Duke Executive Health Makes It Easy for Raleigh CEO to Stay Healthy

By Larissa Biggers
January 24, 2024
Derek Hill stands outside his Raleigh, NC office.

Derek Hill stands outside his Raleigh, NC office.

As the CEO of a major corporation, Derek Hill has a demanding work life. In the past, the Raleigh resident skipped regular visits to the doctor simply because he was too busy, but today things are different. One of the perks of being an executive at his company is access to Duke Executive Health, which provides a comprehensive day of health testing, consultations with Duke experts, follow-up care, and referrals to Duke specialists. Hill was so pleased after his first visit in 2013 that he has returned every year since. “It’s a day well-spent,” he said.

More Than an Annual Checkup

Kevin Waters, MD, Hill’s doctor at Duke Executive Health, explained that his patients not only get a complete physical workup -- including bloodwork, an exercise tolerance test, an electrocardiogram, a body composition test, and more -- they also have one-on-one meetings with a dietitian, an exercise physiologist, and a behavioral therapist. Staff even help coordinate meals and transportation. It’s a team-based approach, he said. “If I'm seeing someone in the morning and I know that stress is a big part of their life, I'm going to talk to my stress management provider and make sure she has more time with them.” At the end of the day, patients receive a detailed health plan to help them take charge of their health. “When they're through, they should feel like they've had the best doctor’s visit they've ever had,” Dr, Waters said.

Ample Time with Patients

Dr. Waters has been with Duke Executive Health since 1999 and loves his job. “One reason is that I get to spend as much time as I need with my patients.” This allows him to discuss test results in detail and thoroughly address any health concerns. If a patient needs specialized care, he can provide a referral. We've had people come back to Duke to see a cardiologist or to get a knee replacement, he explained. “We set it up for them, and they get it done by the best of the best.” And because people come to Duke Executive Health from other states and even other countries, Dr. Waters and his colleagues can help coordinate care closer to their homes. “We also follow up with them throughout the year to see how they’re doing,” he added. 

Helping Patients Take Charge of Their Health

At age 57, Hill is healthy, and he intends to stay that way. He and Dr. Waters have had lengthy discussions about colon cancer and high cholesterol, both of which are part of Hill’s family history. “What I've learned from Dr. Waters is that the patient needs to take an active role in their health.” he said. He appreciates their ongoing dialog and everything he has learned. “When we bring on new executives, I say, ‘This is a super benefit that the company provides. Make sure you use it.’"

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