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  1. 1. Duke University Health System
  2. 2. Background of Organization • James B. Duke established the Duke Endowment in 1924, where he used part of his $40-billion gift to transform Durham’s Trinity College into Duke University. In 1925, Duke made a request for the Duke School of Medicine, Duke School of Nursing, and Duke Hospital to be established (Duke Medicine). After starting in North Carolina, the organization continued to grow into neighboring states, throughout the U.S., and even worldwide. Duke Medicine has grown into one of the nation’s leading research institutions over the past 75+ years, and the Duke University Health System is among these educational and clinical institutions.
  3. 3. Background of Organization • The Duke University Health System, also known as DUHS, was officially created in 1998.
  4. 4. Background of Crisis • In 2010, Dr. Anil Potti, a Duke University cancer researcher, resigned from his job after questions and concerns were raised about his research and studies on personalized cancer treatments (Huffington Post). Potti was under suspicion because of putting that he was a Rhodes Scholar in his credentials, and he started to face the label of conducting medical fraud.
  5. 5. Background of Crisis • There were over 112 participants who signed up to be a part of Potti’s research, and they trusted in Potti knowing that this trial could be their last chance. Nearly a dozen of these participants and/or their families sued the university administrators, researchers and physicians for ignoring the warnings and letting the trial go on while hiding the information. The American Cancer Society also suspended hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant money, which was meant to fund Potti’s work (Huffington Post).
  6. 6. Organizational Response • The verbal responses that took place during the Potti allegations include: the Duke President sending an email stating that Duke immediately started internal investigations to Potti’s credentials, press releases stating the false credentials were found and further investigation was underway, a research misconduct inquiry which has to happen by Duke policies and by Federal law, and statements from Duke administrators to the Duke Chronicle, local newsletters/papers, etc. The statements were very few at first because Duke was gathering their thoughts and facts, and everything shows that they first stated that they were investigating the allegations further.
  7. 7. Organizational Response • Non-verbal responses from the university included: making Potti take an administrative leave, organizing an investigation team, and stopping the trial completely. The university had to make Potti take an administrative leave in order to be able to conduct correct investigations. By organizing an investigation team promptly, Duke was able to show that they cared about the crisis and that they were doing what needed to be done for the health and respect of the clients involved with the trial.
  8. 8. Media Response • The media responded to the crisis in several different ways because word got out about the crisis before the university was able to even put out a statement. Newsletters, newspapers, social media, and much more were ‘blowing up’ with information about the crisis before Duke could even grab a hold of it themselves. The media responded just like media responds to any other crisis, but that can be a problem because several articles had many corrections made to them because they were made before actual statements from the university were released.
  9. 9. Stakeholders Response • Families sued the university for Potti’s false credentials • The American Cancer Society suspended the $729,000 of grant money towards Potti’s trial • Potti had 10+ papers retracted from prestige medical journals after the truth came out
  10. 10. Recommendations • Duke should have had a better response rate for the media and it could have done this by having an organizational plan ready for such instances. • Duke should have never let the trial restart after the first allegations and questions were raised because after the second time it made them look very under minded. • Apology: An apology was sent out, but Duke could have done a better job at apologizing to families involved and giving back to the families that put so much trust into one of Duke’s very own doctors.