Durham Regional Hospital now Duke Regional

Jul. 01, 2013 @ 07:21 PM

After 23 years as Durham Regional Hospital, the hospital now has a new name.

The facility’s name officially changed to Duke Regional Hospital to reflect its relationship with Duke Medicine, according to an announcement by the hospital on Monday.

The hospital is county-owned, but Duke manages it through a 40-year lease. The Durham County Board of Commissioners signed off on the name-change plan in January.

The 369-bed acute care hospital opened in 1976 as Durham County General Hospital.

It was renamed Durham Regional Hospital in 1990 to reflect a growing number of patients coming from counties beyond Durham, according to the announcement. The hospital serves people from Durham as well as Orange, Granville and Person counties.

The name was changed to Duke Regional since hospital officials believe the Duke name is well-known and will help increase patient volume and referrals, enhance marketing and support the recruitment of health care workers.

“Changing the hospital’s name to Duke Regional will position the hospital for future growth by better reflecting our important relationship with Duke Medicine,” Kerry Watson, president of the Duke Regional, said in the announcement.

The Durham County Hospital Corp. Board of Trustees members concluded Durham residents increasingly identify Duke as the county's leading health care provider. The hospital is governed by the county-appointed board.

The name change was proposed after a survey last year found 62 percent of Durham residents polled name Duke University Hospital when asked what the first hospital was that came to mind.

Mary Kate Llamas, a spokeswoman for Duke Regional Hospital, said in an email that Duke manages Duke Regional through a 40-year lease that renews automatically each year for a 40-year term.

More than $160 million has been invested in capital improvements to the hospital since the start of the leasing arrangement in 1998, she said.

Services of Duke University Hospital and Duke Regional Hospital have been consolidated, including inpatient rehabilitation services in 2000 to create the 30-bed Duke Rehabilitation Institute on Duke Regional’s seventh floor.

She said the weight-loss surgery program was consolidated in 2003, and the cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation programs were consolidated in the spring and will move to new expanded space in the Croasdaile Commons shopping center in the fall.