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About Duke Children's

Mission and Values

"Our patients and their families are shining examples of courage and strength. They are a source of inspiration to us as we work to bring children the benefits of the latest medical care and research in a warm, child-friendly atmosphere--and to bring new hope to the children we serve, today and tomorrow."

Ira M. Cheifetz, MD
Interim Chair, Department of Pediatrics
CMO, Duke Children's Hospital & Health Center

Duke Children's Hospital & Health Center is dedicated to providing the best possible care for the patients and families we serve today and discovering treatments that will enhance the health care of future generations.

We are committed to achieving and maintaining a standard of excellence in all we do. Most importantly, we consistently strive to make the patient experience a model of quality care through advanced treatment, compassionate support, and full family participation and communication.

We also set the highest standard possible for training pediatric health care professionals by offering innovative curricula and learning systems to enhance trainees' learning and development in a diverse and inclusive environment.

Our mission is to provide:

  • Excellence in the clinical care of infants and children;
  • Innovation in basic and applied research;
  • Leadership in the education of health care professionals; and
  • Advocacy for children's health.

Commitment to Patient and Family Centered Care
At Duke Children's Hospital & Health Center, we are committed to the philosophy of Patient-and Family-Centered Care (PFCC), and this guides our everyday interactions. It also is the framework for our planning and program development. We believe that when healthcare providers, patients, and families are brought together in daily, ongoing partnerships—sharing information, making decisions, participating in care and exchanging ideas—the results include better outcomes, higher quality, and improved safety.

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Ira Cheifetz, MD, has served as the Interim Chair of the Department of Pediatrics and the Interim Chief Medical Officer of Duke Children’s Hospital & Health Center since July 2013. Dr. Cheifetz is a professor in the Department of Pediatrics and has served as Division Chief of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine since 2001. He also serves as the Medical Director for the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Pediatric Respiratory Care Services, and the Neonatal-Pediatric ECMO Program. He also serves as the Director of Pediatric Critical Care Services for Duke University Health System. Most recently, Dr. Cheifetz was appointed as Associate Chief Medical Officer for Duke University Hospital and Chief Medical Officer for Duke Children's Hospital & Health Center, effective July 1, 2014. An international expert in the fields of mechanical ventilation, cardiorespiratory interactions, and extracorporeal life support, he has authored more than 110 peer-reviewed publications and chapters. 

Dr. Cheifetz joined the faculty of Duke University Medical Center in 1996, after completing his residency in pediatrics and a fellowship in pediatric critical care at Duke University Medical Center. He received his medical degree from Yale University School of Medicine. 

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Outreach and Advocacy

A nationally ranked pediatrics program and international referral center, Duke Children's is also dedicated to improving the delivery of health care in Durham and throughout the Southeast.

Our specialty outreach services include a cardiology telemedicine program, which links Duke pediatric cardiologists with caregivers at community hospitals in North Carolina and Virginia; a collaborative center created by Duke Children's and other local universities that provides medical and mental health services for abused children and raises awareness about child abuse and neglect; and the Duke children's pediatric HIV clinic, which has cared for hundreds of HIV-infected or -exposed infants throughout the region since 1986.

As one of the largest charity health care providers for children in the Southeast, Duke Children's brings care directly to those who are often overlooked.

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Facts at a Glance

  • Duke Children's provides a comprehensive array of pediatric services for children from birth to adulthood. Duke's multidisciplinary approach to care is especially effective in the treatment of complex childhood health problems.
  • Duke Children's is consistently ranked among the top pediatric specialty programs nationwide by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Duke Children's specialty services provide comprehensive care in 36 pediatric specialties, ranging from common allergies and infectious diseases to complex leukemias and genetic disorders.
  • Duke Children's specialty outreach services include regional satellite clinics and a cardiology telemedicine program that links Duke pediatric cardiologists with neonatal and pediatric caregivers at community hospitals in North Carolina and Virginia.
  • Duke's Camp Kaleidoscope provides an opportunity for children with chronic and terminal illnesses to experience the joys of summer camp. The free, one-week-long program is open to all Duke pediatric patients (with the consent of their healthcare providers) and is funded through philanthropic support.

Additional facts:

  • Comprehensive pediatric specialties: 36
  • Annual pediatric outpatient visits: 194,202
  • Annual inpatient visits: 4,328
  • Annual pediatric hospital admissions (without normal newborns): 4,982
  • Number of inpatient beds: 190
  • Average length of inpatient stay: 10.66 days
  • Annual pediatric Emergency Department visits: 14,140
  • Pediatric surgeries performed annually: 5,803
  • Regional outreach programs: 34

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