Hundreds of faculty, staff, students, and trainees gathered Wednesday, Sept. 13, to launch Translating Duke Health.This multiyear, multidisciplinary program will focus on areas where Duke Health can make the most significant contributions to health and healthcare, and features a children's discovery endeavor, led by Sallie Permar, MD, PhD, that aims to identify early risk factors in four interrelated drivers of early life influences on long-term health: genes and biology, physical environment, health and behavior needs, and social and economic factors.
"We are here to talk about the power of Duke Health," A. Eugene Washington, MD, Duke Chancellor for Health Affairs and President and CEO of Duke University Health System (DUHS), told a standing-room-only crowd in the Trent Semans Center Learning Hall and others viewing remotely from the Bryan Research Building auditorium. "This endeavor is very much about harnessing our many talents and our resources and seizing the opportunities available to us now to achieve our mission to improve the health of the communities we serve in our region, across the state and around the world."
Translating Duke Health is a direct outgrowth of Duke Health's Advancing Health Together Strategic Planning Framework, launched in January 2016. Translating Duke Health will on capitalize Duke Health's collective strengths in research, clinical care, and population health to address major health challenges by focusing on areas where Duke Health can have the greatest impact on transformative treatments and prevention strategies. Translating Duke Health also will accelerate and enhance collaborations across Duke among the scientific, clinical, population health, big data science and computing communities.
"The initiatives that are being explored in Translating Duke Health are totally consistent with the legacy of Duke for tremendous innovation and clinical excellence," said William J. Fulkerson, Jr., MD, Executive Vice President, DUHS. "They really represent areas in medicine that are incredibly important both in prevention possibilities and in treating serious illness, and they have the potential to be very impactful."
"The creation of the Translating Duke Health initiative began months ago, spurred by the recognition that Duke is uniquely positioned to address many of the world's most significant scientific and healthcare challenges. It represents a firm commitment by Duke Health to fulfill a vision of making impactful discoveries and transforming health for millions," said Mary E. Klotman, MD, Dean, Duke University School of Medicine, and Vice Chancellor Health Affairs. "This ambitious intiative will amplify Duke as a leader among our peers, as a unique destination for care and promise for our patients, and as a place where the best minds participate in meaningful impactful science."
Translating Duke Health is principally sponsored by the Duke University School of Medicine and DUHS in collaboration with other Duke entities. It initially will focus on five opportunities selected by convening groups, which included representatives from across Duke:
- Preserving and restoring cardiovascular health
- Enhancing brain resilience and repair
- Ending disease where it begins
- Controlling the immune system
- Combating solid tumor brain metastases