In 2012, Dukes became Chest Pain Certified by The Joint Commission, Close said. Hospitals must pass a “rigorous testing and process improvement to become an elite facility with a staff that understands how to treat patients with chest pain.”
This year, Dukes achieved Joint Commission Stroke Certification, similar to chest pain certification.
While attaining such accreditation, Dukes has initiated a new obstetrics unit, a new ICU, and a new medical and surgical unit under Close’s watch.
New state-of-the-art technology for heart, orthopedic and neurological testing has also come on line. Dukes has specialists in cardiology, neurology and orthopedics trained to use new techniques, Close said.
The advancements have been driven by a driven woman who says her personal philosophy has always been, “God puts us here in hopes we leave things in better condition than when we arrived.”
That belief began to take shape early on for Close, who was born in Hindman, Ky., to Opal Williams-Short, a nursing assistant in physician offices, and Denzil Short, who worked in steel mills and foundries.
The family was living in Gary at the time of Close’s impending birth. But her mother wanted to be with her parents in Hindman for the delivery.
When Close, the oldest of five children, was 5 years old, her parents moved to Auburn, Ind.
“I always wanted to be a nurse and was headstrong by the time I was in first grade,” she said. “I had two aunts who were nurses. I loved the white uniform and purple capes.”
While attending DeKalb High School in Waterloo, Close worked part-time at DeKalb Memorial Hospital in Auburn. The hospital awarded her a full scholarship.
She earned an associate degree in nursing at Purdue University, Fort Wayne, a bachelor’s in nursing at Ball State and a master’s in nursing and health care administration at IPFW.