Health Team

Duke's chancellor for health affairs focuses on local impact

Posted May 14, 2015
Updated May 15, 2015

— Dr. Eugene Washington, Duke University’s new chancellor for health affairs and president and chief executive officer of the Duke University Health System, has only been on the job for a few weeks but says he is focused on local impact.

Washington, formerly CEO of the University of California, Los Angeles Health System, said he hopes to see Duke become more involved in the community.

"I'm coming in the auspicious position of building on a very, very strong foundation between Duke and the Durham community," he said.

Durham has been known as a tale of two cities - one prosperous and the other mired in poverty - but Washington said he is looking to improve Duke's efforts to close health disparities.

"When you think about poverty from our perspective, it is inextricably linked with health and vice versa," he said.

Washington said Durham needs more health outreach programs to identify those at risk of disease before they require costly intervention.

"It means that a patient should be able to, when he or she has a concern, call one number, make one visit on one day and see one team that going to take care of them," Washington said.

Washington said one of the biggest challenges he sees is finding new sources of research funding.

"We have tended to think about bio-medical related industries, but the truth is the technology and information industry, the IBMs, the Googles, the Apples, those are our new partners right now, and they don't just bring resources, they really help bring an intellectual capital," he said.

With the Triangle being a competitive medical environment, Washington said he also hopes to improve the patient experience.


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