The Triangle area earns recognition from a wide variety of sources as one of the best places to live and work in the United States. We have experienced huge population growth over the last two generations since the founding of the Research Triangle Park, and through vision and hard work, area leaders have managed to make the quality of life here better by many measurements year after year.

Central to our quality of life in the Triangle is the quality of our healthcare. Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill are each home to medical centers of excellence, serving not only local residents but also drawing patients from the rest of the North Carolina and multiple surrounding states. Duke University Medical Center is a world leader in excellence in clinical research and pushing medical science forward.

Critical to the success of each of these hospitals is the entrepreneurial spirit that the physicians and other health care professionals apply to their work. In addition to treating heavy patient loads, they are also leaders in innovation. It’s fascinating to see how groups of physicians and HCPs will cluster within certain hospital departments and organize their efforts with members of the local community to move a particular therapeutic area forward.

A great example of this type of internal/external partnership is the Duke DREAM Campaign.  The purpose of the campaign is to raise philanthropic support from the greater community, and then target these funds to advance research through DREAM Innovation Grants (DIGs) in the areas of Alzheimer’s disease, preserving brain, heart, and kidney function during surgery, chronic pain management in children and adults, and improving both the quality and longevity of life after surgery.  In addition to funding research that promotes better patient outcomes and quality of life, the DREAM Campaign also seeks to establish and sustain endowed professorships at the Duke University School of Medicine.

Perhaps the real genius behind the DREAM Campaign is this dual focus on both the long and the short term. While the endowed professorships ensure a legacy of achievement for the Duke University School of Medicine for generations to come, the DIG opportunities have spurred a medical incubator within the Department of Anesthesiology at Duke.  Since 2010, the DIG program has served as a competition within the department, as faculty bring their best ideas to the table seeking seed capital to fund pilot studies.  As another stroke of intelligence, the department has reserved one grant each year for junior faculty who have completed their residency or fellowship within the previous five years. It’s not too hard to see that these healthcare leaders have emulated some of the best behaviors and ideas in driving the anesthesiology department to new heights of excellence in the last decade.

Forrest Firm founder and principal attorney James Forrest currently serves on the Executive Board of Directors of the Duke DREAM Campaign.  We salute the work of the great doctors and other health care professionals within this innovative group, and we are proud to support them.

“We are honored to have James serve with us on the Dream Campaign.  I know his participation will make a real difference as we champion the cause in the community,” stated Joe Farrell, Chairman of the Duke DREAM Campaign Executive Board of Directors.