The Duke Endowment

Our foundations are honored to partner with The Duke Endowment on several current efforts to improve the lives of North Carolinians by promoting health and nurturing children. Based in Charlotte and established in 1924 by industrialist and philanthropist James B. Duke, The Duke Endowment is a private foundation that strengthens communities in North Carolina and South Carolina by nurturing children, promoting health, educating minds and enriching spirits. Since its founding, the Endowment has distributed more than $3.4 billion in grants. The Endowment shares a name with Duke University and Duke Energy, but they are separate organizations.

Healthy Rowan

Thanks to a three-year grant through the Endowment’s Healthy People, Healthy Carolinas initiative, Novant Health Rowan Medical Center Foundation in Salisbury, North Caroliona is providing support for Healthy Rowan. The program takes a bold approach to addressing chronic health issues such as unhealthy weight, diabetes and heart disease. Local coalitions will involve leaders from a wide spectrum of community organizations, including hospitals, health departments and other health-promoting organizations, to develop ways to engage residents in improving their health and well-being. Representatives from ten Healthy People, Healthy Carolinas coalition communities across the state will participate in a learning collaborative with opportunities to share information with each other as they develop best practices for organizing, planning and implementing evidence-based programs known to improve health.

The NC Quality Center’s Care Transitions

Novant Health Rowan Medical Center is one of ten North Carolina hospitals selected for The North Carolina Quality Center’s Care Transitions two-year grant program funded by The Duke Endowment. The medical center organized a care transitions team consisting of Novant Health staff and community-based organizations focused on helping high-risk heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients make a successful transition from medical center to home in order to achieve better health outcomes and avoid readmission.

Improving the Health of Livingstone College Students

Novant Health Rowan Medical Center is partnering with Livingstone College, a historically black college in Salisbury, North Carolina, to address weight issues, diabetes and their co-morbidities among the college’s student population. A three-year Duke Endowment grant provides students with free biometric screenings, which measure each student’s blood sugar, cholesterol and body mass index. The baseline information gathered from the screening is shared privately with each student during individualized health coaching sessions. Based at the Livingstone campus, the health coach collaborates with students to suggest lifestyle changes, including exercise and dietary habits. The health coach re-evaluates students who participate in the wellness program at least once per year to measure results, with those facing higher risks monitored with greater frequency.

In Partnership with Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust: Forsyth Connects

The Duke Endowment partnered with the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust on a three-year grant to offer every Forsyth County, North Carolina, mother a neonatal nurse home visit. Known as Forsyth Connects, the program is patterned after a similar Duke Endowment-funded program in Durham County that debuted in 2008. The Durham Connects program has been recognized to substantially improve infant health, parenting and maternal health, while increasing support for breast-feeding and early identification of postpartum depression. Nurses observe the health of the mother and recommend community resources that can help. The goal is to promote infant and maternal health while also providing support to the whole family.

Overcoming Behavioral Healthcare Challenges through Community Training

North Carolina continues to face numerous behavioral healthcare challenges. Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center Behavioral Health in Charlotte, North Carolina, seeks to be a leader in taking Mental Health First Aid training to community front lines. The Duke Endowment provided a two-year grant to launch an aggressive community training program focused on nonprofit staff and community residents in Mecklenburg and surrounding counties. Mental Aid First Aid trains participants to assist individuals who either are in crisis or are developing a behavioral health problem. The goal is to provide reassurance and support while connecting individuals with appropriate behavioral health resources in the local community.