Duke Health/Duke University School of Medicine

Two members of our core team came to Gowan from Duke Health, and we’ve maintained a close relationship with Duke since the founding of our company.


  • Recognized with a Gold Award from the AAMC Group on Institutional Advancement for our diversity, equity, and inclusion content
  • Transformed a brochureware site into an engaging online experience that earned eHealthcare Leadership awards and became a model for other health systems
  • Crafted unique content for new websites of two community hospitals, highlighting their key differentiators in a crowded market to attract potential patients

Duke University School of Medicine

We work closely with the Duke School of Medicine’s communications team as well as several departments within the school, providing content strategy and content development support for audiences that include researchers and trainees. Highlights of projects include:

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

When the school wanted to revamp its EDI section, it turned to us to lead content strategy and help with content development. We collaborated with a committee to develop a strategy that reflected Duke School of Medicine’s vision.

To create the content strategy, we interviewed stakeholders and potential site visitors, including students, trainees, faculty, and staff; reviewed site analytics; and performed a competitive analysis. These activities helped us understand where the section was and where it needed to be to achieve the goals of visitors and the school.

We presented the content strategy to the school’s EDI leadership and integrated their feedback to arrive at a roadmap for content development.

On this project, we:

  • Developed the content strategy
  • Created a new site structure and identified new content needs to achieve the content strategy goals
  • Wrote and edited content

Our collaboration with the School of Medicine team resulted in a Gold Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Group on Institutional Advancement.

Duke Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

Duke Surgery

Since 2012, we’ve supported the Duke Department of Surgery, with work ranging from offering strategic guidance to creating content for residencies, fellowships, labs, and more.

During their 2016-17 site redesign, we helped them create a content strategy to guide the project.


  • Collaborated with the design and development teams on discovery and requirements
  • Developed the site structure based on the requirements
  • Created new content as needed
  • Implemented the content in the department’s content management system

The site structure and content have evolved to meet changing needs and web best practices, but the initial structure we recommended has accommodated those updates.

Duke Department of Surgery

Head and Neck Surgery & Communication Sciences Connection Newsletter

We offer communications support for the Department of Head and Neck Surgery & Communication Sciences, from website updates to content creation. As part of this work, we write the articles for its quarterly online newsletter, Connections.

These articles range from providing updates on research to profiles of faculty and trainees, with a strong focus on community engagement — a pillar of the department’s mission.

For these articles, we combine interviews with reviews of publications on the topic, and translate the information to a level that a wide audience can understand.


  • Interview experts
  • Draft content based on the interview and additional research
  • Revise content based on expert feedback
  • Implement content in the department’s content management system
Duke Department of Head and Neck Surgery Newsletter


Bart Hubbard, our chief technology officer, spearheaded the creation of dukehealth.org in 2003. Michael Gowan joined the Office of Creative Services in 2005 to help rethink the approach to the site’s content. Together, they turned Duke’s patient care site into a model that many health systems followed: focusing on patients’ needs first and making the site as useful as possible.

Over a 10-year span, the site grew from a 400-page brochureware site to an 11,000-page award-winning site.

Durham Regional Hospital and Duke Raleigh Hospital

Duke’s two community hospitals needed websites, and we worked with their leadership and marketing liaisons to create them.


  • Created the information architecture
  • Wrote the content
  • Designed the sites
  • Built and launched the sites

The sites were patient-focused, with content emphasizing what made each hospital distinct from the competitors. To avoid duplicate content, each site linked back to the main site, dukehealth.org, as needed.

Conditions and Treatments

We received a continuous stream of requests from providers for new pages on various treatments and conditions. We consulted with marketing and leadership to form a prioritization strategy and created a flowchart to ensure the proper subject received attention first.

Each month we reviewed the content calendar and requests received, and then formed a plan to build out new condition and treatment content through:

  • Interviews
  • Multisource research
  • SME review
  • Copyediting for Duke Health’s style guide

Duke Cancer Institute

We were asked to create a web presence to coincide with the creation of the Duke Cancer Institute in 2012. Our team of writers, designers, and developers worked with leadership to build a site that addressed two main audiences: patients and healthcare professionals/researchers.

We accomplished this through:

  • User research
  • Prototyping
  • User testing