Nov 302012

This post is the first in a series from the College of Nursing highlighting what draws nurses to the profession. We invite our nurse-readers to comment and share your “Why I Became a Nurse” story.

As I write this narrative I am looking at a photograph in my office taken at Christmas when I was about five years old.  There I am in front of a Christmas tree in a nursing uniform hand-made by my Grandmother, complete with a nurse’s cape and cap alongside a bassinet with a baby doll.

So, I guess from an early age the idea of becoming a nurse was ruminating in my mind.  However, my real ambition to become a nurse began when I was a sophomore in high school.  At this time, my Grandmother,  who I loved dearly, (the one who made my nurse’s uniform) suffered a stroke and was hospitalized.  I saw the competent care that she received by nurses in the intensive care unit, as well as the care and compassion that was shown to her and my Grandfather.  This event made it clear to me that this was the career path that I wanted to take. I then decided to take a health careers class in high school which was taught by a nurse.  She was an excellent role model and further influenced my decision to study nursing.  The reputation of ECU School of Nursing was stellar and I knew that I wanted to pursue my study at ECU.  I loved nursing from the very beginning class.

As I was completing my undergraduate degree, I knew that one day I wanted to also teach nursing.  I truly admired the faculty and loved the teaching aspect of nursing as well as the clinical aspect.  One of the great attributes of nursing is the variety in roles one can have while in this profession.  I have been in a variety of roles– from clinician, educator, researcher, and administrator during my career.  Each role has been fun, rewarding and challenging.

Sylvia T. Brown, EdD, RN, CNE
Dean and Professor


BSOM leading the state in producing NC Physicians

 Brody School of Medicine  Comments Off on BSOM leading the state in producing NC Physicians
Nov 272012

A recent article in the Triangle Business Journal noted that the Brody School of Medicine, part of the Division of Health Sciences at ECU, leads the state in producing physicians who remain in NC to practice.  Unlike graduates of the other three medical schools in the state, over half of Brody’s 2006 graduates are now in practice across NC.  53% of those 2006 graduates matched in primary care specialties (67% if OB/GYN is included).

In keeping with its legislatively-mandated mission, the BSOM has also repeatedly been cited over the past few years for being the top school in the nation for producing family physicians.  Brody is also in the top 10% of all US medical schools for training physicians who go on to practice in rural and underserved areas.

James G. Peden Jr.,  MD

Associate Dean, BSOM Admissions


* 1st annual Run For A Reason 5K sponsored by the Greenville Women’s League will be held on Saturday,  December 8th at 9 am benefiting Camp Rainbow and Camp Hope. These are week long camping experiences with children who have cancer or hemophilia  and their siblings. This is a new course and Walkers are Welcome! You can register at or email for more information.


Sharing EHR–not an easy task

 College of Allied Health Sciences  Comments Off on Sharing EHR–not an easy task
Nov 272012

According to a survey by the nonprofit Physicians Foundation cited in a recent edition of the Charlotte Observer, approximately three quarters of the doctors in North Carolina are using electronic health records (EHR). 

These adoptions can be attributed to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) EHR “Meaningful Use” incentive program that was included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009. Using a carrot and stick approach backed by incentives and penalties, CMS expects to have physicians who receive Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement using a certified EHR after 2016.  More importantly, physician adopters must use EHRs in a meaningful way—better access to information, better health outcomes, and an increase in population health. 

However, due to the number of certified EHR systems available, proper implementation and use can be fragmented, with many systems still unable to talk to each other. As described in the report, this was a common complaint of many physicians who could not get their EHR systems to share patient information across organizational boundaries.

Sharing health information across different EHR systems is harder than it seems, and will require technical infrastructure, common terminologies and information standards, open minded governance, and congruent reimbursement mechanisms.

Once physicians have successfully implemented an EHR system, they may join a Health Information Exchange, which is a type of organization specializing in exchanging data and information across different health information systems. Coastal Connect Health Information Exchange (CCHIE) in the Wilmington area is an example of such a regional organization. NC Health Information Exchange (NCHIE) is the state level non-profit organization designed to provide a set of secure and scalable services that allow health information to be accessed, exchanged, and analyzed throughout the state.

Seamless health information exchange will be the foundation for coordinated care in emerging practice models such as Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) or Accountable Care Organizations (ACO).

Xiaoming Zeng, MD, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Chair
Department of Health Services and Information Management

Nov 222012

Thanksgiving and the holidays are notorious for rich foods and overeating.  There are ways to enjoy yourself while being mindful of your health.

In case you missed it, here are seven smart meal tips and healthy recipes to make your holiday healthier with tips from ECU health expert.

·         Thanksgiving Meal Tip #1 – Make a pumpkin pie

·         Thanksgiving Meal Tip #2 – Serve appetizers

·         Thanksgiving Meal Tip #3 – Eat for your teeth

·         Thanksgiving Meal Tip #4 – Start a new holiday tradition and walk

·         Thanksgiving Meal Tip #5 – Serve super spuds

·         Thanksgiving tip #6 – The main event: Keep the turkey trim

·         Thanksgiving tip #7 –  Lighten up with stuffing that won’t over-stuff

We want to help you make better choices today and yearround. We all benefit from a healthier North Carolina.

Hopefully you’ve found this information valuable. Even if you don’t heed these tips today, we’re confident your meal is already far healthier than this: chocolate and sprinkle-covered turkey.


Nov 212012

“When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”

It’s a saying that playfully justifies one-time indulgence when in a certain environment. Fried Oreo at the State Fair? Extra cheese on my slice of pizza? Sausage and bread stuffing at Thanksgiving dinner?Hey, why not? ”When in Rome!”

That’s often true of Turkey Day. Of the Thanksgiving staples that tempt us each year, one in particular can make us feel particularly over-stuffed. The name says it all.

Some of the earliest uses of stuffing – or “dressing,” depending on what your grandmother might call it – date back to ancient Rome. While is not known exactly when stuffing was first used, Roman cook books contain recipes for meats “stuffed” with vegetables, herbs, spices, nuts and other nutrient-rich, hearty ingredients.

Unfortunately, today’s typical American Thanksgiving stuffing serves up plenty of “stuff” – and not much substance.

According to, just a ½ cup of bread (read: carb-packed) stuffing contains 410 calories, 261 of which come from fat. That’s what happens when you swap veggies for non-nutritive filler ingredients like white bread, chicken stock and butter, as many modern-day American recipes do.

This year, you can avoid the post-meal slump by swapping the When in Rome” mentality for a classic Roman tradition: stuffing – done the healthier way! With just a few simple ingredient adjustments, you can save calories without feeling deprived.

Lighten up your stuffing with these simple swaps:

  • Use wheat or whole-grain bread: Using this instead of white bread delivers wholesome nutrients instead of “empty” carbohydrates.
  • Pick low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth: Swapping regular broth for low-sodium can cut nearly 1,000 milligrams of sodium per cup. That’s nearly half your daily recommended daily intake.
  • Light butter: Go light, whether in quantity or substance. You might consider halving the recipe amount with real butter or using olive oil, a vegetable-based or unsalted spread instead of sweet cream or salted butter.
  • Add more vegetables (and fruit!): Consider vitamin-dense veggies and fruits like carrots, apples and cranberries.
  • Go sans meat: Try lean-cut, low-sodium or “faux” sausage and you won’t miss the salt and saturated fats found in regular sausage.
  • Spice it up: Skimp on added salt in favor of flavorful seasonings like rosemary, thyme and sage. Add pecans or walnuts on top for a nice crunch.

Feeling lighter?