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Meet Zac – The Newest Member of the Team!

Meet Zac Giffin, Assistant Director, Special Programs, the newest member of the Duke Children’s CMN Hospitals team!

Zac came to Duke Children’s from East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, where he served as the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital Program Manager since July of 2015. Before that, Zac worked for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of East Tennessee, and led Dance Marathon at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, his alma mater. Zac shares his “why” below:

“‘My why’ began when I was a college student at the University of Tennessee. I have a friend who was a VP of UT Dance Marathon at the time, and she told me about this ‘amazing’ organization that ‘I had to be a part of’ (I think those were her actual words). Lucky for her, I can be talked into a lot of things, so I applied for the Dance Marathon Executive Committee on a whim, turning in my application literally minutes before the deadline. I could never have imagined that a program and opportunity would change my life the way that it has, leading me to working with the CMN program, first at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, and now with Duke Children’s. I had a remarkable final three years at UT, and most of it had to do with being involved with Dance Marathon. East Tennessee Children’s Hospital is steps away from UT, so I had a chance to not only make a difference, but I could see it in full color right in front of my eyes. The relationships that I have built with friends, coworkers, and most of all, the kiddos and their families, have changed me more than I think I will ever realize. I guess you could say I’m really and truly FTK!”

Zac will be working to take our existing dance marathons to a new fund-raising level, and will be mentoring other schools that are currently planning to initiate dance marathons. Zac will also be the staff lead for Extra Life, and will be stewarding our corporate partners in the Triad area. You can reach Zac at 919-385-3140 or

Curious about our other team members, who they are, and how to reach them? Read on! 

Karen McClure
Director, Special Programs and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals

Karen has staffed the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals program at Duke since 1989.  She loves working with our corporate partners across our market area and is inspired by the patient families she has gotten to know over the years.

When she is not working on behalf of Duke Children’s, she plays golf and enjoys visiting her son in Denver and her daughter who is a student-athlete at Holy Cross in the Boston area – and travel pretty much anywhere anytime.  She is active with Central Carolina Skating Club as a Board member and is a weekly volunteer at the Ronald McDonald Family Room on the fifth floor at Duke Children’s. She is also a huge fan of Duke basketball! 

Kelly Partner
Associate Director, Special Programs

 Kelly has been working on the CMN Hospitals team at Duke Children’s for two and a half years.  She has a passion for grass-roots fundraising and loves finding creative ways to help large and small retailers increase their CMN fundraising each year.  Kelly also manages the volunteer and patient ambassador programs for the fundraising office at Duke Children’s.

When she isn’t at work, Kelly likes to run marathons and lift weights and also helps to run a small literacy nonprofit in Durham. She loves to travel to see family across the country, but always loves coming home to her husband and two snuggly cats Cassie and Lucy.


Jennifer Cody
Staff Specialist


Jennifer has been working with Duke Children’s for about a year and a half. She provides administrative support to both the CMN Hospitals Team and the Major Gift Officers Team, but clearly, her heart is with CMN. Not only does she provide the support needed as listed in her job description, but she goes above and beyond by helping with calls and visits to some of our corporate partners.She also represents Duke Children’s at Charity Fairs during various employee giving campaigns. Fun fact: Jennifer recently won the office Values Award for excellence at work, a peer-nominated award that was most deserved! 

Prior to joining the team, Jennifer served in the U.S Army for 20 years as a helicopter mechanic. 

When Jennifer is not at work, she enjoys the simple things such as watching her three teenage sons play various sports and just be kids – a thing she missed out on a lot while serving.

Feel free to reach out to any of our team members with questions or comments! We are here to help you in your goals of supporting Duke Children’s! Thank you for all you do for the kids!