National Nurse’s Week: Celebrating New ECU Pirate Nurses

 College of Nursing  Comments Off on National Nurse’s Week: Celebrating New ECU Pirate Nurses
May 112012

Year after year, Gallop polls rank nurses as the most trusted professionals. In 2011, nurses topped the list again with 84 percent of survey respondents ranking nurses’ honesty and ethical standards “very high” or “high.”

Such high praise transcends centuries, dating back to Florence Nightingale’s days improving care for soldiers during the Crimean War (1853-1856). Today, the ECU College of Nursing builds on her legacy by teaching students to maintain the high ethical and quality care standards she pioneered so long ago.

We celebrate National Nurse’s Week May 6-12 to coincide with Florence Nightingale’s birthday. Nursing programs take special pride in Nurse’s Week because the week-long celebration usually coincides with spring graduation.

On May 4, 2012 ECU College of Nursing celebrated the graduation of 118 new nurses. These graduates will soon take their licensing exam and join this well-respected profession. Coupled with the fall class, ECU graduates more new nurses each year than any school in North Carolina.

No matter where you receive health care in North Carolina, you are likely to run into a Pirate Nurse. Pirate Nurses have a long history of excellence, and we are confident that the newest Pirate Nurses will earn your “most trusted” vote as well!


Concerns Related to the Risks of Dental X-Rays

 School of Dental Medicine  Comments Off on Concerns Related to the Risks of Dental X-Rays
May 092012

A recently published article in Cancer “Dental X-Rays and Risk of Meningioma” has raised many questions regarding the safety of dental imaging procedures. Based on scientific evidence we know there is a risk of induced cancer with ionizing radiation, even at low doses. The probability is directly related to the dose, the lower the dose the lower the risk. We also know that radiographic images are a valuable aid in detecting and treating oral health problems. Therefore we should do all possible to reduce the risk to our patients, ensuring the benefits outweigh the risks.

ECU School of Dental Medicine is currently establishing protocols for the assurance of safe and effective radiation practices for all. We will strictly enforce the ADA recommendations for keeping the exposure as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA). These recommendations, established in 1989, include making sure every patient receives a thorough clinical examination prior to a faculty prescription for a radiographic image, along with a reason for the radiographic examination. In other words, there are “no routine dental radiographs.” Our clinics will be equipped with digital imaging equipment allowing us to use much lower technique factors than were required with slower speed film. In addition, we will implement the use of rectangular collimation of which has been proven to reduce patient exposure by as much as 60 percent.

The American Dental Association(ADA) and the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology(AAOMR) have released statements in response to the article. In brief, their statements point out limitations of the study. The study was based on patients’ own recall of their dental imaging exams over the last 20 some years, which is highly unreliable. The study also focused on patients who received dental imaging decades ago when the exposures were higher due to use of older technology. Most importantly the ADA and AAOMR statements emphasize that  patient concerns regarding radiographic examinations should not be dismissed. Instead, informing our patients of the expected benefit to be gained from the examination along with our judicious use of ionizing radiation should be the first step to establishing effective rapport with our patients.


Laupus joins the fight to preserve print

 Laupus Library  Comments Off on Laupus joins the fight to preserve print
May 042012

Despite the prevalence and popularity of tablet and handheld e-readers, many die-hard book fans still prefer physically turning pages of their reading material.

For all those who feel that way, you’ll be glad to hear this: Laupus Library is now participating in the MedPrint print journal retention program.

Developed by the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) and the National Library of Medicine (NLM), this national program is meant to preserve access to printed medical literature.

Since 2000, US medical libraries increasingly have shifted from printed to electronic journal subscriptions to meet user expectations of 24/7 immediate access to material. This change has increased online access to material and freed up limited physical space in libraries.

In the hustle to meet demands of an internet age, many print journal titles have been discarded and some volumes have been lost or are unavailable online. MedPrint ensures that participating libraries across the country retain at least thirteen print copies of 250 journals identified as primary titles in medicine. The print copies must meet certain quality specifications, and even include advertisements and administrative matter, which can provide context for the time period in which it was published.

Through this system, libraries, students and faculty can feel confident that critical medical research and print articles will be maintained in their original form and available for years to come.

Laupus will be retaining eight of the complete journal subscriptions for this effort. For more information about MedPrint, please see

From homeless to hometown physician, ECU graduate brings School of Medicine’s mission to life

 Brody School of Medicine  Comments Off on From homeless to hometown physician, ECU graduate brings School of Medicine’s mission to life
May 022012

“She settled in Western North Carolina because of her interest in bringing medical care to rural, poorer areas. She has an insight to that population that many doctors don’t.”The News & Observer, April 30, 2012

 Just like each of our Brody Medical Students, Dr. Leslie Smith’s insight is unique. This story of determination and success is so very special, because she used to be homeless. On a road of despair, a providential encounter with a Wake County nun helped her get the health care and hope she desperately needed. Today, this ECU Brody School of Medicine graduate returns the favor by caring for underserved populations in western North Carolina.

Earlier this week, the Raleigh News & Observer published a feature story detailing the life and accomplishments of Sister Helen Wright, a nun who ministered to Wake County’s urban poor. Sister Wright mentored Smith back then, helping lead her on a path to success.

 At age 38, Smith graduated from ECU’s School of Medicine. Today, she is an internist working in Boone. And we couldn’t help take notice of her incredible journey and story.

 The ECU School of Medicine mission is clear: to increase the supply of primary care physicians to serve the state, to improve health status of citizens in eastern North Carolina, and to enhance the access of minority and disadvantaged students to a medical education.

 As The News & Observer quote highlights, Dr. Smith is living out that mission today, and we are proud to call her an alumnus – another example of the best of Brody

Child health measures show need for improvement

 Brody School of Medicine  Comments Off on Child health measures show need for improvement
May 012012

Several programs at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University address issues raised in the latest N.C. Child Health Report Card.

According to the report card, North Carolina received a “C” or lower in the following child health categories:
• Initiation and duration of breast feeding
• Number of pregnancies per 1,000 girls (ages 15-17)
• Overweight and obesity
• Alcohol, tobacco and substance abuse
• Child abuse and neglect
• Dental health

Medical faculty and staff members are working to correct these problem areas with initiatives such as the Pediatric Healthy Weight Research & Treatment Center. The center’s Take Off 4-Health camp has helped numerous teenagers achieve a healthy weight and improve their overall health.

Programs such as the TEDI BEAR Children’s Advocacy Center, the maternal-fetal medicine program and others are also working to improve child health.

In addition, the new ECU School of Dental Medicine is working to improve children’s dental health in our state.

According to the report card, North Carolina ranks between 35th and 45th in the nation on virtually all measures of child well-being. The Brody School of Medicine is working to turn those numbers around.