Nov 252014
 
Beta Nu is one of only two chapters globally to have earned 11 Chapter Key Awards.

Beta Nu is one of only two chapters globally to have earned 11 Chapter Key Awards.

Like a traditional honor society, Beta Nu chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing requires incoming members to meet certain academic and professional achievement requirements. But the organization, which celebrated its 40th anniversary with a banquet Nov. 13, does much more than recognize scholarly excellence.

The group is one of only two of Sigma Theta Tau’s 500 global chapters to have earned 11 Chapter Key Awards. Sigma Theta Tau bestows the honor on chapters that successfully recruit and retain members, generate publicity and programming, support scholarly activities, provide leadership development and foster international collaboration.

Beta Nu chapter is housed in the ECU College of Nursing and has more than 500 active members — including undergraduate students, graduate students and nurse leaders who work to advance the profession through scholarship, leadership and a variety of service projects.

“Beta Nu has been the most influential nursing organization in my career,” said College of Nursing Dean Dr. Sylvia Brown. “It allowed me to engage with nurse leaders nationally and internationally and refine my own personal leadership skills.”

Brown, a past president, said that providing leadership opportunities for career growth is one of Beta Nu’s greatest contributions. Several of the College of Nursing’s senior faculty members were founding or early members, and ECU’s Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences Dr. Phyllis Horns was a charter member.

Former President Dr. Lou Everett explained that Beta Nu consistently sends students and faculty to research and leadership academies organized through Sigma Theta Tau and its partners. Over the past 40 years, she said, members have served in numerous official capacities at regional and national levels.

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Krupa speaks as part of a panel of past presidents at Beta Nu’s 40th anniversary banquet Nov. 13.

“It was truly through Beta Nu Chapter that many of our faculty began to see the contributions that the College of Nursing made to a global society and the world at large,” said Everett, the college’s assistant to the dean for the undergraduate program. “We became mentors to other chapters in our state and continued more involvement on an international level by serving on the ballot for various positions.”

Many members routinely attend Sigma Theta Tau’s biennial convention, where they can network with 2,000 other attendees, hear plenary speakers and present their work through oral and poster presentations.

“You meet the people who write the textbooks and research articles,” past Beta Nu president and an ECU clinical assistant professor of nursing, said of the conference. “You’re kind of in awe that you’re in the presence of all these people who are so important in the profession. You bring back that enthusiasm and you share that with a few other people who get excited and want to get involved.”

Beta Nu also stands out for its record of giving back to the profession. It provides grants to support members’ research, and has given $11,000 in student scholarships since 2005. The organization also co-sponsors Collaborative Nursing Research Day, a joint venture between Beta Nu, the ECU College of Nursing, Vidant Medical Center and the Eastern Area Health Education Consortium. The event provides a venue for continuing education and gives nurses an opportunity to showcase their research and creative projects.

The community at large is another beneficiary of Beta Nu’s outreach. Scout Out Nursing Day, held biannually at the College of Nursing, has introduced more than 500 Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts to the profession since its inception in 2007.

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Current Beta Nu president Roberson, left, with charter member Horns at the anniversary banquet.

Asked what Beta Nu’s future holds, President Dr. Donna Roberson said the group is working to be member focused, with a global perspective. This direction matches that of Beta Nu’s parent organization, which has 135,000 members in 85 countries. Sigma Theta Tau’s president, Hester Klopper of South Africa, has issued a call for chapters to “serve locally, transform regionally, lead globally.”

“I see us having a wider base of influence beyond our community and having an international impact,” said Roberson, an associate professor of nursing.

Existing international projects include providing nursing student scholarships and mentorship to the Faculty of Nursing Science of the Episcopal University of Haiti. Beta Nu also makes donations to a clean water initiative that has provided water filters to more than 70 families in Guatemala since 2008.

At the group’s 40th anniversary banquet, a panel of past presidents shared Beta Nu memories, including Everett, Krupa, Assistant Professor of Nursing Dr. Pam Reis, and Clinical Associate Professor of Nursing Dr. Gina Woody. Reis highlighted the many opportunities for mentorship that the organization provides.

“I was thinking about when I was inducted in 1991… I never realized I would become president, but I had such wonderful mentors,” Reis said. “You all have meant the world to me.”

Woody reflected on Beta Nu’s impact and succinctly summed up the group’s sentiments.

“I feel as if Beta Nu has provided numerous opportunities for our students as well as members and the community,” she said. “I think we should be very proud of our chapter.”

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Nov 182014
 

Eighty-eight East Carolina University faculty and staff were honored Nov. 11 for their published works at the William E. Laupus Health Sciences Library’s annual Health Sciences Author Recognition Awards ceremony.

Faculty and staff submitted 240 entries including 206 peer-reviewed journal articles, 21 book chapters and 13 books published between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014.

“The awards pay tribute to those who expand the scholarly work of the university and the research reputation of the Division of Health Sciences through their published works,” said Dr. Gregory Hassler, interim director of Laupus Library. “We express gratitude to our authors for their hard work and impressive scholarship.”

The library hosted the awards ceremony and dinner reception for honorees at the Greenville Hilton. The event was co-sponsored by the Friends of Laupus Library, which provide needed support for special programs and activities of the library.

Other sponsors were Matthews Book Company, Dr. John Papalas, Springer, Dr. and Mrs. Donald Hoffman, Dr. and Mrs. Dan Shingleton, Dr. Lorrie Basnight, Dr. Greg Hassler, Dr. Jackie Hutcherson, Dr. and Mrs. James Hallock, Eastern Carolina Foot and Ankle Specialists, Dr. and Mrs. Jon Tingelstad, The little bank, Drs. Bob Thompson and Marie Pokorny, Dr. and Mrs. Richard Eakin, Dr. Mary Raab, Mr. Dwain Teague and Mr. and Mrs. Charles Rogers.

Authors recognized in the College of Allied Health Sciences were Jason Brinkley, Leigh W. Cellucci, Martha Chapin, Anne Dickerson, Denise Donica, Elizabeth Forrestal, Susie Harris, Robert Kulesher, Jane Patton, Balaji Rangarathnam, Leonard Trujillo, and Heather Harris Wright.

The Brody School of Medicine authors were Abdel Abdel-Rahman, Emily Askew, Yan-Hua Chen, W. Randolph Chitwood Jr., David Collier, Irma Corral, Kay Craven, Doyle Cummings, Paul Cunningham, Moahad Dar, Ronald Dudek, Chris Duffrin, Clinton Faulk, Jonathon Firnhaber, Annette Greer, Eleanor Harris, Katherine Jones, Gregory D. Kearney, Susan Keen, Brett Keiper, Cheryl Knudson, Warren Knudson, Kathryn Kolasa, Brandon Kyle, Hope Landrine, Suzanne Lea, Myon-Hee Lee, Darla Liles, Qun Lu, Robert Lust, Christopher Mansfield, Laura Matarese, William Meggs, Assad Movahed, Rajasekhar Nekkanti, Ronald Perkin, Stephanie Pitts, Walter Pories, Stephanie Richards, Jacques Robidoux, Rachel Roper,  Maria J. Ruiz-Echevarria, Susan Schmidt, George Sigounas, Robert Tanenberg, Danielle Walsh, David Weismiller and Li Yang.

The School of Dental Medicine authors were Carol Anderson, Grishondra Branch-Mays, Joseph Califano, Gregory Chadwick, C. Ervin Davis, Waldemar de Rijk, James Hupp, Lamont Lowery, Linda May, John Stockstill, and Margaret Wilson.

The Laupus Health Sciences Library authors were Kathy Cable and Carrie Forbes.

Those recognized in the College of Nursing were Sylvia Brown, Robin Webb Corbett, Patricia Crane, Martha Engelke, Laura Gantt, Sonya R. Hardin, Candace Harrington, D. Elizabeth Jesse, Ann King, Nanette Lavoie-Vaughan, Michele Mendes, Janice Neil, Elaine Scott, and Melvin Swanson.

Highlighting the awards ceremony was the presentation of the Laupus Medallion to seven book authors. The Medallion is a smaller version of the Laupus Bronze sculpture which hangs in the atrium of the health sciences building at the entrance to the Laupus Library. Both the Bronze and Medallion were designed by Hanna Jubran and Jodi Hollnagel-Jubran of ECU’s School of Art and Design.  This year’s book authors are Leigh Cellucci (CAHS), W. Randolph Chitwood (BSOM), Ronald Dudek (BSOM), Carrie Forbes (LL), James Hupp (SODM), William Meggs (BSOM) and Laura Matarese (BSOM.

A copy of the bibliography is available on the Library’s website www.ecu.edu/laupuslibrary/HSAR with additional information and photographs from the event.

 

Nov 062014
 
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Colleen K. Davis, DMD candidate 2018, has received a four-year scholarship from the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) to attend the ECU School of Dental Medicine.

The National Health Service Corps, a program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provides financial, professional and educational resources to medical, dental, and mental and behavioral health care providers who bring their skills to areas of the United States with limited access to health care.

Davis entered the ECU School of Dental Medicine in August. She graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a minor in Southern Studies. She completed two years of post-baccalaureate studies at Western Carolina University (WCU). While at WCU, she worked as a Career Graduate Fellow in the Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education. She also served as an advanced science and math learning consultant at Southwestern Community College’s Learning Assistance Center.

“I applied to the National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program because I was drawn to its mission of enhancing access to care. I believe that all communities need resources to help maintain oral health, and I want to provide those resources directly as a dental professional,” said Davis. “It is an honor to belong to the national network of health care providers who have been assisted by the program, and I consider it a privilege to represent the NHSC at the School of Dental Medicine.”

Davis grew up in Sylva, N.C., in Jackson County about 45 miles west of Asheville. Her father, Dr. Joe Davis, had a distinguished career as a public health dentist. Upon his retirement, he served as a chief dentist at the Jackson County public health clinic until its closing in the 2014. Sylva and many other communities in the Blue Ridge Mountains are considered health professional shortage areas.

“My hope is to complete a DMD at East Carolina and return to the Sylva area as a primary care dentist,” said Davis.

In June 2014, the ECU School of Dental Medicine opened a community service learning center in Sylva, where fourth-year students, post-doctoral residents, and faculty dentists help meet the oral health needs of Jackson and surrounding counties. Davis hopes to begin serving Sylva patients while completing a rotation at the dental center during her fourth-year.

National Health Service Corps scholarships provide tuition, fees, other educational costs and a living stipend, tax-free, for as many as 4 years in exchange for an equal number of years (2-year minimum) service at an approved facility in a high-need underserved area.

 

Oct 302014
 

CRAVENAs the holiday season approaches, many of us look forward to fun events full of family, friends and food. However, those who are working to achieve or maintain a healthy weight may also worry about gaining extra pounds amidst the celebration.

Registered dietitian nutritionist Kay Craven of ECU’s Department of Family Medicine points out a few simple strategies that can curb weight gain during all the festivities.

  • Plan ahead. When you enter a party, take a few minutes to survey the foods that are available before you fill your plate. Decide which ones are most appealing to you and choose small portions of those. Rather than trying it all, take the time to savor and enjoy the foods you chose. Then move away from the food and focus on the friends and fun.
  • Don’t skip meals. Many people are tempted to skip lunch in order to splurge in the evening. But arriving at a party with an empty stomach often increases the temptation to overindulge. Instead, eat a small meal or snack such as vegetable sticks, fresh fruit, low fat yogurt or cheese, or a few nuts prior to the party. Don’t skip breakfast, either; research shows that will only lead you to consume more calories later in the day.
  • Choose vegetables first. Holiday meals are usually large and involve multiple helpings. Opting for vegetables and salad with low fat dressing first can fill you up early and stave off the desire for large portions of higher calorie meats and desserts.
  • Slow down. Mom was right. Eating slowly gives your brain timeto register how full you really are. Wait ten minutes to evaluate your hunger before going back for seconds.
  • Bring a healthy dish. Many celebrations are potluck. If you offer to bring something on the lighter side, you know a healthy option will be available. And other guests willprobably thank you.
  • Keep moving. Consider wearing a pedometer and set goals – or have a contest between family members – to increase your steps during the holidays. Take a walk with family members during gatherings. Or plan outdoor games with the kids.

 

Oct 282014
 

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It is estimated by the American Cancer Society that 235,030 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in the United States in 2014 and that 40,430 deaths will occur as a result of breast cancer.  With the exception of skin cancer, breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women.  United States mortality data shows a steady decrease in death rates for breast cancer since 1989.  This is mostly likely a result of improved early detection and treatment. 

Since breast cancer usually produces no symptoms in the early stages, the key to early detection is having regular breast exams and mammograms.  With early detection treatment options are increased.  Every woman should discuss appropriate screening options depending on their individual risk factors.

Brody School of Medicine’s talented and dedicated physicians treat patients at Leo W. Jenkins Cancer Center, an East Carolina University and Vidant Health Collaboration in Cancer Care. Specialties include gynecologic oncology, hematology oncology and surgical oncology. To learn more about the Leo W. Jenkins Cancer Center visit www.leowjenkinscancercenter.com.

To learn more about breast cancer prevention, detection and treatment visit on-line the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society.