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Durham Health Innovations

Durham Health Innovations LogoDurham Health Innovations (DHI) is a partnership between Duke Medicine and the Durham community that seeks to improve the health status of Durham County residents. In 2009, DHI funded 10 planning teams to find ways to reduce death or disability from specific diseases or disorders prevalent in the community. Teams were co-lead and represented by community representatives (see DHI Partners) and Duke researchers and clinicians. Ten projects teams working with the DHI Oversight Committee (see DHI teams & Oversight Committee) identified 7 common elements that could improve the health and health care delivery in Durham, including:

  1. Increase health care coordination and eliminate barriers to services and resources.
  2. Integrate social, medical, and mental health services.
  3. Expand health-related services provided in group settings.
  4. Leverage information technology.
  5. Use "social hubs" such as places of worship, community centers, salons and barbershops as sites for clinical and social services and information.
  6. Increase local access to nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and certified nurse midwives.
  7. Use traditional marketing methods to influence health behavior.


Based on these findings, DHI implementation activities have three main goals:

  1. Improve health outcomes of Durham residents.
  2. Increase access to health care in each Durham neighborhood.
  3. Promote appropriate use of Durham/Duke Health Care delivery system.

Current implementation strategies are focusing on neighborhood-based approaches that connect Durham residents to local resources. Funding for the DHI planning projects came from an institutional commitment of $1 million from Duke University, support from the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA), which is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and in-kind contributions from numerous community organizations.


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