PDC Congratulates Annual Strength, Hope and Caring Award Recipients

Duke PDC

​The PDC is honored to recognize the following recipients of the 2015 Annual Strength, Hope and Caring Awards


Jamie Smith, PSA, Duke Perinatal of Durham

Jamie was nominated by Nurse Practitioner Alice Cooper, who indicated that Jamie’s “actions contributed to most likely saving this patient’s life, and perhaps that of her baby.” A patient arrived in the clinic for a lab only visit. During the patient’s check in process, Jamie realized that the patient had missed two OB appointments, and Jamie arranged for the patient to be scheduled. However, Jamie was concerned that the available appointment might be too late. Jamie went to the Nurse Practitioner, and waited to review her concerns. Jamie’s conscientiousness resulted in the patient being evaluated further rather than being sent home, and conditions life threatening to the patient and her child were diagnosed and treatment was able to proceed immediately. The providers involved were convinced that if Jamie had not acted on her concerns, the patient and her child may have been placed in jeopardy. The patient, for her part, was deeply grateful for the kindness shown to her by Jamie.


Lorraine Grumieaux, ACN – II, MOHS Surgery Clinic 

Lorraine was nominated by her Health Center Administrator. A patient came to MOHS Surgery Clinic for treatment of a life threatening skin cancer. The nominator indicated that “In my 4 years working at MOHS Surgery, we have never asked a patient to come back the following day to continue their Surgery.  This particular case surprised everyone because there was no physical indication of the range or complexity of the cancer.” A dressing was placed and the patient was asked to return to the clinic first thing in the morning for further surgery, after being given contact information for the provider. 2 late nurses are designated at this location each day, and Lorraine had offered to work this shift permanently when she began working at MOHS, so that a nurse with a new baby would not have to. On this evening, Lorraine was leaving at 7:30pm, and she noticed a car in the parking lot with an RV in tow, and the car’s headlights were still on. She stopped to tell the people inside the RV about this, and found that it was the patient who had been asked to return the following day. 

The patient, her husband, and two daughters were concerned because there was blood coming through the bandage.  The family members were scared and asked Lorraine for the address to the building, in case they needed to call 911.  Lorraine helped them find the information with Dr. Cook’s phone number.  While they called Dr. Cook, Lorraine went back into the building to get them more gauze to use to hold pressure.  When Dr. Cook arrived at 8:45pm, Lorraine was waiting for him at the elevator to help with the patient.  The nominator wrote “I spoke with the family first thing the following morning.  They had been up most of the night, and were faced with very difficult decisions about treatment and repair, and they never stopped expressing how thankful they were for the care that they had received.  The daughter expressed that she thought that it had been a miracle that Lorraine came when she did. I am so incredibly proud…. we had a staff meeting that day, at 7am.  That made it nearly a 14 hour day for Lorraine, who typically arrives at 9:30am. She truly went above and beyond.”


Brian Eichner, MD, Duke Health Center Roxboro Road

Dr. Eichner was nominated by a nurse who works closely with him at Duke Health Center at Roxboro Street. Dr. Eichner was nominated for his heroic qualities as a physician, particularly the “work that he does to change families lives on a daily basis.” Dr. Eichner’s nominator, Danielle Wolf, began her nomination by explaining that Dr. Eichner maintains his own pediatric primary care patient schedule, is a mentor in the clinic’s resident clinic, and that he also maintains his own specialty diagnostic clinic that he works into his daily schedule to care for very special, complicated patient issues. 

Despite these many responsibilities, Dr. Eichner’s “patients and their families are always treated with respect, compassion and are made to feel like their child is the most important patient, because to Dr. Eichner they are the most important patient.” The nominator went on to relate a very special circumstance in which she was able to witness Dr. Eichner’s heroic qualities. Dr. Eichner was at the clinic much earlier than any other provider, and explained that a special patient would be arriving after an inpatient stay. The patient was a young boy who had drowned and been revived after being under water for an extensive period of time. The patient was arriving by EMS and had several chronic conditions as a result of the accident that would be with him for the rest of his life. 

“Before the appointment Dr. Eichner had already set up for our special nurse clinician and our social work team to be at the exam room when the family arrived. As soon as that child got into the exam room everyone worked together to get him settled and the family comfortable and gave the two younger siblings that were there juice, crackers and some coloring pages to keep them busy. Once Dr. Eichner entered the room he examined the child and then spent extensive time listening to mother’s concerns, fears and expectations. He gave the mother all of the referrals she would need to help care for the patient and her family.  He has a way of giving the family realistic expectations without taking away their drive to go on.” 

The nominator concluded by writing “Dr.Eichner has the biggest heart, he does phenomenal things for families that have no hope, and he changes people’s lives. I have gotten to meet more of his special patients and family’s over the past few months and work with him on these cases, and I am just in awe of how this one man can make such a huge impact on a family, whether it’s mentally, emotionally or physically. He deserves to be recognized for all of the humble, amazing things that he does. In ten years of nursing I have never worked with a doctor that is more worthy of recognition for his ability to be great, even tough for him this is just who he is every day of his life.”


Gail Harris, CMA, NC Orthopaedic Clinic

Gail was nominated by the Service Access Manager for North Carolina Orthopaedic Clinic. Gail handles all of the incoming referrals and works as a member of the scheduling hub team for the clinic. Several months ago, Gail did something extraordinary and special, when she came up with an idea to try and schedule a NCOC girls weekend. She felt it would be great to get to know some of the new team members that had been added over the last year and to give them all some time to relax and truly enjoy each other’s company. Her nominator wrote: “What started off as a wild idea ended up becoming something real. After months of research Gail found an affordable location to host the event and like that ladies started signing up. 

Twelve ladies originally signed up and in the end 9 paid their deposits and the dates were set. The 9 consisted of both seasoned and brand new team members. This event became the First Annual NCOC Woman’s Retreat. Gail planned everything out for their two day trip. What stood out to me was that she planned everything around things the entire group could do together. She even created very thoughtful and endearing welcome/gift bags for the 9 ladies attending. The attendees all said it was so relaxing and were surprised at the level they all bonded during the trip. Since hearing of this wonderful trip, a gentleman’s night out has been planned to allow for similar fellowship among the guys in the office. The ladies are already planning their next Women’s Retreat and this will likely become a yearly staple on the NCOC calendar. I believe that Gail did something amazing. These ladies returned from this trip glowing and closer than I have ever seen a group be. They are still talking about it and now others that didn’t go are excited about going next year. I think this is the type of caring that we need across the health system to build the kind of teams that truly make a difference in this world. This idea was all hers and she executed it to perfection. She is a model for caring for each other in my eyes.”