Decedent care (care at time of death)

Exceptional staff, exceptional service

A new approach to coordinating care at the time of death. When a loved one passes on, Duke University Hospital's Decedent Care Office (DCO) is devoted to handling his or her affairs in a sensitive, confidential, and respectful manner while providing care and comfort to all who are affected by the loss.

Our mission

To provide guidance and support for all family members, hospital staff, and our community, ensuring that all areas of decedent care are administered with dignity, benevolence, confidentiality, efficiency, and the utmost respect.

Our staff

The decedent care team consists of an administrative manager and seven decedent care representatives (DCRs) who operate 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week. DCRs are trained professionals who provide a calm and supportive presence during an extremely emotional time. Each DCR has a background working in funeral homes or degree in mortuary science. We provide comfort to the families we serve and are committed to empathic and professional service throughout the hospital and our community.

What we offer

The DCO team works with many departments and organizations within Duke Hospital to communicate information to help make the process and care after death as easy as possible for those who are grieving. The team meets with the deceased's family to discuss options for their loved one after his or her passing, including, but not limited to, anatomical gifts, autopsy, and funeral home-related matters. Once the family has reached a decision, the team informs the relevant parties so final arrangements can begin and works with the funeral home or transport services, to complete and file the necessary paperwork with county and state offices.

What we are about

During an economical time when the formalities of financial constraint consume so much of a hospital’s time and attention, the ability to provide a staff dedicated to the compassionate support of families during their time of need is a real advancement in medical care. Duke demonstrates that families of deceased patients are not alone once their loved ones die. Duke remains steadfast in its efforts to provide a collaboration of essential services during the grieving process.

"Show me the manner in which a nation or community cares for it's dead, and I will measure with mathematical exactness the tender sympathies of it's people, their respect for the laws of the land, and their loyalty to high ideals." (Gladstone)

Duke University Hospital Decedent Care Office: Building a strong foundation of high standards and commitment.

Contact us

The Decedent Care Office can be reached at 919-681-6264. For additional information, please contact:

Ellen Robinson, Administrative Manager
Decedent Care Office
DUMC Box 3125
Durham, North Carolina 27710
919-668-6311

E-mail: robin059@mc.duke.edu