Aug 292014
 

Dr. Patricia Crane has been named associate dean for research and creative activities, East Carolina University College of Nursing Dean Sylvia Brown said in an announcement to faculty and staff recently. Crane also serves as the Richard R. Eakin Distinguished Professor of Nursing.

Crane came to ECU from the University of North Carolina Greensboro, where she served as a professor of adult health nursing since 2001 and as the chair of the Department of Adult Health Nursing from 2009-2012. She is the immediate past president of the Southern Nursing Research Society.

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“Dr. Crane is a highly regarded scientist who brings an extensive background in research into this position,” Brown said. “We look forward to her leadership as we work to emphasize scholarly activity in the college.”

Crane’s research interests focus on adult health care issues, including topics such as fatigue following heart attack, biological markers associated with recovery after a heart attack, and depression. She has received awards such as the 2007 Nurse Researcher of the Year from the North Carolina Nurses Association and the Research Excellence Award from UNCG. She has received funding from the National Institute of Nursing Research and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.

Crane assumes the position as Dr. Martha Engelke returns to a faculty position to continue her research and teaching roles. Engelke joined the College of Nursing faculty in 1979 and has served as associate dean for research and creative activities since 2001. She was the first Richard R. Eakin Distinguished Professor of Nursing and has held that distinction since 2009.

“Dr. Engelke not only has been the college’s ‘champion’ for research,” Brown said, “she has been a stellar role model as she pursued her own research agenda with great success and supported research endeavors across the college.”

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Aug 262014
 
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Two ECU School of Dental Medicine faculty members, Dr. Ervin Davis and Dr. John Stockstill, and others have published a study, “Pain-related worry in patients with chronic orofacial pain,” in the July 2014 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association.

The researchers explored the prevalence of trait, general, and pain-related worry and the association of worry with high pain levels and other variables. The study found substantial levels of worry among patients and pain-related worry related to higher levels of pain, pain interference, and pain duration. Patients who have pain-related worries may overestimate the seriousness of having pain and think of dire consequences, even feeling their lives will be devastated by pain.

Clinicians treating patients with orofacial pain should assess pain-related worry to understand the effects of their patient’s specific worries on pain and functioning. In addition, patients with substantial worry may be helped by learning techniques and skills to reduce unproductive worry and catastrophizing and improve skills to cope with chronic pain, such as learning distraction techniques, using positive self talk, and continuing activities and interests in spite of pain.

Authors: C. Ervin Davis, MS, PhD; John W. Stockstill, DDS, MS; William D. Stanley, DDS, MS; Qiang Wu, PhD

Dr. Davis is the Unit Chief of Behavioral Sciences and clinical assistant professor in the Department of General Dentistry at the ECU School of Dental Medicine, East Carolina University. Contact: daviscl@ecu.edu.

Dr. Stockstill is Division Director of Orthodontics and clinical assistant professor in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics at the ECU School of Dental Medicine, East Carolina University. Contact: stockstillj@ecu.edu.

Audio Interview

To listen to an audio interview with Dr. Ervin Davis conducted by the Journal of the Canadian Dental Association, click here.

Full Text

To read the full text of the publication, click here.

Aug 192014
 

Incoming ECU medical students named Brody Scholars are, left to right, Ismail Kassim of High Point, Alyssa D¹Addezio of Concord and Zachary Sutton of Pink Hill.Incoming ECU medical students named Brody Scholars are, left to right, Ismail Kassim of High Point, Alyssa D¹Addezio of Concord and Zachary Sutton of Pink Hill.

Three incoming students at East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine have been named Brody Scholars for the Class of 2018.

Alyssa D’Addezio of Concord, Ismail Kassim of High Point and Zachary Sutton of Pink Hill will receive four years of medical school tuition, living expenses and the opportunity to design their own summer enrichment program that can include travel abroad. The award will also support community service projects the students may undertake while in medical school.

D’Addezio attended North Carolina State University on a Park Scholarship, the university’s four-year merit scholarship program founded on scholarship, leadership, service and character. She graduated in May with a human biology degree and a minor in English.

She said one of her short-term goals is to serve in a local clinic for underserved populations in preparation for a primary care career in North Carolina. “The Brody Scholars program generously provides support that allows me to boldly pursue primary care without the burden or limitations of debt,” she said. “It also gives me an amazing opportunity to help meet the health care needs of the people of North Carolina by enhancing my medical education and training with networking and support.”

Kassim also graduated recently from N.C. State with degrees in human biology and chemistry. A native of Nigeria, he said he hasn’t decided on a specialty yet, but has enjoyed previous exposure to both family medicine and oncology.

Over the next four years, Kassim hopes to “gain the skills needed to become a competent and compassionate physician while cultivating healthy relationships that will last a lifetime. My selection as a Brody Scholar highlights the support of the family members, friends, mentors and educators who have invested in me and helped me develop into the person I am today,” he added. “I am eternally grateful to the Brody Scholars program for their belief in me and willingness to transform my dream of becoming a physician into reality.”

Sutton graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2013 with a degree in biochemistry. He said he doesn’t have a specific medical specialty in mind but is interested in exploring family medicine.

“I want to learn not only the knowledge associated with becoming a doctor, but also the social skills needed to effectively interact with patients and other medical staff,” Sutton said. “As a kid growing up in and around Kinston, I have long known about the Brody family [of Kinston and Greenville]…and their great contributions toward improving health care in eastern North Carolina. Becoming a part of their family as a Brody Scholar is truly an honor, and I will do everything I can to promote the Brody name in a positive manner.

James Peden Jr., associate dean for admissions at the medical school, said, “For over 30 years the Brody Medical Scholarship Program has attracted outstanding students to the Brody School of Medicine, providing them with opportunities and development activities in addition to very generous financial support. Our Brody Scholars have in turn enriched the Brody School of Medicine with their academic, leadership and altruistic contributions. Most importantly, Brody Scholars have gone on to fulfill the BSOM mission by practicing as outstanding physicians caring for the people of North Carolina.”

In its 32nd year, the Brody Scholars program honors J.S. “Sammy” Brody. He and his brother, Leo, were among the earliest supporters of medical education in eastern North Carolina. The legacy continues through the dedicated efforts of Hyman Brody of Greenville and David Brody of Kinston. Subsequent gifts from the Brody family have enabled the medical school to educate new physicians, conduct important research and improve health care in eastern North Carolina.

Since the program began in 1983, 128 students have received scholarships. About 70 percent of Brody Scholars remain in North Carolina to practice, and the majority of those stay in eastern North Carolina.

Aug 152014
 

If you walk by the Department of Physician Assistant Studies lab in the College of Allied Health Sciences, you may notice someone lying alone on a hospital bed. Don’t be alarmed, our students haven’t abandoned an ailing patient, that’s just the new patient simulator waiting for the next round of students to practice medical procedures and diagnoses skills with him.

(L-R) PA faculty members Kim Stokes, Natalie Smith, Julie Daniel-Yount, and Jane Trapp work on the patient simulator during the faculty training session.

(L-R) PA faculty members Kim Stokes, Natalie Smith, Julie Daniel-Yount, and Jane Trapp work on the patient simulator during the faculty training session.

This newest simulation tool effectively prepares PA students for their field by allowing them to act out patient scenarios in a controlled environment. The Laerdal SimMan Essentials patient simulator, which has been named “Sammy” by the the PA department, can present several different types of symptoms including dilated pupils, increased heart rate, strange lung sounds, and many other diagnosable issues. With pulse points in five different locations, eyes that blink, and several other life-like features, “Sammy” is as “real” as a patient can be without actually being alive.

“Simulation is a wonderful way for students to practice in a virtual environment where mistakes can be made and learned from without affecting real patients,” said Dr. Alan Gindoff, chair of the Department.

With a panel in the arm of the SimMan, students can place IVs and administer drugs for treatment.

With a panel in the arm of the SimMan, students can place IVs and administer drugs for treatment.

Once a faculty member has used the wireless, touch-screen monitor to give the simulator a certain ailment, PA students then actually perform a physical examination, diagnose the problem and carry-out a treatment plan. With this method of learning, PA students can learn skills hands-on such as how to intubate, treat a pneumothorax (collapsed lung), perform an intraosseous infusion into the bone marrow of the simulator’s knee and chest, and administer drugs intravenously.

The patient simulator monitor tracks the heart rate, oxygen stats and blood pressure of the SimMan, similar to that of a hospital monitor. With this advanced technology, PA students are able to actually carry out diagnoses and treatments with a “patient” that reacts to their courses of action versus simply planning and discussing them . Also with the monitor, faculty is able to change and customize the SimMan’s condition at the touch of a button during the treatment, such as increasing his heart-rate, decreasing his oxygen levels or distending his abdomen.

With interchangeable and customizable parts, the SimMan can allow for several different types of scenarios that help prepare PA students for obstacles in the medical field, whether that is a swollen tongue making intubation difficult or a sudden need for CPR.

“Through simulation, student can apply medical management in near real-life scenarios so they may develop complex skill sets before they actually perform them on human beings,” said Gindoff, “This is unlike a multiple choice test where the answers are in front of you, waiting to be chosen from a list. This is like real-life where you have to use your knowledge to diagnose a variety of symptoms and what those symptoms may mean when presented all together.”

The touch-screen monitor displays active medical conditions and allows faculty to control the patient simulator's symptoms and reactions to treatment.

The touch-screen monitor displays active medical conditions and allows faculty to control the patient simulator’s symptoms and reactions to treatment.

Through patient simulators, the Department of Physician Assistant studies is effectively preparing students for the medical field. “Sammy” may be just a patient simulator, but through his life-like symptoms and various diagnoses, he is training future PAs for real life patients.

Aug 112014
 

East Carolina University College of Nursing graduates who work at CarolinaEast Medical Center have a new way to stay connected with their alma mater. The college and the medical facility have partnered to launch the Pirate Nurse Network at CarolinaEast Medical Center.

The Pirate Nurse Network is a member-driven support organization designed to provide educational opportunities and networking for ECU nursing graduates. The New Bern alumni group is eastern North Carolina’s second such network; the college and Vidant Medical Center in Greenville announced the first Pirate Nurse Network in November 2013. 14-308 PirateNurseNetwork_CEMC-circle

“The College of Nursing is very proud of its alumni,” said Dr. Sylvia Brown, dean of nursing. “We intend for these networks to support graduates’ careers while also keeping them connected to the college and to each other.”

Dr. Alta Andrews, director for community partnerships and practice at the College of Nursing, said that when the Pirate Nurse Network held its inaugural meeting at CarolinaEast this spring, attendees immediately sensed their common bonds.

“There were people who work in that agency that really didn’t know each other at all, who came to school in different decades.” Andrews said. “But the energy, the excitement, and just the warm feeling in that room was phenomenal.”

Andrews worked with Dr. Lou Everett, assistant to the dean for the undergraduate program, and other college staff to establish the network. Collaborators at CarolinaEast included Rosanne Leahy (BSN ‘78), vice president and chief nursing officer, and Beth Paul (BSN ’07, MSN ‘14), an intensive care nurse.

Paul remarked on the same sense of community that Andrews noted about the group. Many CarolinaEast Medical Center nursing staff members help educate ECU students by serving as clinical preceptors, but this is another way for alumni to get involved.

“We all have that Pirate spirit within us,” Paul said. “This is a great opportunity for us to give back to the college and get involved with it again.”

Already 30 alumni have joined, and members say they are looking forward to continued growth. The group is planning to offer social networking events in addition to professional development activities. Members also have expressed interest in community service opportunities, which is a wonderful way for nurses to get to know one another as well as their community, Leahy said.

“It’s a nice way for nurses to grow together, to professionally develop together, and to establish a network of support for one another,” Leahy said.

CarolinaEast is a 350-bed facility with inpatient and outpatient services in addition to units dedicated to heart, critical, intensive, women’s, pediatric, orthopedic, surgical and cancer care.

For information about joining or creating a Pirate Nurse Network, contact Elizabeth Willy at willye14@ecu.edu or 252-744-6424.