Duke Health strives to improve the health of people and neighborhoods and promote good will as ambassadors of the communities we serve. In fiscal year 2019, Duke University Health System provided $597 million in total community benefit and investment and an estimated $118 million in charity care.
Building Healthy Communities Grants
Duke Health's commitment to advance health and well-being of all includes the support of community-based organizations and initiatives. Led by a funding committee of leaders from across Duke Health, grants can be used for at least one of these focus areas:
- Creation and support of affordable housing
- Early childhood education, counseling, and health and wellness
- Food insecurity and to provide food as part of community events
- Improving community health
- Job training and skills management
- Supporting the arts and cultural vitality
Duke-Durham Fund for COVID-19 Relief
In response to COVID-19, Duke pledged $5 million for an expanded Duke-Durham Fund to provide funding and technical assistance to non-profits, small businesses and community-based organizations affected by COVID-19. The funds specifically impact food and housing stability for children, seniors and low-income workers; masks and health information for vulnerable populations; child care for front-line workers; and equipment and assistance for remote learning and other supports during the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the $5 million, $1 million was designated to provide grants to community-based organizations for projects that address immediate, basic needs including food, shelter, and child care for individuals and families affected by COVID-19. Duke provided this funding in addition to employee contributions for emergency relief.
Another $1 million was used to seed a grants program to support the important work of non-profit organizations that address large-scale, community-wide, COVID-19-related issues in the areas of food security, housing security, education, support for health care workforce, and other community needs. Corporate partners committed approximately another $400,000 to this area of the fund. The Duke-Durham Fund is coordinated by Duke’s Office of Durham & Community Affairs.
Partnership for a Healthy Durham
Partnership for a Health Durham is a coalition of local agencies and communities with the goal of collaboratively improving the physical, mental and social health and well-being of Durham residents. The Duke University School of Medicine, along with other Duke centers, institutes and programs, is an active partner of the coalition. The program is housed in the Durham County Department of Public Health and focuses on health priorities including affordable housing; access to health care and health insurance; poverty mental health and substance abuse; obesity, diabetes and food access.
Root Causes is a Duke medical student-led organization focused on healing the food system through education and outreach, community service, and advocacy. Key projects include the Fresh Produce Program at the Duke Outpatient Clinic, partnering with the Change Center Community Garden, and working with the Healthy Campus initiative to improve the Duke Health food environment.
The City of Medicine Academy
The Duke City of Medicine Academy is a unique high school in Durham that provides students with a challenging academic program while offering them a broad overview of health professions and potential careers in medicine, science and research. Resources from across Duke University, the School of Medicine, and the Health System help maximize the students’ learning experience through summer internships, field trip, and after-school programs. Duke University School of Medicine and Health System faculty, staff and students lend their expertise to projects and classroom lectures.
Duke Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Open School
The Duke IHI Open School Chapter was founded in January 2009 by students from the School of Medicine and School of Nursing who hoped to build a student organization dedicated to improving health care delivery and patient safety, both at Duke and beyond. Since its inception, the Duke Chapter of IHI has welcomed graduate and undergraduate students interested in health care to join and participate in local workshops, projects, speaker series, and national meetings on pressing issues in health care today. The organization has since grown to over 600 members as of 2019.
CTSI's Community Engaged Research Initiative
Community support during COVID-19 is a priority for the Duke Clinical and Translational Science Institute’s (CTSI) Community Engaged Research Initiative (CERI). Since March 2020, CERI has developed numerous programs and initiatives focused on COVID-19 in the community, including disseminating trusted, vetted resources to community groups such as racially, linguistically and culturally appropriate COVID-19 materials, and providing operational support for multiple COVID-19 response coalitions.
Holton Wellness Center
The School of Medicine and the Duke University Health System partner with the City of Durham and Durham Public Schools on many initiatives to improve the health of people in their communities. Holton Wellness Center, one of three neighborhood health clinics operated by the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health in partnership with Lincoln Community Health Center in Durham, is an example of community engagement that also creates educational opportunities for students and unique models of patient care. The Holton Leadership Elective, an elective course for first- and third-year medical students, allows students to see patients two nights a week at the Holton Wellness Center. And Duke, the City of Durham, and Durham Public Schools recently partnered to expand COVID-19 testing to East Durham with a testing site at Holton Wellness Center.
Duke’s STAR Program
Duke’s Summer Training in Academic Research (STAR) Program, which is held at the Duke Clinical Research Institute, provides a high-quality research experience for undergraduate students, high school students, and middle and high school teachers. The 8-week program gives participants who are interested in science and medicine hands-on experience in research methodology and writing. Participants are placed in teams and matched with Duke University faculty mentors to work on an original, hypothesis-driven project, originating as a one-page summary and culminating in a complete research paper.