Mar 242013



Sunday, March 24, 2013

Kay Barnes exercises three times a week and has no major health worries, but she decided to get checked for her risk of stroke anyway.

“Whenever there is a clinic I feel like I can benefit from … I like to go,” the 72-year-old retired teacher’s assistant said.

Barnes was one of more than 40 men and women from Tarboro, Rocky Mount and surrounding towns who attended a stroke risk screening on Feb. 13 at the Edgecombe County Human Services Building. The event was led by students from the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, specifically the school’s Brody Scholars.

“It’s really important to each of us individually,” Jordan Priess, a fourth-year medical student at ECU, said. “To get together as a group and do it as the Brody Scholars is certainly important to us but important to the Brody family. It’s sort of their goal that we give back to the community.”

The Brody Medical Scholarship provides full tuition and fees to incoming medical students who show high scholarship ability, leadership, a desire for service, moral character and a promise of distinction in medicine. The program shares the goals of the medical school to improve the health and quality of life for people in eastern North Carolina.

The four-hour event included a free stroke-risk screening, blood pressure measurement, cholesterol assessment, blood glucose screening, a cardiovascular screening and a review of risk factors. Local health center representatives were available to follow up with participants determined to be at high risk for stroke or other diseases.

In Edgecombe County, the age-adjusted death rate from cerebrovascular disease from 2006 to 2010 was 96.1 deaths per 100,000 people — more than twice the rate for the state as a whole and the highest rate in the state, according to the N.C. State Center for Health Statistics.

Nikki Wooten, chronic disease self-management program assistant with Edgecombe County Human Services, worked with the Brody Scholars to organize and carry out the event.

“They were excellent, and we would not have been able to provide that without them and the stroke network,” she said. “Edgecombe County sits high in the state and in the nation for stroke, so it was nice to be able to get some people screened.”

In addition to being valuable for the public, the event also was valuable for the students.

“Starting as a first-year (student), this is some of the first real-life experience you have with people who aren’t actors,” Priess said.

In the second year, students are learning disease pathology and are able to apply classroom lessons. In the third- and fourth-years, she said, clinics help students practice taking patient histories, talking with them and performing routine tests.

Barnes said she likes interacting with the students.

“They’re sweet and energetic, very pleasing,” she said. “I feel like working at the clinic will enhance what they do later on.”

Barnes also said one of her sons had a heart attack at age 40. She and her husband, she said, “are trying to make sure we are good influences” by getting their health checked regularly.

Another participant, Gail Tucker, said her mother and two aunts died of strokes.

“I know there’s a possibility the same thing could happen to me,” she said.

Presenters and sponsors of the stroke screening event were the Eastern North Carolina Stroke Network, Vidant Edgecombe Hospital, the Brody School of Medicine and the Brody Foundation.

The Brody Medical Scholarship was established in 1983 by the family of J.S. “Sammy” Brody. It is administered by the ECU Medical & Health Sciences Foundation.


ECU parking lot updated in a sustainable way

A parking lot on 14th Street received a face-lift to better serve undergraduate students residing on College Hill.

The new A2 lot, located on 14th Street across from Belk Residence Hall, was previously a gravel lot. It had nine entrances, no clear traffic flow pattern and outdated lighting, Deb Garfi, director of Parking and Transportation Services, said.

Administrators named the project “Simple, Smart, Sustainable” to help guide sustainability and eco-friendly renovation.

The design for the new, concrete lot consolidated the nine entrances into two defined entrances — which Garfi said simplified traffic flow and pedestrian patterns — improved the quality of lighting and called for purple and gold emergency call boxes. The lot features 206 marked spaces surrounded by a new fence.

Garfi said the lot was updated to keep students safer and create more parking spaces.

“We will be losing parking when Belk Residence Hall comes down and the new (residence hall) is built,” Garfi said. “We needed to prepare for that loss of space.”

It also features an infiltration basin, used to manage storm water runoff and prevent flooding.

“The goal was to make it sustainable, and I really love what they did with it,” Garfi said. “Some trees could not be saved before the project started but we were able to save a lot of large trees in the process, including a 70-year-old American Holly tree.”

The parking lot also is being used as an extension of classroom learning.

Eban Bean, a professor in the Department of Engineering, is using the lot to measure how much water from the parking lot infiltrates the groundwater and how it affects the quality of that water. He then will compare this to water from a conventional, impervious parking lot.

Bean said an undergraduate student is monitoring and managing the site.

The project began in the fall and the new lot opened in January.

A budget for the work was set at $850,000, but Garfi expects they will finish under budget.

Parking and Transportation funds paid for the renovation.

The parking lot has been entered into a contest organized by the International Parking Institute. The winners will be announced at the IPI Annual Conference and Expo on May 19-22 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

“The winner doesn’t get money or anything, just recognition,” Garfi said. “But to get recognized would be a really big honor.”

There are no plans to allow tailgating in the lot during football season.

Upcoming Events

  • Monday: A lecture, “The Goldsboro Broken Arrow,” by retired ordnance disposal officer Dr. Jack ReVelle; 4:30 p.m., SciTech Building, Room C207. ReVelle led a 10-man team in the de-arming and recovery of two thermonuclear (hydrogen) bombs that were accidently dropped over Faro, N.C., in 1961. Free and open to the public. Contact Evelyn Brown, professor of engineering, at 737-1027 or
  • Tuesday: Contemporary Writers Series presents Sherman Alexie, award-winning author including the National Book Award for “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” the PEN/Hemingway Award for “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven,” and the PEN/Faulkner Award for “War Dances”; 8 p.m. Wright Auditorium. Contact Tom Douglass, professor of English, at

via The Daily Reflector.


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