Working@Duke June/July 2019 Issue

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NE W S YOU CA N USE • J U N E / J U LY 2019

Ties That Bind


Editor’s Note



Ties That Bind This month’s cover story, Ties That Bind, originates from your feedback. In Working@Duke readership surveys, staff and faculty share how personal workplace connections foster teamwork and build community. We explore those sentiments in the cover story. Beginning on page 4, you’ll read about Jefferson Frisbie, Emily Skoczlas, Catherine Liao, Shelton Perry and others who forge special partnerships to meet work goals, while also showing heart. “When employees possess a deep sense of affiliation with their team members, they are driven to take positive actions that benefit the business — actions they may not otherwise even consider,” Gallup’s 2017 “State of the American Workplace” report states. One of our goals is to help build community through the Working@Duke publication, now in its 14th year. We foster connections by including your voice in every story – whether the topic is a health benefit, professional development achievement or discount. And twice a year, we conduct a readership survey in which we randomly select 5,000 staff and faculty who match Duke’s overall workforce demographic. Here are some insights from the April 2019 survey. Readership An average of 83 percent of employees who responded to the survey read the publication, and 86 percent enjoy it. Many readers cite Duke benefits among the most favorable content types. One staff member enjoys discovering “news about benefits I didn't know we had.” You’ll always find a benefits story in each issue. See page 13 to learn how free nutrition consultations helped staff assistant Evan Heisman. We heard from readers that being able to hold and read the print publication is refreshing. We offer multiple ways – print and digital – to stay informed and engaged. Check for news online each work day at Community Readers say Working@Duke cultivates belonging. For one staff member, the publication “helps me feel connected and valued at Duke, part of the Duke community.” Another staff member wrote, “It's great being informed about my Duke family.” We appreciate your readership. If there’s something you would like for us to cover, please write working@duke. edu. The Working@Duke team prepares to cover Hurricane Florence in 2018. L-R: Leanora Minai, Stephen Schramm and Jonathan Black with the office's Blue Devil cardboard cutout.






4 Ties That Bind Workplace relationships, routinely cited in surveys, foster thriving team

environments, stimulate innovation and promote employee retention at Duke.

7 Share Your Summer Photos

Through mid-August, Working@Duke invites Duke staff and faculty to share photos as part of the #DukeTimeOff summer campaign. Prizes include a stay at JB Duke Hotel, dinner at the Washington Duke Inn and Duke Stores swag.

8 In Six Words...

Earlier this year, we asked you to share in only six words what you value about working at Duke. Meet the people behind some of the Six Word Stories.

10 No fear networking 11 Employee Jimmie Banks to showcase his art at The Ruby 12 Support for employees caring for aging relatives 14 Discounts to help you get away Contact us Editor/Executive Director of Communications: Leanora Minai (919) 681-4533 Assistant Vice President: Paul S. Grantham (919) 681-4534

Graphic Design & Layout: Paul Figuerado (919) 684-2107

Jonathan Black Writer (919) 681-9965

Stephen Schramm Senior Writer (919) 684-4639

Working@Duke is published every other month by Duke’s Office of Communication Services. We invite your feedback and story ideas. Send email to or call (919) 681-4533.

Visit Working@Duke daily on Duke Today:

Cover photo: Duke Recreation & Physical Education staff members cheer after climbing 239 steps to the top of Duke University Chapel. Photo by Justin Cook.

2017, 2014 Gold, 2015, 2013, Silver, 2016, 2009, 2007 Bronze, Print Internal Audience Publications and 2012, 2011, 2009, 2008, 2007 Gold Medal, Internal Periodical Staff Writing

BRIEFLY Parking permit renewal begins The parking permit renewal process begins in June with changes in rates to continue to help cover enhanced parking facilities and technology. Beginning in August 2019, rates will increase between 25 cents and $10 per month, depending on permit type. The change in price affects all Duke parking permits. For employee permit holders who pay for permits through payroll deduction, no action is needed on your part. Your permit will automatically renew, and rate updates will be applied. Duke community members who are not eligible for payroll deduction or have one-year permits must renew. Forms, available at, must be completed and delivered to one of the parking offices by end of July to ensure delivery of new permits before mid-August. Get 2019-20 parking rates and learn about Duke’s alternative commuting options and perks at

Save at American Dance Festival and Music in the Gardens Get discounts on American Dance Festival and Music in the Gardens tickets. The American Dance Festival (ADF), which runs June 13July 20, provides a 20 percent discount. The festival, now in its 86th season and 42nd at Duke, includes 38 performances featuring 25 companies and choreographers at five venues. “We are thrilled to present both new and treasured works of dance,” said Jodee Nimerichter, ADF executive director. “It will be a summer of looking at history while also looking forward on this dynamic, evolving art form.” Visit and enter promo code EDU19ADF. Your DukeCard must be presented at the Duke Box Office window to receive the discount in person. Also, in June and July, experience “Music in the Gardens,” a series of family-friendly outdoor concerts presented by Duke Performances on select Wednesdays at Sarah P. Duke Gardens. The ticket price to each of the six shows from June 12 to July 24 is $5. All shows start at 7 p.m. Lawn chairs, blankets and picnics are encouraged.

Find your professional development fit Whether you’re looking to enhance your technical abilities, develop leadership skills or work more efficiently, there are resources available through Duke Learning & Organization Development (L&OD). Part of Duke Human Resources, L&OD provides 51 courses and 89 total offerings on management training and technical development through December 2019. “We have learning for all levels. We have something for everyone,” said Keisha Williams, assistant vice president for Learning & Organization Development. When Adia Ross became the head of the hospital medicine program at Duke Raleigh Hospital in 2017 and wanted to sharpen her managerial skills, she became a regular in many of L&OD’s courses. “I got the catalog and thought ‘Wow, there are a lot of courses that can help me prepare to be a good supervisor,’” said Ross, who was so impressed with the courses, she brought L&OD instructors to Duke Raleigh Hospital to teach some courses for her colleagues. Sign up for an L&OD class at

Duke Football season tickets for as low as $79 For the past three years, Lori Jee, a nurse practitioner with Duke Health System’s Diabetes and Endocrinology division, has bought season tickets to Duke Football for herself, her husband and their two sons, ages 11 and 8. Buying tickets for the Colin, left, and Kevin Jee cheer for Duke during 2019 season was an easy a football game last season. call as the excitement of game days and the connection to the team has become a part of Jee family life. “My husband and I love it. We think it’s fun … to see the boys cheer the team on, the excitement they get from it, it’s just great,” Jee said. “It’s a whole family event.” Duke employees wishing to create similar memories this fall can buy season tickets at a discount in any one of eight seating areas at Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Stadium. Prices for season tickets start at $79 for Duke staff and faculty. Duke Football is also offering other promotions, including the popular 277 Club for Durham residents. If you’re thinking of buying season tickets or single-game tickets, don’t wait. Prices inch up after August 23. Duke’s 2019 schedule features six home games, including dates with traditional powers Georgia Tech, Notre Dame and Miami. The home slate begins with a showdown with in-state foe North Carolina A&T on Sept. 7. Call the Duke Athletics ticket office at (919) 681-2583 to get the best deal for you.


Ties That Bind Personal workplace connections create strong teams and positive results

“Duke Police is a family,” says Jefferson Frisbie, a Duke University Police Department investigator.




n the morning of Feb. 17, 2007, news was circulating about a city of Durham police officer who was killed in a car crash as he responded to a service call. Jefferson Frisbie, who was at work at the time, distracted himself with paperwork. When his cell phone rang, he had a sinking feeling in his stomach. A voice on the line informed Frisbie that the officer in the crash was Frisbie’s former bike patrol partner in the Duke University Police Department, Charles Callemyn, 33. Callemyn served with Duke Police for nearly five years before joining the Durham force, and after his death, Duke and area police officers rallied to support Callemyn’s family, including his mother, Cathy Carter, who works at Duke. They’ve donated money and biked hundreds of miles over the years in “The Road to Hope,” a fundraiser for families of police officers killed in the line of duty. “Duke Police is a family,” said Frisbie, a Duke University Police Department investigator. “It didn’t matter that Charles was no longer at Duke. When you serve on this agency, it forms a connection forever.” The personal connections Duke employees form with one another exist across the University and Health System. Workplace relationships, routinely cited in Duke Human Resources surveys and in Working@Duke’s recent “Six Word Story” contest, foster thriving team environments, stimulate innovation and promote employee retention. “Discovery is more rewarding among friends,” Emory Nelms, research analyst with Duke’s Social Science Research Center, wrote in March for her Six Word Story about what she values about working at Duke. According to Gallup’s 2017 “State of the American Workplace” report, people want to build meaningful relationships with coworkers, and research around employee engagement shows a “unique social pattern” among employees in top-performing teams. “When employees possess a deep sense of affiliation with their team members, they are driven to take positive actions that benefit the business — actions they may not otherwise even consider,” the Gallup report says. From climbing to the top of Duke University Chapel to humanitarian relief efforts like organizing a food drive after a deadly hurricane, Duke staff and faculty create bonds that benefit the workplace and beyond. “The more connected you feel to your colleagues, the more passionate you’re going to feel about your work,” said Gina Rogers, practitioner for Duke’s Learning & Organization Development, a unit in Duke Human Resources. “The more passionate you feel about your job, the higher the quality of work you’re going to produce.”

20 colleagues, who weren’t required to stay, joined the effort, sweeping up food scraps and packing leftover party supplies. “When we take the time to engage and cheer one another on, it translates to better-run events and a better atmosphere in the office,” Skoczlas said. “There’s no doubt in my mind that the personal connections I formed with my coworkers convinced them to help. I would have done the same for them.”

Creating Special Bonds Catherine Liao and Leslie Mason had two months to plan a conference at Duke about advanced practice nursing programs for 27 of North Carolina’s medical leaders. Liao, assistant vice president of Duke Health Government Relations, and Mason, chief of staff for Duke’s vice president of Patient Care Services, met through WeLEAD, a Health System affinity group connecting women executives.

Brooke Povich, left, and Leslie Douglas, right, give high fives to Nathan McKinnis at the top of Duke University Chapel.

Climbing to New Heights As Emily Skoczlas caught her breath against the damp stone wall during her climb to the top of the 210-foot tall Duke University Chapel, she recited the words of her supervisor, Chris Policastro: “Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.” Skoczlas continued climbing up the dark, twisting stairwell, all 239-steps, and emerged at the top of the Chapel to high fives from Duke Recreation & Physical Education colleagues. “You guys are my heroes!” exclaimed Skoczlas, assistant director of recreation facilities for Duke Recreation & Physical Education. As chair of Duke Recreation’s Engagement Committee, Skoczlas scheduled the Chapel climb in April to build camaraderie among the department’s 28 staff members. She organizes monthly activities around at least one of Duke Recreation’s core values: communication, integrity, teamwork, healthy lifestyles, fun, safety and inclusiveness. Creating productive experiences where people naturally get to know each other is key to forming personal connections, according to Gallup’s 2017 “State of the American Workplace.” Among recommendations, the report suggests managers bring team members together for events. Skoczlas saw results of Duke Recreation’s teambuilding during last year’s “Brodie Blowout,” an event introducing firstyear students to Duke Recreation programming with food, a live DJ and dunking booths. When the party ended at 10 p.m., Skoczlas was ready for a late night of clean up. But as she carried trash to bins,

WeLEAD, a Duke Health affinity group that connects women executives, meets for a self-care event at Duke Integrative Medicine.

They got acquainted at a WeLEAD professional development lunch, where they discussed working with local, state and federal policymakers. When it came time to plan the conference, they had already bonded and jumped into planning, booking a board room in Duke South and setting an itinerary for Duke leaders to discuss nursing graduate programs. “Having that framework from WeLEAD made it easy to work together because we were already acquainted and could jump right into what some of our meeting goals could be,” Liao said. Affinity groups help build relationships and form communities of those with like minds and interests. In addition to WeLEAD, the Health System hosts Duke MINDS for young professionals, and Duke Military Association for veterans and active service members. About 200 employees participate across all groups. The goal is to introduce other affinity groups over time. Rhonda Brandon, chief HR Officer for Duke University Health System, said the Health System worked with a team to >> continued on page 6


initiate affinity groups after analyzing survey data that indicated former and current employees want an enhanced sense of belonging. “Any time you strengthen relationships, that improves trust and removes barriers,” Brandon said. “You feel more comfortable going outside your comfort zone.” That sentiment is echoed in Gallup’s “State of the American Workplace,” which says that social situations “can take on a very powerful dynamic in which casual, friendly conversations turn into innovative discussions about how the team or organization can thrive.” These discussions are sparked during affinity group gatherings such as a WeLEAD self-care event in March with nearly 20 women executives from across the Health System.

Any time you strengthen relationships, that improves trust and removes barriers ...” Rhonda Brandon

Chief HR Officer, Duke University Health System

During the event, participants, including Liao, learned tips for practicing self-care while balancing career and home life. Everyone took home a resilience kit that contained a mini journal, among other items, to enhance well-being. “It’s extremely helpful to have WeLEAD,” Liao said. “I’m grateful for the time getting to know all of these exceptional women before I may need to contact them for help in a pinch.”

Acts of Compassion Tears flowed when Katherine Ortiz learned that Duke Human Resources colleagues organized a food drive to help victims of Hurricane Maria in November 2017. Ortiz’s parents, who live in a suburb outside of San Juan, Puerto Rico, were without power for two months, did not have access to clean water and struggled to find non-perishable food. Robin Pietrantoni, manager of Duke Temporary Services, and Jemma Boler, a recruiter for Duke Recruitment, organized the food drive after discovering that Ortiz and two other employees had family members affected by the storm. They led an effort to collect about 400 pounds of canned goods, bottled water, paper products, batteries and toiletries.



Katherine Ortiz holds a portrait of her parents. Photo courtesy of Katherine Ortiz.

“There are some benefits that can’t be written down,” said Ortiz, retirement plans manager, who has worked at Duke 11 years. “I was lucky to have colleagues who understood I was struggling. I could never envision leaving an environment that is so supportive.” The average length of service for Duke employees is 9.6 years, about five years longer than the average worker in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In an October 2018 interview with the Society for Human Resource Management, researcher and workplace-trends expert Dan Schawbel said personal connections increase loyalty and decrease turnover. “When people feel like they belong to a team that supports their personal needs, they are naturally more productive and committed to the organization,” Schawbel, author of “Back to Human: How Great Leaders Create Connection in the Age of Isolation,” said in the interview. Consider Shelton Perry, who manages 38 employees who monitor the performance of a system that handles scheduling, patient information and lab data in Duke Health Technology Solutions. His team reports to work in severe weather to keep Health System technology running. With his truck, Perry brings in baked chicken during winter storms or delivers take-out meals to colleagues. Perry’s actions earned him a Presidential Award, one of Duke’s highest honors, in 2017. “When someone is on my team, they’re considered family,” Perry said. “That means stepping up to make sure they have what they need. They shouldn’t feel alone.” 

By Jonathan Black Photography by Justin Cook

Jake Hollenbeck fishes with his daughter, Gwennie Mae, at Jordan Lake.

Tay-Lea Clayton traveled to Budapest last summer.

Share Your 2019 Duke Time Off Photos Prizes include a stay at JB Duke Hotel, dinner at the Washington Duke Inn and Duke Stores swag

Through mid-August, Working@Duke invites all Duke staff and faculty to share photos as part of the #DukeTimeOff campaign to highlight hobbies, fun times, and big and small summer adventures. Last year, employees shared about 700 photos, including pictures of local fishing trips and overseas adventures to paddling on Falls Lake and sights at Yellowstone National Park. Jory Weintraub, science communication program director for Duke Science & Society, shared a scuba-diving photo. A friend snapped Weintraub upside down as he explored the Hilma Hooker shipwreck off the Caribbean island of Bonaire. “Scuba diving is my escape,” Weintraub said. “Exploring that world is good for my soul. It’s my favorite place to be.” To be eligible for prizes this year, photos must be taken between May 22, 2019 and Aug. 9, 2019, and shared by current University and Health System staff and faculty during the same time period. Deadline for submissions is 12 p.m. Aug. 9.

During the campaign, the Working@Duke editorial team will award Duke-themed beach chairs, towels, water bottles and frisbees from Duke University Stores. Grand prizes awarded at the end of the campaign include:

 One overnight stay with breakfast for two at the JB Duke Hotel

 Dinner for two at the

Washington Duke Inn’s Fairview Dining Room

Terry Nicotra, assistant director for Duke’s Personal Assistance Service, said taking time off helps reduce stress. “Time off is important in order to maintain and be mindful of balance in our lives,” he said. “It allows us to be mindful of our connections with loved ones and activities.” Tay-Lea Clayton uses her time off Jory Weintraub dives off the island of Bonaire in the to catch up with loved ones. A physician Caribbean. assistant for Duke Medical Oncology, she traveled to Budapest, Hungary, for a week with friends last year. She loved the architecture and explored Budapest’s How to share your 2019 pictures: Parliament Building and Chain Bridge. “Time off also allows me to decompress from my normal work Post a photo and use #DukeTimeOff on Twitter, Instagram routine and enjoy valuable time with family and friends,” she said. or Facebook. Note what you’re doing with your time away “When I return to work I’m happier and more attentive.”  from work. Remember, use #DukeTimeOff so we see your

snapshots on social media;

Post a photo and caption on the Working@Duke  Facebook page: ; go to  to Or,upload your picture.

By Jonathan Black

Share Your Photos Post your summer pictures on social media using #DukeTimeOff. Not on social media? Upload your photos:


In Six Words…

What You Value About Working Here


a rlier this year, we asked you to share in only six words what you value about working at Duke. Nearly 550 stories, both heartfelt and humorous, were submitted during the threeweek campaign. Ivan Ross of the Duke Talent Identification Program won for his story, but many narratives touched us. Inspired by his late mother Linda, who instilled an appreciation of learning in her four children, Ross wrote, “Mom would be proud of me.” Meet the people behind some other Six Word Stories.

“No longer homeless with my children”

Virgie Townsend of the North Carolina Orthopedic Clinic, which is part of Duke Health, shares her story of perseverance.



For Virgie Townsend, a position as medical assistant at the North Carolina Orthopedic Clinic, which is part of Duke Health, finally gave her family firm footing. A decade ago, Townsend fled an abusive relationship by boarding a bus with her three children to North Carolina, where she had a handful of relatives. For two years, Townsend, who worked as a certified nursing assistant, rented a house in Raleigh. But when the house went into foreclosure, it began a years-long period of instability. She had an apartment for a year before health problems got in the way of her two jobs, leaving her unable to keep up with rent. She found another apartment but had to leave after a roof leak left it uninhabitable. In between, she and her children stayed in shelters, churches, friends’ homes, hotels and, on many nights, Townsend’s Saturn Relay minivan. “We’d spend the night in the Wal-Mart parking lot,” Townsend said. Eventually, Townsend got help from Passage Home, a Raleighbased non-profit devoted to breaking the cycle of poverty. Passage Home helped Townsend and her family find an apartment in late 2015. Last year, after struggling to make ends meet with several part-time jobs, she joined the staff at the North Carolina Orthopedic Clinic as a temporary worker. When her position was made permanent a few months later, it was an answered prayer. “I love what I do,” Townsend said. “I don’t worry about my housing anymore. I’m not worried about how I’m going to take care of my family. I’m good now. I’m stable.”

“Far from home, found a family” Hans Harlacher hasn’t been at Duke long, but he already feels like he belongs. A communications specialist for the Faculty Data Project in the Office of the Provost, Harlacher joined Duke’s staff earlier this year, not long after graduating from the University of North Carolina. Harlacher, who grew up in Emerald Isle, didn’t know anyone at Duke and was worried about how he’d fit in at his first real job. “As soon as I started working here, all of those fears and uncertainties I had went away because of the incredible team members I work with and how quickly they opened their arms and accepted me,” Harlacher said. “They gave me a sense of being a part of something.” In addition to providing encouragement and camaraderie in the office, Harlacher said colleagues have bonded over lunches out and mutual interests such as college basketball. “I really appreciate the bonds that I’ve made in the short time I’ve been here,” Harlacher said. “It’s been an incredible experience. It shows that they value me as more than just an employee.”

“My small part makes a difference” At first glance, William Falls’ work as an accounting specialist in the School of Nursing seems a bit mundane. Much of his day involves overseeing financial details and paperwork behind getting resources to the school’s faculty. But all he has to do is leave his office on the third floor of the Pearson Building to see why he does it. Whether they’re walking the halls, studying in the sun-splashed atrium or learning in the classrooms or simulated clinical settings of the state-of-the-art Center for Nursing Discovery, nursing students are part of daily life at Falls’ workplace. And Falls knows that someday soon, they’ll be delivering care to patients. One of those patients, Lorilee Falls, his wife, is never far from his thoughts. Lorilee and William Falls were 30 days shy of their 15th wedding anniversary when she died in 2004 from endometrial cancer. The cancer was far along when it was discovered, so Lorilee spent the final months of her life undergoing surgeries and intense treatments at Duke University Hospital. “Everyone that we dealt with in her care was amazing,” Falls said. “The nurses were so wonderful. I can’t put into words what it made me feel to see how well they took care of her.” It wasn’t until a few years later that Falls joined the School of Nursing staff. He may not work closely with the future caregivers he sees each day, but Lorilee’s memory serves as powerful motivation to do all he can to help them. “That keeps me going,” Falls said. “What I’m doing may not sound exciting, but I know I’m a part of something that’s important, something that makes a difference.”  By Stephen Schramm Photography by Alex Boerner

Read all Six Word Stories here:

Hans Harlacher appreciates the welcoming nature of his new colleagues in the Office of the Provost.

Personal loss shaped how William Falls views his work in the School of Nursing.


Steve Dalton, right, program director for Daytime Career Services at the Fuqua School of Business, stresses the importance of one-on-one interaction. Photo by Stephen Schramm.

No Fear Networking


Ideas for non-naturals on how to build connections

n his role at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, Steve Dalton often counsels students on how to create allies and advocates in the professional world. Most people would call this networking. And to many, the thought of networking – trying to create relationships with strangers – is mortifying. “It’s never come naturally to me,” said Dalton, program director for Daytime Career Services at Fuqua. Networking is an important skill, and it’s one that Dalton – who described himself as awkward growing up – didn’t master until adulthood. But what he discovered along the way is that effective networking doesn’t rely on easy charm or an outgoing nature. Instead, all you need is a little initiative and a lot of curiosity. In lieu of elevator pitches and snappy business cards, the most meaningful way to build professional relationships to move your career forward, expand collaborators or spur creativity, is through one-on-one conversations, Dalton said. Pick someone whose work you admire, or who occupies the type of role you aspire to, and ask to chat with them in person about how they approach their work. If they agree, arrive with a few questions about their career path and how they approach their work, and be ready to listen. “Most networking happens at the individual level,” Dalton said. “Reach out to someone and ask them why they’re good at



their job. You give them the gift of your attention while they’re giving you the gift of their time.” For self-described “awkward” people, or those uncomfortable in busy social settings, more intimate conversations are less intimidating and more fruitful. Melissa Bostrom, the Duke Graduate School’s assistant dean for Graduate Student Professional Development, also recommends the one-on-one approach. She said people who aren’t naturals at selling themselves thrive in more personal situations, where genuine interest in someone’s story carries more weight than slick self-promotion. “Introverts can be the best people to build those one-on-one relationships because they are such good listeners,” Bostrom said. “And that’s something people really value.” Jess Johnson, administrative director for Medical, Surgical and Critical Care Services at Duke University Hospital, agrees. She works closely with 13 units in her department and many administrators across the hospital by building a strong network of collaborators largely through one-on-one chats. She said, “Networking is really just about putting forth the effort to get to know people in an authentic way and not in a way where people feel like you’re only talking to them because you need something.” 

By Stephen Schramm

Improve your career-building skills. Visit

Jimmie Banks

to Showcase Art in Ruby Exhibit

Duke electrician’s work will be on display July 11 through Sept. 9

Jimmie Banks drew a scene from “West Side Story” featuring Natalie Wood and Rita Moreno, left, and Olympic boxer Julius Jackson, right.


Jimmie Banks draws on campus. Photo by University Communications.

immie Banks goes everywhere with his Duke blue backpack. As an electrician for the Duke Facilities Management Department, he carries a regular set of work tools, but these instruments are also within reach: brushes, watercolor paint, sketchbooks, pencils, colored pencils and pens. “If I’m having a tough day, I can take out my art supplies and start drawing on my break,” Banks said. “Nothing makes me happier than art.” Banks has had his work on display in the Mary Lou Williams Center, the Friedl Building and Duke University Hospital. In July, he’ll add the Rubenstein Arts Center to the list. You can see his work from July 11 through Sept. 9 in the Ruby Gallery on the second floor of the Rubenstein Arts Center. Banks began drawing and painting long before he started working at Duke 22 years ago. He fell in love with the blues and yellows in Vincent Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night” and the life-like quality of Norman Rockwell’s paintings. Banks loved art so much that he would draw in class during school.

“I could never keep still,” Banks said. “I always had to be drawing or painting something.” Now, his artwork mostly features portraits of family members, friends and pop-culture figures like Oprah Winfrey, Diana Ross and Muhammad Ali. His favorite work of art remains his oil painting of Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper,” which he made in the sixth grade. “The Last Supper” will be one of about 20 pieces and several sketches on display in the Ruby exhibit. Other work includes drawings of actresses Natalie Wood and Rita Moreno in “West Side Story,” Olympic boxer Julius Jackson and actors Jasmine Guy and Kadeem Hardison from “A Different World.” Bill Fick, lecturing fellow in the Department of Art, Art History and Visual Studies and assistant director for Visual and Studio Arts at the Rubenstein Arts Center, has wanted to showcase art by Banks since the Ruby opened in 2018. “Jimmie is a keen observer working in a wide variety of media,” Fick said. “He is a champion of the arts and a wonderful example of a dedicated and passionate artist.” Banks said he draws about three new works of art each week. He gives his artwork to family members, students and the occasional Duke employee. He drew former Duke President Richard H. Brodhead and gave him the portrait upon his retirement. “I just get so excited thinking about my own exhibit at Duke,” Banks said. “This place has always been so supportive of me.” 

Get information about exhibits at the Rubenstein Arts Center at

By Jonathan Black


A Roadmap for

Elder Care Duke Family Support Program helps employees caring for aging family members


y 2016, strokes referrals to local services for all North Carolina had robbed residents. It also organizes Debra Kelly’s specific support groups for father, George, family members, spouses of the mobility and children of people with the former football coach cognitive disorders. had cherished during his Duke employees have active retirement. And an added benefit of a free dementia was unraveling face-to-face, confidential memories he’d made with consultation with a Duke his three children and wife Family Support Program of nearly six decades. team member who helps A few hours away from with a personalized plan to her parents’ home in New care for a loved one, which Bern, where her brother helps relieve stress. and his family helped care “No one thinks about for her father, Kelly felt this in advance,” said Lisa powerless. For Debra Kelly, right, the Duke Family Support Program was a valuable resource as her parents, Gwyther, Duke Family “He was losing a lot George, left, and Pat, center, grew older. Photo courtesy of Debra Kelly. Support Program founder of what made him, him,” and associate professor in said Kelly, senior research the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science. “It’s not agreements manager with Duke School of Medicine. predictable, and that’s what makes it tough for many families.” A friend told Kelly about the Duke Family Support Gwyther said that people often seek consultations when a Program, which, since 1980, has been a resource for people family member is showing signs of, or has just been diagnosed concerned about aging relatives. Kelly joined one of the with, a cognitive disorder. Other common situations include program’s support groups – the Daughters Concerned for when a relative can no longer live alone and the next step Aging Relatives – and found that she wasn’t alone. is unclear, and when there is a disagreement among family “Caring for a loved one with dementia is a journey fraught members about long-term care plans. with sorrow, frustration and many, many lessons,” said Kelly, The program is on pace to have around 275 consultations whose father died in 2018. “This group provided a safe and with Duke employees this year. supportive community in which to give a voice to those sorrows “Caring for an aging relative usually isn’t what people have and frustrations, and a place to share and learn lessons from planned, welcomed or signed up for,” said Duke Family Support other people who are going through something very similar.” Program Director Bobbi Matchar. “We hope they leave with a The Duke Family Support Program, funded in part by a little bit of a roadmap in terms of what they can do.”  grant from the North Carolina Department of Health and By Stephen Schramm Human Services, provides free telephone consultations and



For more information, visit or call 919-660-7510

Get a Free Nutrition Consultation Duke provides resources to improve health one meal at a time


van Heisman grew up watching his father and grandfather take daily medication for high cholesterol. Heisman, 32, assumed cholesterol would not be an issue for him for another decade, but a routine physical exam last year proved otherwise. His cholesterol level was 245, 45 points higher than the recommended level for adults. Heisman turned to a dietitian through LIVE FOR LIFE, Duke’s employee wellness program, for help last year. LIVE FOR LIFE provides two free nutrition consultations per year to staff and faculty at no charge. Under the dietitian’s guidance, Heisman cut out fast food, ate more vegetables and set up a home gym with exercise bands and hand weights. “I thought I was a generally healthy person,” said Heisman, staff assistant for the Dean of Students Office in Student Affairs. “It was nice to have someone put positive pressure on me and hold me accountable to making healthier choices.” In addition to sessions with a LIVE FOR LIFE dietitian, Duke employees can see a registered dietitian through Duke’s medical plans. Duke Select, the most popular plan, provides up to six consultations per year with a $20 copay for each session. Staff and faculty who see a nutritionist through a Duke medical

plan typically do so for guidance on healthy eating and specific concerns such as an eating disorder, serious food allergy or major illness. LIVE FOR LIFE dietitians most often help with general healthy eating, weight loss or weight gain, healthy pregnancies, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Esther Granville, a registered dietitian and manager of nutrition and health coaching programs for LIVE FOR LIFE, said Duke employees who have met with LIVE FOR LIFE dietitians report improved well-being. Consultations begin with a discussion about personal goals. Then, through discussion of medical history, dietary habits and food preferences, the dietitian works alongside each person to develop a plan. “We want to make sure they leave with tangible next steps,” Granville said. Heisman, who saw the LIVE FOR LIFE dietician, has enjoyed Morgan, left, and Evan Heisman cook stuffed bell peppers learning how to cook healthier at their Durham home. with his wife, Morgan Heisman, a volunteer assistant coach for Duke He has lost 12 pounds and dropped Women’s Lacrosse. his cholesterol to 199 – levels lower They fix cauliflower rice instead than 200 are recommended for adults. of white rice. They make marinara and “I feel about as healthy as ever,” pour it over zucchini noodles. They Heisman said. “I’m extremely grateful roast spaghetti squash with onions for this benefit. It’s done a lot of good and peppers. Heisman has also in my life.”  developed a taste for sautéed spinach. By Jonathan Black

Set up a free nutrition consultation at

Photography by Les Todd


PERQS Discounts to Help You Get Away EMPLOYEE DISCOUNTS

Price breaks on airport parking and other travel expenses

Fast Park & Relax near Raleigh-Durham International Airport offers a discount to Duke employees. Christi Loucka, right, of Duke’s Biomedical Engineering Department, took advantage of the savings to make her adventure to Costa Rica easier. Photos courtesy of Fast Park & Relax and Christi Loucka.


ith family in Chicago and a job that has her occasionally flying around the country, Christi Loucka is well-versed in airline travel. But that’s not to say traveling is always easy. “Getting to the airport on time, getting your luggage to the right place, finding your gate, there are a lot of stressful parts of traveling,” Loucka said. “It’s great when you can find something that can take some of that pressure off.” For years, Loucka, program coordinator and assistant to the chair of Duke’s Biomedical Engineering Department, has used Fast Park & Relax to make her trips out of town easier. And as a Duke employee, Loucka gets a 15 percent discount when using the service near Raleigh-Durham International Airport. Fast Park & Relax allows her to leave her car in a gated lot not far from the airport and ride to her terminal in a comfortable shuttle, which swings by and takes her back to her car when she returns to town. “They always offer you bottled water and the daily newspaper,” Loucka said. “During my last trip, it was raining, and they were super-busy due to holiday travel, but their service was still fast, and they even parked the car for me. The shuttle is clean and comfortable, and the drivers are always so nice.” You must sign up for the “Relax for Rewards” program through in advance to get the $6.80 daily rate. Here are other travel-related services that can help you get away to enjoy summer fun. 14


Car Care In July, Melissa Ostrom, clinical nurse at Duke Raleigh Hospital’s neuroscience unit, will drive her family to Florida for a family reunion in their Honda Pilot. She’s not worried about the car making the trip because it’s been maintained by a trusted mechanic, Atlantic Tire & Service. “We have four cars between my husband, myself and our kids, so we’re in there all the time,” Ostrom said. “It’s been a substantial savings for us.” Duke employees receive free shuttle service and 10 percent off parts and labor for repairs at Atlantic Tire & Service locations in Durham, Raleigh and Cary. In all, Duke employees can find discounts at 13 car care businesses.


Whether you have guests traveling to visit you or you’re hitting the road, enjoy discounts at hotels. The Hotel Indigo in Research Triangle Park offers 10 percent off published room rates. And the Quality Inn & Suites on Hillsborough Road offers rooms at the discounted rate of $55 per night. And you get 15 percent off at any Red Roof Inn location when booking by phone or online.  By Stephen Schramm

Get a Discount Visit for a full list of savings. Your NetID and password may be needed to access deals. Your DukeCard ID is required for most discounts.


Brown is the New Green


Sarah P. Duke Gardens ramps up its embrace of composting

t first, the by O2Compost, which brown piles that pumps air through cover part of the pipes placed under the maintenance piles, allowing material area at Sarah to decompose twice as P. Duke Gardens don’t fast, making on-site look all that special. Since composting feasible. early last year, these large “This is a system we mounds are where sawedrecently became aware off tree limbs, yanked of and are excited to be weeds and past-theirable to apply on this prime annuals end up scale,” said Duke Gardens after a trip through a Director of Horticulture massive grinder. Robert Mottern. “This But once Nick unique system made it all Schwab, assistant possible.” horticulturist at Duke Earlier this year, Nick Schwab shows off decaying plant matter from inside a compost pile at Sarah P. Duke Gardens. Gardens, digs his hand Landscape Services, which in, it’s easy to see why the Photo by Stephen Schramm. sometimes clears around heaps represent a large three to four truckloads of a commercial composting operation that step toward sustainability. plant debris and clippings from campus turns waste into nutrient-rich soil sold to “It’s already broken down a lot,” each day, started sending its landscape landscapers and gardeners. Schwab said while holding a wad of soft, “Composting is the next wave of waste waste to the gardens for composting black compost that will soon nourish instead of hauling it to a landfill. management,” said Morgan Bachman, plants across Duke’s campus. “The best part is that we save a lot Duke’s Recycling and Waste Reduction Composting, the process of using of time,” said Bryan Hooks, director Coordinator. “It’s another way to divert decomposing organic matter to create of Landscape Services, which is part materials from the landfill and give them healthy soil, is nothing new. As Duke of Duke’s Facilities Management a more productive lifespan.” embraces ways to shrink its environmental Department. “That’s several hours a week Compost from the system at Duke footprint, composting has become more Gardens, meanwhile, doesn’t leave campus. that we don’t have to spend driving to the common. landfill.” Composting the constant flow of Duke Facilities Management And for the first time this spring, material removed from the gardens has Department has bins for compostable Landscape Services used compost created always been a challenge. Traditional waste in buildings across campus, and in Duke Gardens to enrich planting beds methods require compost piles to be Duke Dining composts waste from across campus. turned by hand or machinery on a weekly kitchens and dining rooms. Duke built “It’s nice knowing that all this material basis so microbes responsible for breaking an innovative system into the Brodhead down waste receive the oxygen necessary to is not leaving Duke,” said Schwab, the Center that captures, grinds and stores assistant horticulturist at Duke Gardens. carry out the decomposition process. compostable food scraps from eateries “It’s staying here.”  But early last year, the gardens for easy removal by Brooks Contractor, installed an innovative system offered By Stephen Schramm For more on Duke’s sustainability efforts, visit




What you’re sharing online Katie D. McMillan

@KatieDMcMillan • 9 May 2019

Duke Environment

@DukeEnvironment • 8 May 2019

Congrats to Xavier Basurto on his 10th-year anniversary at Duke!

Pro tip: if you have to go to work on a beautiful day, find the most beautiful place to work. @DukeU_ NrsngSchl @WorkingatDuke

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