Posted by: Duke Raleigh Hospital | October 9, 2020

Woman Fighting Breast Cancer Marries Longtime Love in Hospital

Otis Lanier and Charlene Dickens’ love story began at work 37 years ago. But it was not until October 8 that the couple became man and wife when they exchanged vows in room 5230 of Duke Raleigh Hospital.

When Charlene’s health continued to decline and she was admitted to the hospital, the couple decided not to wait any longer to make official a love their family and friends already knew was special.

“Most people do not know they are not married,” said Otis’s daughter Oshana Watkins. “When the doctor called me to tell me they were getting married, I said ‘it is about time!’”

Fifth floor nurses and dietary team members decorated the room for Charlene, who is battling breast cancer, in pink streamers and flowers. They gave Charlene a pink wedding bouquet and Otis a pink boutonniere for his tuxedo t-shirt.

Before the start of the ceremony Oshana followed wedding tradition, gifting Charlene an old picture of her father and blue handkerchiefs. After placing a borrowed pearl bracelet on Charlene’s hand, she presented her with a new necklace.

“This necklace shows a mother and a child,” Oshana said. “You did not give me the gift of life, life gave me the gift of you. Thank you for always loving me as your own. Parenthood requires love not DNA, and I appreciate all the love you have given.”

With a wedding march playing on a phone and cupcakes and sparkling juice to celebrate the occasion, the couple was married by a hospital chaplain as nurses and doctors looked on from the hallway.

“This is so beautiful,” said Charlene, beaming from her hospital bed. “It is way more than I expected.”

Otis, who is a cancer survivor, added that “We know doctors and hospitals. This has been really special. We are happy that Dr. Dorr helped to get the wedding together.”

Dr. Victoria Dorr, a medical oncologist caring for Charlene, helped this Garner couple to obtain the proper paperwork to hold the wedding after they expressed a desire to ensure their family was taken care of.

“This wedding brings joy to something that would be a sad time,” said Dorr. “It shows that love conquers all.”

–By Erin McKenzie

Posted by: Duke Raleigh Hospital | October 7, 2020

Yinger Honored with Diversity Award

Stephanie Yinger (second from left) poses with colleagues at the Duke Raleigh Hospital booth at OutRaleigh.

Congratulations to Stephanie Yinger, an RN in our Post-Anesthesia Care Unit, who was honored with the Triangle Business Journal’s Diversity Award for Corporate Leadership. She was among several honorees highlighted in a virtual award ceremony on October 6.

Stephanie has shown distinguished leadership in the care of LGBTQ patients at Duke Raleigh Hospital, in particular our transgender patients. She is passionate about ensuring that the 67,000 transgender people in our state feel understood if they walk through our doors.

Stephanie serves as a member of our hospital’s Diversity Leadership Team where she helps brainstorm creative ways to ensure our team, our patients, and their families feel like they belong. The activities this group has hosted have included a lunch and learn for our team members on caring for our transgender community and attendance at the OutRaleigh Festival to assist with the hospital’s booth. Stephanie has partnered with Duke team members and those in the community to host educational sessions, such as a “Let’s Talk Top Surgery” information session with a Duke physician at the LGBT Center of Raleigh. 

“Stephanie’s commitment to diversity cannot be understated,” said Candice Stringfield, DNP, RN, Manager of Same Day Surgery and the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit. “Stephanie’s contributions positively shapes our institution and our community each day. I cannot think of a more deserving team member for this award.”

Posted by: Duke Raleigh Hospital | October 5, 2020

Superhero Style Contest Winners Named

Congratulations to the winners of our Superhero Style Contest!

As part of our All Staff week of events, our Duke Raleigh Hospital team was invited to dress up as their favorite superhero. Alternatively, they could pick out their favorite superhero mask to keep and do their best impression of that character for the chance to win a prize. We asked the public to vote for the winner on our Duke Raleigh Hospital Facebook page, which ended at 9 a.m. on October 5.

Thank you to all our Duke Raleigh Hospital team members for sharing your creativity and having some fun!

Our winners are:

Jessica Hanks
Nutritional Services

Marijean Dela Pena
Fourth Floor Nursing (night shift)

Faith Catlin Austin
Volunteer Services

Posted by: Duke Raleigh Hospital | September 24, 2020

Duke Raleigh Hospital Helps Team Celebrate Work Anniversaries

Nearly 200 Duke Raleigh Hospital team members were celebrated for their Duke University Health System work anniversaries this month. In lieu of an annual Service Awards Dinner, team members celebrated in 2020-fashion, virtually.

Honorees received a small gift to honor their achievement and many joined one of two virtual meetings with their fellow honorees and the Duke Raleigh Hospital Executive Leadership Team.

During the video call team members shared stories, were recognized for achievements via video, and they answered hospital trivia questions to compete to fill their Bingo board and win a prize.

“It was great to get to know some of the team members we may not spend a lot of time with, while also learning  and having fun with the rich history Duke Raleigh Hospital has created within our community,” said Adam Tabor, Assistant Director Human Resources Operations.

You can find a full list of the honorees below:

35 Years

  • Linda Lloyd, Macon Pond Radiation Oncology
  • Kimberly Hinton, Cardia Cath Lab

30 Years

  • Holly Deitzm 5th Floor Nursing
  • Mark Beautz, MRI
  • Cary Wright, 3rd Floor Nursing
  • Jennifer Clark, Progressive Care Unit
  • Laura Rieh Morris, Surgery Administration
  • Susan Bruce, Cancer Center Administration
  • Dziep Nezarati, Endoscopy

25 Years

  • Leanne Edwards, Same-Day-Surgery
  • Denise Deycaza, ICU
  • Tina Brigman, 5th Floor Nursing
  • Cherly Wall, Case Management
  • Wendy Chrzan, Operating Room
  • Denise Privette, Human Resources

20 Years

  • Gareth Coleman, Materials
  • Tigist Gessesse, PACU
  • Konstantin Petrov, Endoscopy
  • Kathy Walton, ICU
  • Robert Wiese, Outpatient Rehab
  • Rebecca Flicker, Diagnostic Radiology
  • Jarrell Carson, Cat Scan
  • Maria Teresa Escala, Central Telemetry
  • Denise Jacobs, Finance
  • Babou Touray, 3rd Floor Nursing
  • Lou Pue, Pain Clinic
  • Elaine Simmons, Endoscopy
  • Pamela Taylor, Hospital Pharmacy Services
  • Robby Smith, Operating Room

15 Years

  • Kristen M. Davis, Radiation Oncology
  • Jennifer A. Prilliman, Operating Room
  • June Quin Lamasan, Diagnostic Radiology
  • Nancy Davis, Radiology Administration
  • Wanda Shade, 4th Floor Nursing
  • Mimi Matthys, Intensive Care Unit
  • Theresa Thomas, 3rd Floor Nursing
  • Michelle McLeod, Outpatient Imaging
  • Phoutharack Schmidt, Outpatient Imaging
  • Karanja Njine, PACU
  • Stephen Fogle, Diagnostic Radiology
  • Marchetta Frasier, Operating Room
  • Linda Starkweather, Oncology
  • Dawn Sanger, Acute Care Rehab
  • Alexis Eaves, Macon Pond
  • Sharan Chambliss, Macon Pond
  • Trina Evans, Sterile Processing Unit
  • Lindsey Daniels, Medical Auditing
  • Jessica Ribar, Macon Pond
  • Aracelis De La Cruz, Environmental Services
  • Tonika Scarboro, Diagnostic Radiology
  • Denise Lush, Surgery Administration
  • Christy Taylor, Respiratory Therapy
  • Penny White, Outpatient Imaging
  • Paula Mayle, Operating Room
  • Gilbert Basco, Operating Room
  • Valerie Marshall, Pre-Admission Testing
  • Mary Planisek, Case Management
  • Teresa Stratton, Case Management
  • Chawanna Davis, Patient Transport
  • Janice Burnette, Neuro Step-down
  • Summer McLamb, Acute Care Rehab
  • Lori McNeil, DRAH Surgery Center
  • Pavla Stransky, Operating Room

10 Years

  • Deborah Thompson, Radiology Administration
  • Glenda Garcia, Hospital Pharmacy Services
  • Mark Hill, Emergency Department Physicians
  • Susan James, Diagnostic Radiology
  • Gena Farris, Acute Care Rehab
  • Donna Krupa, Radiation Oncology
  • Penny Stephens, Materials Management
  • Michelle Stell, Wound Healing Center
  • Michelle Pleasant, Emergency Department Physicians
  • Lee Craddock, Radiology Administration
  • Dawn Dolby, Progressive Care Unit
  • Denise Gold, Acute Care Rehab
  • Susana  Guzman Camacho, Operating Room
  • Timothy Plonk, Emergency Department Physicians
  • Peter Berry, Nursing Administration
  • Brenda Murdough, Same Day Surgery
  • Chris Chavis, Case Management
  • Sharon  Page, Disease Management
  • Elisha Fisher-Streno, DRAH DCC Offsite Administration
  • Vincent Simpson, Dietary
  • Maria Sealey, DRAH Advanced Clinical Practioners
  • Michelle Ray, Same Day Surgery
  • Peggy Mills, Operating Room
  • Michelle Gearheart, Neuro Diagnostics
  • Laura Griggs, Same Day Surgery
  • Emily Fite, Pain Clinic
  • Latonya Jamison, Outpatient Rehab – Heritage
  • Erin Freeman, Radiology Nursing
  • Cathleen Moore, Sterile Processing Unit
  • Ya Fatou Sillah, Progressive Care Unit
  • Donald Haun, Radiology Administration
  • Laura Townsend-Isaiah, Human Resources
  • Brian Moyles, Cat Scan
  • Shaunika Brooks, Hematology Oncology-infusion
  • Lennette McFadden, Coffee Bar
  • Eric Chu, Hospitalist
  • Lauren Griffin, Hospitalist
  • Onelia Jose, Operating Room
  • Heather Batchelor, Neuro Diagnostics
  • Erin McKenzie, Human Resources
  • Jed Gudzinas, Emergency Department
  • Melia Kalsbeek, Intensive Care Unit
  • Jeri Eckel, Pain Clinic
  • Sydney Cowart, 4th Floor Nursing
  • Frances Kochis, Volunteer Services
  • Seyed Shah, Cat Scan
  • James Taylor, MRI

5 Years

  • Scott Metzel, Cancer Center Administration
  • Tara Walczak-Daege, Surgery Administration
  • Dahsohm Baxley, DRAH Neuro Step-down
  • James Mathis, Intensive Care Unit
  • Molly McLean, PACU
  • Angela Crews, Emergency Department
  • Melissa Valenti, PACU
  • Julia Loehr, Neuro Diagnostics
  • Cherie Hubbard, Emergency Department
  • Benjamin Barry, Intensive Care Unit
  • Marissa Ragonesi, Hospital Pharmacy Services
  • Bobbi Cox, Operating Room
  • Christine Barnes, Nursing Administration
  • Lynnetta Shoop, Advanced Clinical Practioners
  • Michelle Worthington, Intensive Care Unit
  • Sylvia McCauley, Surgery Administration
  • Terrence Anderson, Materials Management
  • Haley Leclair, Emergency Department
  • Sarah Brady, Operating Room
  • Camille Fletcher, 3rd Floor Nursing
  • Susan Krzykowski, Case Management
  • Kyle Davidson, Diagnostic Radiology
  • Ashley Sumner, Intensive Care Unit
  • Jennifer Martin, Ultrasound
  • Victoria Dorr, Hospitalist
  • Elyse Taylor, Macon Pond
  • Danielle Abbruscato, MRI
  • Anthony Frevele, Heritage
  • Crystal Crabtree, Radiation Oncology
  • Laura Holland, Hospitalist
  • Ronald  Pegues, Customer Service
  • Carrie Rodriguez, Progressive Care Unit
  • Laura Ciompi, Hospitalist
  • Allison Young, Radiation Oncology
  • Harvey Bogard, 3rd Floor Nursing
  • Esly Melgar Nunez, Environmental Services
  • Jessie Perry, Ultrasound
  • Kristina Williams, 3rd Floor Nursing
  • Robyn McMorrine, Operating Room
  • Janis Koch, Progressive Care Unit
  • Lisa Himmelberger, Emergency Department
  • Christine Vista, 4th Floor Nursing
  • Nicole Grey, Ultrasound
  • Anthony Prefa, Sterile Processing Unit
  • Ifeoma Ben-Okororie, 5th Floor Nursing
  • Joanne Boone, Macon Pond
  • Dawn Pretlow, Anesthesia
  • Thomas Murdy, Outpatient Rehab – Apex
  • Johnette Crockett, Cat Scan
  • Elaine Roston, Symptom Management Clinic
  • Alyssa Ritter, Macon Pond
  • Nancy Garcia Granados, 5th Floor Nursing
  • Veronica Lommatzsch, Emergency Department
  • Ashley Barry, Regulatory Affairs
  • Leigh Caryll, Radiation Oncology
  • Shennita Finney, Progressive Care Unit
  • Allison Smith, Acute Care Rehab
  • Kelsey Seidl, 5th Floor Nursing
  • Donna Healy, Cat Scan
  • Elizabeth Babin, Cardiac Catheterization Lab
  • James Sciortino, Operating Room
  • Arielle Simoes, Operating Room
  • Johanna Casey, Intensive Care Unit
  • Ingrid Rowe, Hospital Pharmacy Services
  • Julia Donovan, 5th Floor Nursing
  • Kenyatta Beale, Emergency Department
  • Donte Saucillo, Progressive Care Unit
  • Colleen Sparrow, Outpatient Rehab – Midtown
  • Kirstin Sparrow, Outpatient Rehab – Mob 7
  • Nicholas Grasso, PACU
  • Vereterrica Rushdan, Hematology Oncology
  • Russell Williams, Anesthesia
  • Jason Raper, Diagnostic Radiology
  • Christina Daniels Dickerson, Sterile Processing Unit
  • Querida Davis, Hematology Oncology
  • Rachel Blackwood, Acute Care Rehab
  • Thomas Bodette, Materials Management
  • Tiffany Bruce, Macon Pond
  • John Kimbrough, Hospital Pharmacy Services
  • Kimberly Mann, Midtown
  • Nancy Plante, Operating Room

Posted by: Duke Raleigh Hospital | September 22, 2020

Garst Earns Lung Cancer Hero Award

Jennifer L. Garst, MD, a thoracic medical oncologist at Duke Cancer Center Raleigh and professor of Medicine at Duke University School of Medicine, has been named a Lung Cancer Hero by CURE Media Group. The group’s inaugural 2020 Lung Cancer Heroes™ awards recognize those who have gone above and beyond to make a difference in the lives of those affected by lung cancer. This year the group is bestowing this honor on four individuals.

As a lung cancer specialist, Garst has provided extraordinary cancer care, and, as a tireless advocate for her patients, she has made significant lasting contributions to the lung cancer advocacy community. She is the founder and current board chair of the Lung Cancer Initiative (LCI) of North Carolina and was the founding chair of LCI’s Scientific Advisory Committee. Garst has numerous publications, including 42 peer-reviewed journals, eight non-refereed, one book chapter and more than 30 published scientific reviews and selected abstracts.

Garst will be celebrated at a virtual ceremony 6-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 15, in conjunction with IASLC 2020 North America Conference on Lung Cancer, a worldwide virtual event taking place October 16-17.

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