The Triangle region of North Carolina has not one, but two of the world’s top university teaching and research hospitals (Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill). It is also home to some of the state’s and the country’s top healthcare groups, countless medical and specialty centers, as well as industry-leading physicians, biomedical scientists, engineers, and visionaries. The area is the perfect prescription for advances that are not only changing the face of medical care in the Piedmont, but around the world. The medical research and development in the Triangle of North Carolina has brought the world 3D ultrasound, the first FDA-approved brainstem cochlear implant, and every day pushes the envelope on the discovery of new devices, therapies, and procedures that are transforming patient health and wellness. R&D and related companies are working to move advanced medical care concepts from discovery to delivery.
For instance, TransEnterix, the company that revolutionized laparoscopic surgery with its robotic SPIDER® Surgical System, is already developing the next-generation SurgiBot to improve it. Physicians at Duke University’s Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center now can infect and kill brain tumors with the polio virus, achieving results that suggest a cure could be on the horizon. Among other Triangle Research discoveries is the Taxol Anti-Cancer Drug that has saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of cancer patients. It was developed by two scientists at RTI International and is the most prescribed cancer drug of all time. Also developed nearby was AZT (Azidothymidine) the first drug to substantially improve the quality of life for HIV/AIDS patients. AZT was developed at Burroughs Wellcome in the Park (work for which the scientist was awarded the Nobel Prize).
Nearly half of all adults in the Triangle hold a college degree or higher. Not only does the region offer a wealth of knowledge to be gleaned by the potential student but also boasts an abundance of state-of-the-art hospitals, clinics, lab facilities, and doctors’ offices.
Top Healthcare Providers
UNC Health (UNCH)
Chapel Hill-based UNC Health (UNCH) is composed of award-winning hospitals, wellness centers, nursing facilities, outpatient diagnostic urgent cares, and surgery centers, as well as the prize-winning School of Medicine at UNC-Chapel Hill. UNC Medical Center, also known as UNC Hospitals, is a public academic medical center providing patient care, educating healthcare professionals, and advancing medical research in partnership with the UNC School of Medicine. With more than 900 beds, the medical center in Chapel Hill comprises N.C. Memorial Hospital – the only state-owned teaching hospital in North Carolina; N.C. Neurosciences Hospital – designed to accommodate the rapid changes occurring in the field of neuroscience; and N.C Women’s Hospital offering a full range of healthcare services designed to meet women’s needs.
UNCH also includes N.C. Children’s Hospital (NCCH) with 150 inpatient beds and a comprehensive children’s outpatient center. NCCH is a major referral center for children with complex conditions, and every year provides specialty care to more than 70,000 children. N.C. Cancer Hospital is the clinical home of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center (and part of UNCH). The state’s only public cancer hospital, the N.C. Cancer Hospital treats more than 135,000 patients a year. The UNCH Hillsborough Campus offers an emergency department, outpatient surgery and a range of inpatient services to patients in Alamance and Western Orange counties.
An equal ‘heavy hitter’ in Triangle healthcare providers is Duke Health. Duke Health basically is the integration of Duke University School of Medicine, Duke-NUS Medical School, Duke University School of Nursing (ranked first in the nation by the U.S. News and World Report for its 2018 Best Graduate Nursing Schools rankings), Duke University Health System (that includes three hospitals – Duke University Hospital, Duke Regional Hospital, and Duke Raleigh Hospital), and the Private Diagnostic Clinic. Duke Health also is home to the Duke Global Health Institute. According to A. Eugene Washington, MD, Chancellor for Health Affairs, President & CEO – Duke University Health System, “Our ambitions at Duke Health are to define new models for delivering the highest quality patient-centered care, accelerating translatable research discoveries, and developing innovative educational paradigms to drive improved community health.”
Duke University Hospital once again has been named to the National Honor Roll, this time as the No. 19 medical center in the country by U.S. News & World Report, which just released its annual hospital rankings. Honor Roll designations are awarded to the top 20 hospitals out of nearly 5,000 institutions across the country. Rankings consider patient safety, survival rates, technology, and the hospital’s excellence in a number of specialties. Seven adult specialties at Duke University Hospital also earned top-25 rankings in this year’s report including Cardiology and Heart Surgery, Nephrology, Ophthalmology, Orthopedics, Pulmonology, Rheumatology, and Urology. Well-known Duke Children’s Hospital (DCH) was also ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 50 children’s medical centers nationally in each of the ten specialties that comprise the magazine’s analysis.
Duke Raleigh Hospital offers the latest in care and technology in a patient-friendly setting. It has been an important part of Duke Health since 1998 and has served Wake County for more than 35 years, employing more than 1,300 people.The hospital provides 186 inpatient beds and a comprehensive array of services, including the Duke Raleigh Cancer Center, and Duke Raleigh Orthopedic and Spine Center, among other services.
Rex Hospital is a general hospital located in Raleigh, North Carolina. Rex Health Care’s services include oncology, heart and vascular, surgical services (including bariatric, heartburn, GI, orthopedic, neuro, and spinal), rehabilitation, emergency department, urgent care, women’s services, and wound healing. Rex is a member of the UNC Health Care system, and is also the official healthcare provider of the Carolina Hurricanes and NC State Wolfpack, located just 2 miles from the PNC Arena.
Not willing to stand in the shadow of medical giants UNC and Duke, Wake-Med is considered the second largest healthcare system in the state and is best known in the Triangle Region as the leading provider of emergency pediatric care. Their Children’s Emergency Department (CED) has become the national model, handling 40,000 childhood cases annually. With ground and air transport, this freestanding center coordinates with the WakeMed Children’s Hospital resolving pediatric traumas prompt and, as much as possible, before the patient even arrives at the hospital.
WakeMed Health & Hospitals’ main campus is located on New Bern Avenue in Raleigh, while WakeMed Cary serves residents in the Cary metropolitan area. North Family Health & Women’s Hospital is located in North Raleigh. WakeMed specialty services include heart and vascular care at Wake County’s premier Heart Center, which offers its own hotel, the Heart Center Inn. Care is provided by board-certified cardiologists who specialize in general, invasive, interventional, electrophysiology, cardiovascular & thoracic surgery, vascular and peripheral vascular and structural heart cardiology. As far as women’s care, WakeMed delivers the most babies in Wake County (more than 8,000 per year). The Raleigh Campus, Cary Hospital, and North Women’s Hospital provide the highest level of high-risk pregnancy and neonatal care available. WakeMed is also home to one of the country’s few Mother’s Milk Banks.
WakeMed received nine five-star awards in the Professional Research Consultants’ Excellence in Healthcare Awards, which recognize service lines in the top 10 percent of the PRC national client database. WakeMed is proud to be Joint Commission accredited healthcare provider. The Joint Commission (formerly JCAHO) is a healthcare accrediting agency with strict rules and regulations participating organizations must follow to ensure they are providing the best healthcare in safe facilities following best practices. Raleigh Campus, Cary Hospital, North Hospital, Apex Healthplex, Brier Creek Healthplex, Garner Healthplex and all WakeMed outpatient facilities are all Joint Commission accredited. WakeMed has also officially earned the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Magnet designation. The medical-surgical nursing unit at WakeMed Raleigh Campus also received the prestigious AMSN PRISM Award®, an honor recognizing exceptional nursing practice, leadership and outcomes in hospital medical-surgical units. WakeMed’s medical-surgical nursing team is the second in the state and the 30th in the world to receive the award.
For more than 60 years Wake Radiology (WR) has provided quality radiology services to the greater Triangle Region. Today, Wake radiologists support patients at UNC REX Healthcare. As the region’s largest radiology practice, WR brings together the knowledge of nearly 50 radiologists who perform close to 600,000 procedures each year. WR radiologists are subspecialty trained and come from the finest universities and teaching hospitals in the country. Their physicians are board-certified by the American Board of Radiology (ABR) and provide the comprehensive imaging services patients need whether inpatient, outpatient, or being treated in the emergency department. Wake Radiology has a number of “firsts” for which they are proud: 1st in Wake County to introduce breast-specific gamma imaging, 1st to provide MRI-guided breast biopsy in Wake County, one of the 1st in the southeast to introduce 3D mammograms, and 1st in the Triangle to be designated as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology.
So when you move to the Triangle, know that excellent healthcare and the education and facilities that compliment it are nearby.