Apr 272012
 

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently released a new guideline recommending routine cardiovascular screening with cholesterol tests for pre-adolescents and young adults—once between the ages of 9 and 11 and again between ages 17 and 21.

“It is well established that a population that enters adulthood with lower risk will have less atherosclerosis and will collectively have lower cardiovascular disease rates,” the guidelines say.

Most people will agree that the real secret to staying healthy is to catch symptoms early before they become a problem, no matter the age, and laboratory screening tests play a big role in preventive medicine. Seemingly healthy individuals can learn to guard their health more closely when a test reveals a borderline high cholesterol level, an abnormal Pap smear, or a precancerous polyp in their colon.

Patients and doctors rely on the knowledge and experience of laboratory workers. The College of American Pathologists estimates that “laboratory services drive more than 70 percent of clinical decisions from diagnosis through therapy and prognosis.”

ECU is proud of its mission of providing highly qualified clinical laboratory scientists for state.  The ECU Clinical Laboratory Science program has graduated more than 350 professionals, the majority of whom have chosen to stay in eastern NC to practice their profession.

Here’s to better health, eastern North Carolina.

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Apr 242012
 

The ECU College of Nursing has pledged to participate in the Joining Forces initiative to support U.S. veterans and military families. The campaign, led by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, calls on all sectors of society to get involved.

Along with over 150 nursing organizations and 500 nursing schools, ECU has committed to prepare nursing students to care for veterans and their families and to help create a supportive network of health care providers to be sensitive to the needs of this population.

A focus in the nursing profession’s Joining Forces pledge is to invest considerable time and attention to prepare over 3 million nurses in the United States to care for veterans who have Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). These conditions are common among veterans.

The ECU College of Nursing has assembled a study group to develop a plan to integrate Joining Forces objectives in the nursing curriculum and student development initiatives.

In addition, the Brody School of Medicine is one of over 100 medical schools involved with Joining Forces to better diagnose and treat PTSD and TBI.

We are excited to be part of this project to support our troops, veterans and their families!

Apr 202012
 

The 2011 NC Child Health Report Card is out, and the news is mostly good. The report from Action for Children North Carolina and the NC Institute of Medicine shows that in 2011, children’s access to care and preventive health either got better or remained the same, and engagement in risky health behaviors like alcohol consumption, tobacco use or other substance abuse slightly improved.

 This is no coincidence.

 Most of these improvements have to do with educating parents and caregivers and ensuring at-risk families get the support they need from proven methods and programs. Teaching our kids about healthy lifestyles, eating right and being physically active falls on parents and adults, but sometimes that’s not enough. That’s why having funding in place to support organizations like Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC), the state’s nationally recognized system of managed care, helps to improve access to health care for children and low-income mothers. The same is true for policies that limit youth exposure to tobacco or provide funding for campaigns to reduce child abuse and neglect, infant mortality and teen pregnancy.

 ECU’s mission to improve the health of our state through primary and preventive care has never been more relevant. And despite this encouraging news, facts show we still have more work to do.

 We can help move our state forward with improved access to health care for children – including dental care – by increasing the number of skilled physicians, dentists, nurses and health professionals working in rural and underserved parts of our state. We are proud to be both on the front lines – and fostering the future health leaders – that can help make North Carolina a healthier state in which to live and work.

 Let’s keep it up.

Apr 172012
 

Well… that’s not exactly true. But we are excited to announce that Health Sciences students and faculty will now be able to see research in action thanks to the Laupus Library’s new subscription to a video journal called JoVE General.

The Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE) is a peer reviewed, PubMed indexed journal devoted to the publication of biological, medical, chemical and physical research in a video format.

With participation of scientists from leading research institutions, JoVE uses video technology to capture and transmit the multiple facets and intricacies of life science research. Instead of reading an article about how to preserve mouse embryos or how to grow stem cells in a lab, students can watch a video “article” that shows the process in action.

Drs. Robert Lust and Jitka Virag of the Department of Physiology at the Brody School of Medicine at ECU are among the scientists with videos on JoVE. Theirs is online at www.jove.com/video/2581/coronary-artery-ligation-and-intramyocardial-injection-in-a-murine-model-of-infarction.

With the advancements in modern research, written word and traditional static picture-based print journals are no longer the top vehicles for conveying complex information and procedures.

ECU prides itself on providing students with innovative curriculum. The Library’s subscription to JoVE is just part of an ongoing effort to equip our students and faculty with cutting-edge technology and resources to help them become the best and brightest health care leaders North Carolina has to offer.

Faculty and students throughout the university overwhelmingly expressed support for the video learning tool. Access this new innovative resource at: www.ecu.edu/laupuslibrary/research/erinfo.cfm?ID=309   

Apr 132012
 

People who participate in weekly community health education sessions at community churches lose weight and lower their blood pressure.

Those are the results of a project funded by the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust and organized by the Department of Public Health at the Brody School of Medicine. Called the PROSPER project, for Preparing Ourselves for Spiritual Enrichment and Renewal, it focuses on churches as the center of community life in many areas.

Working in Edgecombe, Duplin and Lenoir counties, ECU experts created a curriculum to train lay health advisors. In two six-month projects, the advisors worked with 566 participants in 14 African-American churches. Those who participated in at least 10 weekly sessions lost weight and kept it off and also lowered their blood pressure.

In another example of combining churches and health, 79 people from 10 eastern North Carolina counties recently attended a seminar involving faith and health care professionals, called Pastor’s Conference: Linking Faith and Medicine in Diabetes Care. It was sponsored by the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust and the Jones County Health Department and organized by ECU.

Ruth Little of the Department of Public Health, is director of the PROSPER Project.