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
Duke University Hospital's Decedent Care Office (DCO) is devoted to handling a decedent’s affairs in a sensitive, confidential, and efficient manner. The Decedent Care team is dedicated to providing care and compassionate support during a most difficult time for families and staff.
Duke University Hospital began implementing a Decedent Care Office in 2000. Since that time, the DCO has become a distinctive and comprehensive part of the medical center.
We seek 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.
The team consists of an administrative manager and seven decedent care representatives (DCRs) who operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week providing quality services around the clock.
The DCRs are trained professionals who provide a calm and supportive presence during an extremely emotional time. Each DCR has funeral home or mortuary science related backgrounds and degrees.
The established standard of care is to provide comfort to our families and a commitment to empathic and professional service throughout the hospital and our community.
The DCO team works collaboratively with numerous departments and organizations to communicate information essential in determining the process that takes place after a death.
The staff meets with the family to inform them of their disposition options, including, but not limited to, anatomical gifts, autopsy, and funeral home related matters.
Once decisions are determined, appropriate agencies are notified and final arrangements can begin. Collectively with the funeral home or transport services, all paperwork is completed and filed appropriately with county and state offices.
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)