In Memoriam: Jodie Neukirch Elliott

The Jodie Neukirch Elliott Fund is organized and managed through the ATLAS program at Duke University


Jodie Neukirch Elliott, 39, passed away on August 3, 2022, in Durham, NC.

All who were fortunate enough to know Jodie have been forever changed for the better. Throughout her life, she was defined by so much more than her heart disease—she was a brilliant scholar with two master’s degrees, a talented swing and blues dancer, a compassionate therapist, an artistic quiltmaker, a “heart health hero” recognized nationally at the Woman's Day Red Dress Awards (2010). Jodie’s personal story about the importance of the Affordable Care Act for patients like her with pre-existing conditions was shared by then-presidential nominee Joe Biden (2020) and viewed by more than 115,000 people. She always set her goals high and her dreams even higher, achieving many of those dreams with her boundless energy, ambition and care for others.


Prior to joining the Duke University team in 2017, Jodie worked at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence, where she was a Clinical Social Worker and longtime Program Director of The Adolescent Leadership Council (TALC), an award-winning transition-focused program serving dozens of teens with chronic illness, their parents, and college-aged mentors. She received a Promising Practice Award for Promoting Adolescents’ Strengths from the American Academy of Pediatrics (2012) in recognition of her leadership of the TALC program, and a Brite Lite Award from Hasbro Children’s Hospital (2012) for her exceptional patient care. She co-authored numerous academic publications, journal articles and peer-reviewed presentations.

Jodie was a graduate of Dartmouth College (2005), the University of Washington’s Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Pathobiology (2008), and Boston University’s School of Social Work (2015), where she received the Carolyn Jacobs Prize, presented annually to an outstanding graduate student with a commitment to social work practice in health care. Throughout her childhood, Jodie attended Chicago Public Schools, serving as a high school student representative to the Chicago Board of Education.


Jodie’s legacy will live on through the healthcare programs she led, developed and championed to support children and young adults with chronic medical conditions. Most recently, Jodie worked as a Clinical Social Worker and the Clinical Director of Adolescents Transitioning to Leadership and Success (ATLAS) at Duke University, including managing multiple programs for young adults with chronic health conditions and serving as chair of the Duke University Healthcare Transition Taskforce. These programs—along with the curriculum and methods she developed over the course of her career for peer health coaching and healthcare transition—are nationally recognized and have served as a model for similar programs across the country. Her lasting impact will be felt in the coming years as the thousands of young people and families supported by these programs go out and make the world a better place, as Jodie did. She made countless children with chronic illness believe that they, too, could live fulfilling and meaningful lives, and pursue all their dreams despite the challenges of their health conditions. She was a role model and beacon of light to innumerable patients, colleagues, friends and family members.


In lieu of flowers, the family encourages tax-deductible donations to the newly established Jodie Neukirch Elliott Fund at Duke University, which will ensure the continuation of Jodie’s life’s work and legacy by supporting ATLAS programs for young adults with chronic health conditions and related peer mentorship and leadership programs. The fund will also support the annual prom event Jodie created for adolescent and young adult patients at Duke Children’s Hospital and their families, which will be renamed Jodie’s Prom in her honor. To donate, please visit Duke's donation page through the button below. 



A memorial was be held at Concordia Church (3855 N. Seeley Avenue) in Chicago on Saturday, August 20, 2022. The visitation was at 9 a.m. followed by a memorial service from 10-11 a.m. 

The memorial in Chicago was be streamed online live and recorded for those who are unable to attend. 

Additionally, a celebration for Jodie was held in Durham, NC on Saturday, August 27, 2022. The celebration was at 1pm, at the Duke University School of Nursing Atrium and Patio.


Together, we started the blog at as a way to keep friends and family up to date, to share how they were doing, and to share what they were going through. Throughout the blog, they documented Jodie's incredible journey, and we would love to share her story with you.

Please feel free to reach out with well wishes and kind words to Jodie's Facebook page or email the family at



Official obituary hosted online at: Jodie Lynne Neukirch Elliott Obituary -