Patient and Family Engagement Stories

See these great stories to learn more about how the Patient and Family Advisory Councils help Duke Health continually improve.

Learn more about the Patient and Family Advisory Councils

Well-Being Ambassador Writes About Three Good Things

Paige Roberts,  MBA, RN, PCCN, a graduate of and regular guest presenter at the Center’s courses on well-being, wrote an article in American Nurse Today about the resilience tool Three Good Things. Roberts writes:

Intentional tactics to cultivate positive emotions and
thoughts, including Three Good Things, can help us
counteract our natural tendency to focus on the negative
and highlight more of the positive that already
exists around us.

Read the full article here.

Patient and Family Advisors Teach About Hospice Services

To many, the word “hospice” has negative connotations, such as giving up. Hospice services are so much more than bedside medical attention. A patient and his/her family get a team of people whose desire is to give quality of life to that patient. It’s not about dying, it’s about living the best life ’til the very end! The caring professionals on every patient’s hospice team provide practical support and help families navigate the difficult decisions they face. The Duke Homecare & Hospice PFAC (Patient Family Advisory Council) decided to address the need to increase awareness of hospice  services and misconceptions of what hospice is.

Last year the Duke Homecare & Hospice PFAC began participating with Development staff in programs describing hospice services at community centers, active-55 communities, and senior living communities. After learning that nationally fully one-third of all hospice patients take advantage of these services for only a week or less and another one-third for less than a month, the PFAC embarked on a mission to help get the word out to area communities.

With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, the PFAC had to revamp its in-person format and construct a virtual session using Zoom to accomplish its goal. They did so, and the result is getting rave reviews from participants. In a one-hour session, a panel of three educates the audience about the many services that hospice offers and answers questions. The panel covers the need for care, what the services are, financial considerations, and the roles of the hospice team members that are available to every patient and family. Recent appearances have included senior communities as well as programs through Duke’s OLLI program and the Durham County Library.

If you or your community are interested in scheduling a session, please contact Kellie Brockman at or call 919.620.3853.

Staying Safe During the Holidays

Unfortunately, COVID-19 is still causing major disruptions to our daily lives. With the holidays coming, it will be especially important this year to be safe and prevent infections. Here is some guidance to help you plan your 2020 holiday schedule:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
“COVID-19: Holiday Celebrations”

USA Today (ft. Duke faculty)
“Halloween amid COVID-19: You can lower the risks of trick-or-treating, if you’re creative”

Patient Advisor Shares Her Story

Katrina Cooke, co-chair of the Duke Cancer Institute (DCI) Oncology Patient and Family Advisory Council, recently shared her inspirational story about how she turned a diagnosis  of metastatic breast cancer into an opportunity to be a role model and source of support for others.

Read how Katrina gives back to the community in countless ways all while continuing to undergo a cutting-edge treatment plan at Duke Cancer Institute.

“In partnership with DCI senior leadership, we make sure that we’re working on initiatives that will help improve patient experience at DCI. It could be as simple as the language in forms or brochures to patient messaging with COVID-19 and cancer. I love the passion in the group and I enjoy giving back whenever I possibly can.” – Katrina Cooke

See full article

Learn more about the Patient and Family Advisory Councils

COVID-19 Resource Guide for Parents and Families


In partnership with the Duke Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, the Duke Child and Family Study Center, and Duke Human Resources, we have created a toolkit full of resources for parents and families dealing with COVID-19. The resource guide contains tips on talking to your kids about COVID-19,  activities for families, coping strategies, and local childcare opportunities.

The updated toolkit (originally released April 2020, revised August 2020) reflects the changing demands on parents and families as we all continue to cope with and adapt to the challenges of the pandemic.

View the Guide Here

Publicly Available Well-Being Resources

Over the past few months, the Center and our Duke partners have created and compiled a variety of wellness and well-being resources. Many of the resources are available to anyone, including:

Bite-Sized Resilience
Short (~3 minute) videos with Center Director Dr. Bryan Sexton, who gives a foundational tour of key well-being strategies.

Over 50 meditations led by well-being experts from the Center, Duke Health & Well-Being, and more.

Parent and Family Resource Guide
Toolkit for coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, curated by Duke Psychiatry, Duke Human Resources, and the Center team.

Happiness Strategies
Quick list of simple ideas for boosting your mood and well-being.

Bite-Sized Team Training
Communication and teamwork are core elements of a thriving group. Medical Director Dr. Kyle Rehder teaches the fundamentals in these brief videos.

Resilience Tools
Text- or email-based tools that guide you through resilience exercises in just a few minutes a day. Note: these tools are part of ethics board-approved research studies.

Additional Resources


Center Shares Well-Being Tips with Working@Duke

The Center has been collaborating with Working@Duke and Duke Today, two of the university’s media outlets, on several stories focused on well-being. See a few here:

Earlier Articles

Now available: Center Annual Report

The Duke Center for Healthcare Safety and Quality is pleased to share its fiscal year 2020 report. The document is a review of the center’s achievements over the period July 2019 through June 2020, the status of its many programs, and its future directions.

This report is also a reflection of the work of our countless stakeholders, partners, and honorary team members. From Human Resources to Performance Services, from Healthy Duke to the Patient Safety Officers, we cannot express our gratitude enough for the support, collaboration, and camaraderie each of these amazing teams have given us. Thank you and we look forward to many more projects together.

The report begins with an Executive Summary, followed by a series of one-page reviews of the center’s various facets of work. If you see a program or body of work that you would like to learn more about, please do not hesitate to email the team.

Read the Annual Report