and gradually increasing services in ambulatory settings in early May. Barring any setbacks in current trends or operational concerns, we will tentatively begin reopening most ambulatory clinics on May 18 with modified schedules and operations. Screening, masking, and visitor restrictions will remain in place.

While we are making plans to resume safe clinical operations, we know some patients will have trepidation about returning to clinic. We are working on a comprehensive and coordinated plan to communicate with patients about the steps we're taking to keep them and our providers and staff safe, and their options for seeking care.

Starting next week we will have a section of this daily update dedicated to our Clinic Reopen efforts. I ask that you remain flexible, patient, and focused as we work through the transition plans together.

While we are planning for reopening, we will also take measures to check in with our providers and staff on a regular basis to make sure we're listening and responding to their needs and concerns. On Monday we will launch an employee survey to get feedback on how we're doing and what our employees need. We will soon begin leadership rounding in clinics, and will hold virtual town hall meetings to share information and answer questions.

I am so proud of our great team. You all have an important role to play in our future success. Thank you again for all you're doing. Enjoy the weekend.

[Read Update from Duke Periop Leadership regarding resuming surgical care]

APRIL 22, 2020

Today we celebrate all of the individuals who keep our offices,
calendars, meetings, (etc, etc) going. Thank you to our
Administrative Professionals for all you do today and every day!


Exclusive opportunity for Duke Health

Mark your Calendar:
Saturday, April 25 3 - 4 pm via Zoom

Join one of the Triangle's top chefs and James Beard award finalist Chef Cheetie Kumar from Garland for a Zoom cooking experience, including tips and Q&A.

Sponsored by: Garland, Duke Anesthesiology, DHTS & PDC

Thanks to Dr. Madhav Swaminathan for making this possible

APRIL 21, 2020

While we remain prepared and vigilant in our work to test and care for COVID-19 patients, we are also working tirelessly to create the safest environment possible for our patients to resume receiving the care they need. 

The most important part of this – making sure you and your patients are safe.

Doing so requires a well-coordinated, team approach that focuses on three main tactics:

  1. optimizing the safety of our physicians, advanced practice providers, nurses, staff, patients and visitors, by continuing standardized universal screening, masking, appropriate PPE, enhanced facilities cleaning, and social distancing,
  2. changing clinic work flow and traffic patterns, including modified check-in, changes in labs and radiology services, and
  3. providing patients with novel ways to access us, including telephone and video visits, modified clinic hours, and weekend and evening clinics.

Every idea and option is being considered and evaluated. Duke Health will be different than it was before COVID-19 - more patient-centered, provider-led, with an improved experience for everyone.

I want to thank the Access Champions, Clinical Vice Chairs, Operations Teams, and Medical Leadership of the PDC for their innovative problem solving, partnership across departments and entities, and immense flexibility. The actions we take over the next several weeks will set the tone and –with your help – improve the way we deliver care at Duke Health for years to come.

There will be much more information available about these plans and next steps in the coming days and weeks.  

APRIL 20, 2020



Medical Laboratory Professionals Week is April 19-25, 2020

The PDC thanks our medical laboratory professionals and pathologists who play a vital role in patient care. #Lab4Life



APRIL 17, 2020


We do not anticipate major updates or changes this weekend so we're giving you an email break. Take time this weekend to rest, recharge and enjoy the outdoors. We'll be back in your inbox on Monday at 6 pm, or sooner if needed.

APRIL 11, 2020


Photo taken in Duke University Hospital tunnel by Dr. Allan Friedman

I continue to be inspired and energized by the outpouring of love and support for the physicians, nurses, and everyone on the front lines of this crisis. Every gesture - large and small - helps to bolster the spirits and reminds us of the kindness in our community. Again, thank you to everyone who is selflessly giving their all every day.

The next virtual town hall will take place on Monday, April 13 at 4:30 PM. 

NOTE: There will not be a PDC Update message tomorrow. Enjoy a restful holiday weekend.



Laughter is the best medicine, right?


Tune in to YouTube tonight at 8 PM for a virtual comedy show supporting local healthcare workers. The show is hosted by Ashley Phillips,MPH, project coordinator in Duke's Division of Emergency Medicine, Meredith Armstrong, RN, a clinical nurse at Duke University Hospital and features Triangle-area comedians. 

Please note, the material may contain adult content and language and is not suitable for all audiences.


Sending you and your family best
wishes for a joyous and blessed 
Easter weekend.

Take time to rest and recharge,
and stay well.





APRIL 10, 2020

Over the past few weeks, PDC leaders, including from finance, legal and benefits, have explored many opportunities to secure financial support offered by the federal government and financial institutions, to help physician practices to weather the downturn caused by COVID.

The PDC has applied for or successfully secured financial support from the following sources:

  • CARES Act Provider Relief Fund: This morning the PDC received its initial share from the Provider Relief Fund which is determined by our total Medicare reimbursements in 2019. This is not a loan. We anticipate a second distribution soon. Notably Dr. Michael Bolognesi (Orthopaedics), and Duke Health Government Relations Director Catherine Liao have provided tremendous support and advocacy in this effort. Our thanks to them.
  • Accelerated Medicare Payments: The PDC submitted an application today for advance funds from Medicare that will provide three months of Medicare payments. Currently this is required to be repaid beginning 120 days after the payment is received. Lobbying efforts are under way to extend the repayment period to one year or longer.
  • Paycheck Protection Program Loan: The PDC submitted an application today for a forgivable loan which would provide 2.5 months of the PDC's average monthly payroll, including health insurance and retirement costs. We will update you on the status of this application.
  • CARES Act Distributions and Loans: In the coming days, all PDC members and employees will receive information about accessing tax-favored distributions and increased loan options provided under the CARES Act. The PDC Retirement Committee unanimously approved these important options to permit access to PDC retirement funds for certain COVID-19 difficulties. The notice from PDC Benefits Office will provide a thorough explanation of these two options. Please know your PDC leaders are doing everything possible to mitigate the financial burden caused by COVID and to secure the future of our entire practice. We will keep you posted on these and other opportunities as they arise.


Sending you and your family best
wishes for a joyous and blessed 
Easter weekend.

Take time to rest and recharge,
and stay well.




APRIL 5, 2020


Sending you and your family best wishes for a joyous and blessed Easter weekend.

Take time to rest and recharge, and stay well.



Spoiler alert: The providers and staff of Duke Perinatal Durham will be greeted tomorrow morning with a powerful message and incredible kindness shared by HCA Justin Dixon, his wife and children. Thank you Dixon family!


APRIL 4, 2020

I hope you will join me in taking time today for yourself. This is a stressful time for all of us, and we have to take every opportunity we can to relax and recharge.


This week, the providers and staff at the Roxboro Street Pediatrics drive up collections site let off a little steam by making this fun TikTok video. Enjoy a moment of light-hearted COVID-tent fun. 


NOTE: * Social distancing resumed immediately following the making of this video *

Thanks to the team for all of your hard work... and for putting a smile on our faces.



I am also pleased to share a new blog created by the Duke Department of Family Medicine and Community Health that tells the personal stories of Duke providers on the front lines of this crisis. Writer Andrea Martin captures the emotion of our healthcare heroes and their experiences. Click on the image to the right to read, and bookmark the blog to read future entries.

Don't forget to visit Well-Being Resources for helpful tips to care for yourself and each other. 

Have a nice weekend. Get some rest. Stay home if you can. Stay well. 



APRIL 3, 2020

Clarification on Use of Zoom for Video Visits

from Dr. John Sampson and Dr. Jeffrey Ferranti, Chief Information Officer

We understand the message in today’s DUHS Leadership Taskforce Update regarding the discontinued use of Zoom for video visits has caused confusion. The ability to use Zoom to complete scheduled visits will be permitted – for a limited time. PDC and DUHS leadership have been in discussions today, and we would like to clarify our path forward and reasons why.

What you need to know:

  • Under normal conditions, platforms like Zoom and FaceTime cannot be used for patient video visits, due to known security concerns and potential theft of PHI. It could constitute a HIPAA violation. 
  • Recently, HHS announced they will suspend OCR audits of technologies like Zoom and FaceTime during the COVID outbreak. They have not approved the use of these technologies or changed the rules, they have simply paused the audit program. Auditing and penalties associated with the use of these technologies will resume after the crisis so we need to be careful or we may inadvertently commit HIPAA violations once the COVID crisis has ended.
  • Duke’s preferred platform for video visits is MaestroCare Extended Care. We realize it is not as easy to use as the other platforms, but it does have some advantages including built-in scheduling and billing functionality. Your consults on Zoom and FaceTime are NOT tied to scheduling, billing or documentation in Maestro Care.
  • Duke's current version of Extended Care has a few limitations: 1) The current platform only allows one provider and one patient in the visit. This makes it difficult for workflows that involve learners, interpreters, or other staff. 2) The current platform does not allow for the sharing of screens or images within an encounter 3) Some providers have reported connection errors and slow connectivity. These are typically related to not correctly ending the prior encounter before starting a new one. Please let us know if you still experience problems.
  • Duke is piloting a new cloud version of Extended Care that will allow for shared screens, imaging, and multiple participants. We have a small pilot group of 50 providers testing this environment, and will make it more widely available as the tests are completed.

Duke has expanded its telehealth platform from 50 to 2500 providers over the past three weeks. DHTS is working on these issues as quickly as they are identified, but this is a steep learning curve for all of us. DHTS is actively investigating several alternative telehealth platforms, that address the functionality requirements identified by our members. These platforms require a substantial new investment so we want to be prudent about this decision in a time of financial uncertainty. However, we are committed to facilitating the use of telemedicine in a timely fashion.

We apologize for the confusion this has caused and we are working diligently to facilitate Duke’s rapid implementation of tele- and video-visits, while also remaining compliant and protecting our patients.

APRIL 1, 2020

On last night's local news, WTVD aired a story on Duke's rapid ramp up to offer telemedicine to patients. (Click below to watch.) This will be one of the enduring stories to come from this crisis. Not only have physicians and providers stepped up to the challenge; the response from our patients is extremely positive. Below is the latest data on telephone and video visits from yesterday. My thanks to all of you for continuing to be available for our patients and for enbracing this form of care delivery.

Watch coverage from WTVD-TV (3/31/20): Coronavirus pandemic pushes doctors to utilize telemedicine to help patients


For PDC, DPC and CPDC Clinics 2/25-3/31

Total Telephone Visits: 20,193                                Total Video Visits: 2,265    

New Telephone Visits 3/31/20: 3,149                     New Video Visits 3/31/20: 502


MARCH 31, 2020

In times like these, information is critical and often lifesaving. That is why the PDC and Duke Health have made transparency and communications a priority since the early days of this crisis. I am pleased to let you know that we are taking that to a new level. As of tomorrow, Performance Services will make its enhanced Duke Health COVID-19 dashboard available more broadly. Look for this available tomorrow.


In the same spirit, NC DHHS just released its new COVID Case Count dashboard which now includes data based on county, gender, age, and much more. Check it out here. 

By staying informed we can keep each other and our community safe.


MARCH 30, 2020

Happy Doctors' Day. You have seen many words of thanks throughout the day via email and on social media. I have been inspired by all of the gratitude and praise. I hope you have too.

Starting tomorrow, all providers and staff at PDC and hospital-based clinics will be issued a surgical mask for your protection and our patients and visitors. In order to provide these masks to you each day, the PDC is taking three important steps:

  1. We are limiting providers and staff in our clinics. Many staff members have been redeployed to work from home or another location to support our telehealth efforts. Clinics are also consolidating and teams are working in shifts to limit the number of people in clinic, therefore reducing the need for PPE.
  2. We continue to screen every doctor, staff member, patient and visitor. Anyone who does not pass the screening must return home. Employees should call the Duke Health COVID Hotline (919-385-0429). Patients and visitors should call the North Carolina COVID Hotline (866-462-3821).
  3. We are issuing one mask per person each day. Please carefully review the instructions below on the proper use of the masks.

We are committed to doing everything we can to keep our providers and staff safe. As community spread of COVID-19 increases, the demand on supplies will grow. It is essential that we each do our part to conserve these precious resources. 


Click here to view a recording of today's Virtual Town Hall meeting.

MARCH 29, 2020

Monday, March 30 is National Doctors' Day. The annual observance is a reminder of the many contributions physicians make to keep our citizens and society healthy and safe. At no time in modern day history has this been more true than today. While we may celebrate doctors tomorrow, we know they cannot care for patients without the support of nurses, schedulers, administrators, housekeeping staff, and many others. On National Doctors' Day 2020, we recognize every member of the healthcare team.

Click here to view an incredible 15 minute documentary featuring housekeepers at Duke Hospital and Duke Regional Hospital and hear about their special relationships with patients and the ways in which their work contributes to healing. 

Need a mental health break? Tune in tonight at 9 pm to a special hourlong "Living Room Concert for America" hosted by Elton John and featuring some of your favorite artists. Stream it live here.

Post your messages of thanks to social media using #ThankYouDukeHealth.

MARCH 28, 2020

I hope you will join me in taking time today for yourself. This is a stressful time for all of us, and we have to take every opportunity we can to relax and recharge.

Visit Well-Being Resources on how to better care for yourself and each other. 

And remember the basics:

  • Show gratitude for one another.
  • Use huddles and meetings to share ideas on what’s helping your resilience.
  • Take deep breaths and mindful minutes throughout the day.
  • When you leave work, take a moment to think about three good things that happened in the day, and mentally transition from work to home. 

checklist is available to help you power down, rest and recharge. Many clinics are posting this checklist in their work areas and near employee exits. We also encourage everyone (including those working remotely) to print out a copy for yourself, or share via PowerPoint.  

If you have well-being ideas or resources that have helped you, or moments of gratitude and awe to share with your colleagues, send them to us or post a short video message to your social media using hashtag #ThankYouDukeHealth (and don't forget to tag @PDCDuke).

Look for special messages of thanks and gratitude on Monday in recognition of National Doctors' Day. Yours could be included in a special video, so don't forget the hashtag!

 Get some rest. Stay home if you can. Stay well. 


MARCH 27, 2020

Even though many outpatient appointments are being scheduled after May 1, the PDC and Duke Health outpatient clinics are still open for business. As we all adapt to the current realities, our providers and staff have jumped in to make sure our patients receive the care and attention they need. 

Yesterday, our providers conducted 221 video visits with patients, up from 100 per month prior to the start of COVID. In addition, yesterday they conducted 2,587 telephone visits, an increase from fewer than 100 per month prior to COVID. The capacity and number of telehealth visits continues to increase each day. We are also working closely with the PRMO and insurance companies to ensure correct billing and reimbursement for televisits. Even better, the feedback from patients is extremely positive. Many are asking to continue televisits in the future. 

For those procedures and visits that are not conducive to telehealth, our Access Champions are working behind the scenes to ramp up quickly when this crisis is over.

Thanks to the many people who are helping us continue to deliver the best care during this challenging time.


Follow us on Twitter at @PDCDuke - add your voice by posting a video of thanks and adding #ThankYouDukeHealth


Look for important updates in Sunday’s issue to help you prepare for clinic on Monday morning. 

Get some rest. Stay home if you can. Stay well.


MARCH 24, 2020

Duke Health leaders have not only been leading the COVID-19 response in our hospitals and clinics, but also advising local, state and federal leaders on the most prudent and timely courses of action to limit community spread of COVID-19. One example is the joint message from the NC Healthcare Association which calls for strengthening social distancing practices, including measures to shelter-in-place.

We are learning from the actions (and inactions) by other states, and we are urging local and state leaders to make timely, evidence-based decisions in order to protect all citizens, including healthcare providers. We believe we are at the beginning of this outbreak and - at Duke Health - we are committed to providing responsible leadership and doing everything possible to support our workforce, patients and community.

Click below to find out how the community can help. Feel free to share this link:



MARCH 23, 2020

Thanks for another incredible day, which started out with an encouraging message from Coach K to all of our healthcare providers. Three of his main messages to us are:

1) The new official greeting of Duke Health is now a closed fist over the heart.It is a unifying symbol of our great team - on and off the court.

2) Now is a time for us to come TOGETHER. We must support one another

3) As we put our fists over our hearts and come together, we say, "LET'S WIN"

In that spirit, I want to reiterate to all of our providers. If you have any symptoms (ie, cough or sneeze) even thought to be caused by allergies, notify your supervisor, leave or do not come to work, and call the Duke Health COVID Hotline 919-385-0429. If you are coughing or sneezing, you are assumed COVID-positive until proven otherwise. No Exceptions.   We must protect one another.

Watch today's Virtual Town Hall



MARCH 22, 2020

We want to make you aware that a clinical staff member at a PDC clinic has tested positive for COVID-19. The employee was not at work when symptoms developed, followed appropriate notification protocol and is doing well in self-isolation at home, as recommended. Infection Control and EOHW have reached out to all pertinent contacts of this individual, and none of the contacts required testing based on nationally-established protocols. Based on the employee’s activities and timeline, it does not appear that the individual was exposed to COVID-19 while in clinic and it is probable that the virus was acquired via community exposure. We are continuously updating guidance on workplace safety during the COVID-19 outbreak based upon best evidence and recommendations.  


* * * * * *


Your Safety and Use of PPE - from Dr. Tom Owens and Dr. John Sampson

As COVID-19 continues to spread in our community, our leadership and infection prevention teams are working daily to ensure the alignment of our personal protective equipment (PPE) policies with CDC and expert guidelines to keep our team and patients safe now, and in the coming weeks. While we have adequate supplies today to meet the needs of our teams under current guidelines, we see other health systems in areas of the country experiencing more COVID-19 taking additional steps to conserve PPE. We are actively evaluating these options and working to conserve and manage our supplies now, disinfect and reuse PPE per new national evidence and secure additional sources of supplies to care for our team as the outbreak spreads. The work we do now together will enable us to be prepared and successful as we go forward, and we appreciate everyone’s efforts.



MARCH 21, 2020

In today’s update I’m sharing an important message from Dr. Mandy Cohen, Secretary of NCDHHS. Please take time read it. Throughout this crisis, Duke Health has led the way in managing the care of its patients. We face new challenges each day, and I remain incredibly proud of the way our physicians, APPs, and staff have consistently rose to the occasion as a unified group. It is now time for us to unite across our state. I want to reiterate that we will continue to provide care to patients who need us. However, we must join Dr. Cohen now in making responsible decisions in order to manage the current crisis and conserve resources.

To help you navigate the endless flow of information, we now have one website where you can access all of the information shared in our daily messages, and links to all other official Duke Health information sources. Click on the box below and bookmark this page. As always, let us know the information you need and how we can support you.



MARCH 20, 2020

I received this inspiring statement from Dr. Anthony Viera, chair of Duke Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, today and am sharing with his permission:

“We are in a world of problem-based learning, and this crisis is our teacher. Much like surgeons who make important advancements in their field during wartime, we - community health providers - will come out on the other side of this wiser, more skilled, more adept at delivering care, and more prepared for the inevitable next time.”

Dr. Anthony Viera, Chair, Department of Duke Family Medicine and Community Health 

Please take a few minutes to watch this short video >



MARCH 18, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

I want to thank all of our PDC, CPDC and hospital-based physicians, providers and clinical and administrative staff for the remarkable efforts that are under way during this global health crisis. These are extraordinary times and I continue to hear stories of heroic efforts throughout our community. As healthcare workers and support staff, now is the time we are needed most. We are pulling together to continue to serve our patients, help out each other, and maintain some level of normalcy. You are going to be even more critical in the uncertain days and weeks ahead. Take care of yourself and each other. We are a great team, and we will get through this together. Thank you.

-Dr. John Sampson, PDC President


Redefining our "New Normal" - watch this short video