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Decedent Care Office: Supporting families, staff during a difficult time

posted February 19th, 2010

Duke University’s Decedent Care Office provides guidance and support for families and hospital staff during the difficult time after a death to ensure that all areas of decedent care are handled with dignity, empathy, efficiency and respect.

The team consists of Administrative Manager Ellen Robinson and seven decedent care representatives -- Michael Arges, Susie Blalock, Carol Cass, Bryan Galbreath, Reginald McNair, Timothy Rainey and Joseph Wiley -- who operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Members work collaboratively with numerous departments and organizations to communicate information essential in determining the process that takes place after a death. The staff also offers families a calm, supportive presence in which to discuss disposition options, among them anatomical gifts, autopsy and funeral home-related matters.

"During a period when financial issues consume so much of a hospital’s time and attention, the ability to provide a staff dedicated to the compassionate support of families in their time of need and providing a truly efficient state of the art service is a real advancement in medical care,"  Robinson says. "Duke demonstrates to the families of deceased patients that they are not alone once their loved one dies. Duke remains steadfast in its effort to provide a collaboration of essential services during the grief process."


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