Preparing for Baby Classes

161310234Duke Regional is offering a new class for expectant parents called Preparing for Baby Partner Boot Camp. This class is designed to prepare first-time parents, with a focus on the first few weeks after the baby’s birth.

The course costs $20 per couple. Register online at

Visiting new mom

Not a new mom? Bring your child to our Preparing for Baby – Sibling Class.

The class prepares children ages 3-12 for what to expect as their family grows. During the one-hour class, children learn to safely assist with caring for their new sibling, discuss emotions associated with becoming a big sister or brother, learn about newborn appearance and behavior, as well as, special rules about new babies. A tour of The Birth Place is included to help your child become familiar with the hospital and our visiting routines.

The class is free. Click here to register.

Recipe: Green Beans with Walnuts

Green BeansMake this healthy and delicious side dish for your next holiday gathering.


  • 2 pounds fresh green beans, washed and trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons walnut oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • salt to taste


Place the walnuts on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 5 to 8 minutes.

Cook beans in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain. Rinse beans with cold water, and drain well. Can be prepared 6 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.

Melt butter or margarine with oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Add beans and toss until heated through, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add walnuts and parsley and toss. Transfer to bowl and serve.

Makes eight servings.





A New Outlook on Life


Mechi Holt before weight loss surgery.

Mechi Holt of Creedmoor was overweight most of her life. “I was always a little heavier than the other kids,” said Holt of her childhood. She was a size 14 by age 16, and from there she says her weight escalated.

At age 20, Holt became pregnant. After giving birth, she was motivated to lose weight. “I worked really hard to get that weight off, and it would not budge.”

Holt tried losing weight many times through diet and exercise; however, nothing seemed to keep the weight off and she became frustrated. “I was depressed about my weight and about not being able to get it off,” she said. After several years of research, Holt decided to try weight loss surgery. She visited the Duke Center for Metabolic and Weight Loss Surgery and, under the care of Dr. Dana Portenier, Holt made the decision to have a Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass.


Mechi Holt lost over 100 pounds after weight loss surgery.

Since the surgery at Duke Regional Hospital, she has lost more than 100 pounds. Holt also no longer deals with depression, hypertension or the fear of developing diabetes.

She credits the Duke Weight Loss Surgery staff with helping her have a successful surgery. Participating in the weight loss surgery support groups was helpful to Holt both before and after surgery. She enjoyed meeting others going through the same journey. “We are like a mini-family,” she says.

Nutrition counseling helped Holt understand meal planning and portion control. “You can’t have weight loss surgery and then continue the same eating habits,” she says. One of those changes includes baked chicken instead of fried.

Since having weight loss surgery, Holt’s life has changed. Together, Holt and her family enjoy hiking, camping, swimming and visiting theme parks. “I wasn’t able to join those activities when I was at my heaviest. We love theme parks, but I could never get on the rides. The safety bar wouldn’t come down over me. Now I can go on any ride and have fun.”

Holt enjoys offering advice and encouraging words to others going through this life-changing journey. “This is not a lose-weight-quick scheme, it is a total life change. If you do not get that in the very beginning, you will not have a successful surgery. I’m kicking myself for not doing the surgery sooner. It is the best thing I’ve ever done in my life.”

Making Holiday Wishes come True

IMG_3608IMG_3612For more than 35 years, Duke Regional Hospital has been committed to caring for residents of Durham and the surrounding communities. Our employees devote time, money, and lots of energy to causes throughout this community year round — because this is where we live, too. We’re your friends and neighbors, and our commitment to caring extends far beyond the hospital walls.

Most recently, Duke Regional Hospital employees adopted 100 angels from the Salvation Army Angel Tree Program. Last Friday, hospital staff and Project SEARCH students loaded toys, bikes, clothing and more into the Salvation Army truck to make sure local boys and girls in need will receive gifts this holiday season.

To learn more about the Salvation Army, visit

Happy holidays from the Duke Regional family to yours!


Duke Rehabilitation Institute Thanksgiving Lunch

Charles Newton Jr. enjoys his Thanksgiving meal among family, friends and fellow patients.

By Betsy Roy, Recreational Therapist

Each year at Thanksgiving, Duke Rehabilitation Institute (DRI) patients join their loved ones and DRI staff for a special event to give thanks, share in friendship and enjoy a delicious meal. This past Tuesday marked the 15th annual Thanksgiving Lunch celebration, with more than 100 people joining in the festivities.

The Thanksgiving lunch is a wonderful opportunity for the DRI staff to treat the patients and their families to a special day during the Thanksgiving holiday, while they are in the hospital recovering from illness and injury.

The therapy gym is transformed into a large dining room, where DRI patients, their families and staff enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner and homemade desserts. Therapists, nurses, physicians and leadership work together to create an atmosphere of fellowship, friendship and gratitude, while sharing stories and sentiments of appreciation.

The entertainment is always a highlight of the event, as the units’ medical director, Dr. Raphael Orenstein, physical therapist, Jessie Haury and therapy aide, Bob Mutter, share their musical talents.

Our state-of-the-art 30-bed unit specializes in short term rehabilitation of patients with a wide range of conditions. To learn more, visit

GERD Awareness Week

This week is national Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) Awareness Week. Studies show that one in three people suffer from GERD, a condition in which the contents of the stomach leak backward from the stomach into the esophagus, or food pipe, causing irritation.

Over time, persistent exposure of the delicate tissue of the esophagus to the acid content of the stomach can cause chronic inflammation of esophagitis. This can lead to a potentially serious condition called Barrett’s Esophagus.

At Duke, minimally invasive endoscopic and surgical treatments have proven to be safe, effective options to cure GERD and Barrett’s Esophagus. Learn to manage your GERD symptoms with the following tips:

  • Don’t eat dinner late
  • Eat snacks with low fat content
  • Exercise
  • Don’t smoke
  • Avoid acetic fruits and juices
  • Avoid spicy and seasoned food
  • Limit alcoholic beverage consumption
  • Avoid fried foods
  • Eat several smaller meals throughout the day
  • Limit soda consumption
  • Limit extra space
  • Avoid peppermint
  • Avoid exercising after you eat
  • Don’t sleep or lie down right after you eat
  • Talk to your doctor about finding a GERD treatment that is right for you

Learn more about treatment of GERD and Barrett’s Esophagus at a free seminar. Click here to register.