Congratulations to Durham Regional’s Health Care Heroes!

MistyGuerrero4On March 21, Triangle Business Journal (TBJ) presented its annual Health Care Hero Awards, honoring 14 professionals in the Triangle.

Misty Guerrero, clinical team lead in Durham Regional’s Emergency Department, was awarded for the Nurse category. Watch the interview below to learn more about Misty and her role at Durham Regional.


TBJ selected 29 finalists for the awards, including Jane Rigsbee, a nurse in perioperative services at James E. Davis Ambulatory Surgical Center (DASC). DASC provides outpatient surgical services for Durham Regional patients.

Congratulations, Misty and Jane!

National Doctors Day is March 30

Physician and patientEvery day, doctors research, diagnose and treat disease, and promote good health for their patients. At Durham Regional we’re grateful to our doctors for their commitment to providing safe, high-quality care to our patients and their loved ones.

Since 1991, National Doctors Day has acknowledged how doctors play a key role in our well-being. Join us March 30, and every day, as we thank our doctors for all they do.

If you would like to thank a doctor or another care giver, visit and we’ll share your appreciation with our team!

Durham Regional departments earn “Hallmark” honors

Congratulations to two Durham Regional Hospital departments: Education Services and Endoscopy Services! Both departments received the North Carolina Nurses Association (NCNA) Hallmarks of Healthy Workplaces award. Endoscopy Services was designated for a third time, and Education Services received their first Hallmarks honor.

Endoscopy Services team

Endoscopy Services team

Education Services team

Education Services team

According to the NCNA, the Hallmarks of Healthy Workplaces program is designed to recognize exceptional workplaces for nurses and help nurses, healthcare providers and administrators create workplaces in which communication flows freely and nurses contribute actively to facility governance. Hallmarks recognition is based on three criteria: support of nursing professional development, system support for nurses to provide quality service and integration of nursing into operations and governance.

I am very honored to be part of such a wonderful group of people. We take pride in the care we provide our patients, and it is wonderful that others recognize it as well.
Angela Wilson, BSN, RN, CGRN, nurse manager of operations, Endoscopy Services

We want to own our practice as educators and provide a quality service to the hospital and community. As per Hallmarks, we work to promote open communication, respect and solution-focused actions to enhance the delivery of our department’s educational products and services.
Tracy Stell, BSN, RN, EMT, assistant director of education and development, Education Services

Endoscopy Services previously received this honor in 2007 and 2010. In 2012, Durham Regional’s James E. Davis Ambulatory Surgical Center also became a third-time recipient of a Hallmarks of Healthy Workplaces award. Their original designation in 2006 made them one of the first recipients of the Hallmarks award recognition in North Carolina.

For more information and a list of recipients, visit

Living Our Values: Diversity

Durham Regional Hospital recently interviewed our staff, physicians and volunteers to learn their thoughts on our five values. Diversity is important because every patient is different and may have different needs. Our team believes our patients and their loved ones deserve the special touches that ensure high quality, safe care for every patient, every time.

How did orthopaedic surgery begin?

Pat Lester
Nursing Program Coordinator, Unit 7-1 Orthopaedics/Neurosurgery

When I began thinking about one of my favorite topics—orthopaedics—my mind naturally turned to “How did we get here?”

In the mid-1800s, people with orthopaedic disabilities and diseases were considered incurable. There were only about 150 hospitals in the United States; surgery was not an option due to the high mortality rates of this time period, and anesthesia was in its infancy. Instead, people with orthopaedic disabilities or diseases relied on the charity of family and friends to survive.

James Knight believed children with these “afflictions” could be rehabilitated with braces, exercise and prayer. In 1863, Dr. Knight opened his Manhattan home to 28 children, and his home became known as the Hospital for the Ruptured and Crippled.

When Dr. Knight passed in 1887, the institution was turned over to Virgil Gibney, a doctor who believed the hospital should provide surgery in addition to rehabilitation. The number of surgical procedures increased rapidly. The first adult ward opened in 1903, and four years later the polio epidemic filled the hospital to capacity. The Hospital for the Ruptured and Crippled continued to grow, adding classrooms so children could keep up with their education while hospitalized. After several years and moves, Dr. Knight’s hospital became the Hospital for Special Surgery.

In 1955, the average length of a patient’s hospital stay after orthopaedic surgery was 25 days! Total joint replacements and arthroscopy were just beginning to be performed. Today, patients can expect to be in the hospital for only a few days—demonstrating great progress in surgical techniques, pain management and overall care.

To learn about orthopaedic services, visit

Kahn, B. A. (2005). “The Evolution of Orthopaedic Nursing at the Hospital for Special Surgery: The First Orthopaedic Institution in the United States.” Orthopaedic Nursing, 24 (5), 343-348.

Drop off your unused and expired medications March 22

Prescription medicine bottlesBring your unused or expired medications and make a difference! Durham Regional will host Operation Medicine Drop from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm March 22.

Operation Medicine Drop is a partnership of Safe Kids North Carolina, the Riverkeepers of North Carolina, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of North Carolina and local law enforcement agencies. By providing safe and secure ways for people to get rid of unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications, Operation Medicine Drop helps prevent accidental poisonings and drug abuse while protecting our waters and the environment.

When Durham Regional hosted Operation Medicine Drop last fall, volunteers collected more than 10,000 doses of medications, including controlled substances, prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs.

Other drop-off locations include Duke University Hospital and local pharmacies as well as Durham Police Department at 505 W. Chapel Hill Street, where there is a permanent drop box 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Learn more about Operation Medicine Drop.

Teens: Volunteer at Durham Regional this summer

Are you or your teen looking for interesting and fulfilling work this summer? Durham Regional will offer volunteer opportunities for teens 15-18 years of age June 14-August 9.

Junior volunteers will interact with healthcare professionals and learn in a medical environment. They may serve as

  • Guest navigators, who assist patients with wayfinding, and who complete errands and special projects
  • Junior unit navigators, who partner with staff on nursing units
  • Volunteers in the hospital gift shop
  • Department/office assistants for departments such as Education Services, Human Resources, Nursing Administration and Patient Experience

Applications are available at, and are due April 1. If you have questions about volunteer opportunities or the application, call Volunteer Services at 919-470-4150.

Junior volunteers are an important part of the Durham Regional Hospital team each summer.

Junior volunteers (pictured above from summer 2012) are an important part of the Durham Regional Hospital team each summer.