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Duke Raleigh Hospital names Rick Gannotta as its new president

Rick Gannotta has been named president of Duke Raleigh Hospital.

Gannotta, who has been the hospital's chief operating officer since 2006, replaces Doug Vinsel, who announced his retirement in August.

Cheers to your health

The people of Knightdale welcomed the Duke Medical Plaza Thursday with excitement and curiosity.

Many town residents came out to see the facility and to talk to doctors who work there.

The plaza is in the process of ramping up its services. It has two primary care physicians, three urgent care docs and an orthopedist already on board. It is scheduled to get its gastroenterologist Friday. A pulmonologist will be available sometime in April. Cardiology and general surgery are next.

Duke Raleigh CEO Doug Vinsel noted that the facility is on 16 acres with plenty of room for expansion. He said the plaza is only phase one. Ultimately, it will have 16 physicians, 14 primary care and 11 specialists. And Vinsel said the future could hold outpatient services and MRI services.

It all depends on how well the plaza is received, he said.

It's already seeing so many patients that the staff is trying to figure out how to see them all with a shorter wait time, said Lundy Powers, the health center administrator at Knightdale.

It's understandable that the residents of Knightdale are excited. There were no major medical services in eastern Wake County. And with now Duke and Rex Healthcare opening a facility later this year, the residents will have options for medical care at home and not have to travel to Raleigh. That bodes well for all of eastern Wake.

Wake County Commissioner Joe Bryan pointed out that now eastern Wake County has access to world class care with physicians from Duke and the UNC Hospitals systems.

And Knightdale Mayor Russell Killen said with quality health care facilities in Knightdale, more health care related businesses could follow, bringing in economic opportunities at a much needed time.

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