Brody School of Medicine tops in producing family physicians for third consecutive year

 Brody School of Medicine  Comments Off on Brody School of Medicine tops in producing family physicians for third consecutive year
May 282013

Accepting the award May 3 (from left to right): Dr. Kari Kirian, clinical instructor; Dr. Lars Larsen, vice chair of educational development; Dr. Jeff Cain, American Academy of Family Physicians president; Dr. Chris Duffrin, assistant professor; and Dr. Lauren Whetstone, assistant professor. (Contributed Photo)

The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University has received a Top Ten Award by the American Academy of Family Physicians for contributing to the pipeline of family physicians.

With 20.9 percent of graduates choosing family medicine residencies, the Brody School of Medicine earned the top spot among the 12 schools that received 2013 Top Ten Awards. This is the third consecutive year that the Brody School of Medicine has earned the Top Ten distinction.

Representatives from ECU accepted the award in Baltimore, Md., earlier this month.

“The Brody School of Medicine has a strong tradition of continuing to work diligently toward its founding legislative missions of an emphasis on primary care training, training underrepresented minorities, and improving the health care of those in eastern North Carolina,” said Dr. Ken Steinweg, professor and chair of the Department of Family Medicine.

“This particular award is national recognition in one of those areas, our No. 1 standing in promoting primary care—in particular family medicine—as a medical profession among medical students.”

The medical school’s success in rankings over the last decade has helped attract promising family-medicine-track students who are enthusiastic about the campus and the faculty. The Brody School of Medicine focuses on recruiting and teaching the students but also on having a faculty of professional examples for the future physicians to learn from.

“They know that’s what we’re about,” Steinweg said. “They’re surrounded by good role models and beautiful facilities.”

The Brody School of Medicine has held fast to the top rankings consistently because of the support of the administration and efforts of other medical school faculty and staff, he added.

“We have a tradition of doing this,” Steinweg said. “All in all, it’s an initiative of the whole medical school.”

At a time when the United States is facing a shortage of primary care physicians, adding to the pool of family physicians is vital to the health of America, said AAFP President Dr. Jeff Cain. “Family physicians are the foundation of primary care,” Cain said. “Theirs is the only specialty in which all physicians are trained to provide primary care. The expertise of family physicians becomes even more important to people who have serious and chronic health conditions.”

Research shows that family physicians are the source of care for close to six out of 10 patients with anxiety, depression, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

This year’s Top Ten recognition was expanded to 12 schools out of the nation’s 126 allopathic medical schools to accommodate the growth in the number of geographically separated medical school campuses across the country.


Male nurses make a difference at ECU

 College of Nursing  Comments Off on Male nurses make a difference at ECU
May 242013

Chances are good that you have encountered a nurse who has played a big role in helping you recover from and illness or injury during your lifetime. But, chances are low that your nurse was a male. In fact, only 6-7% of practicing nurses are men, but this statistic is beginning to change.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing, based in Washington, DC, estimates that more than 11% of students currently enrolled in nursing undergraduate programs are men. East Carolina’s College of Nursing reflects this trend with approximately 80 males enrolled in our BSN program. However, specialized graduate fields like nurse-midwifery do not have as much gender diversity. In fact, Ben Kitchin is the first male nurse-midwifery student at  ECU College of Nursing.

Kitchin, a Registered Nurse from Goldsboro, spent the majority of his career working as a critical care nurse and as a flight nurse for EastCare. Now working as a labor and delivery nurse at Wayne Memorial Hospital, Kitchin began his nurse-midwifery coursework this spring. Ben makes a great point that “Good care is not gender dependent; good care is a result of good nursing care!” Nurse-Midwives care for women throughout the lifespan, as well as provide prenatal, labor and birth care.

ECU offers the only nurse-midwifery education curriculum in North Carolina. Started in 1990, over 150 nurse-midwives have graduated from the ECU College of Nursing’s MSN Nurse-Midwifery concentration. Nurse-midwifery coursework is 100% online at ECU, and students complete clinical components of the degree in healthcare centers near their hometown.

The number of male nurses is increasing every year and it is likely that you will see a male nurse in a clinical setting soon. Take a minute to ask a male nurse why he chose nursing and you will be impressed with the dedication and passion of the response!

Sylvia T. Brown, EdD, RN, CNE
Dean and Professor
ECU College of Nursing


The “best for last”

 College of Allied Health Sciences  Comments Off on The “best for last”
May 172013
HIM CLASS-Harris, Lacey Williams, Angela Falsetti, Tina Carlton, Callie Woodard, Deniece Russell, Ethel Wright, Susan M

From left: Dr. Susie Harris, Lacey Williams, Angela Falsetti, Tina Carlton, Callie Woodard, Deniece Russell, Ethel Wright, Susan M. Haddock, Faisal Olayan Alharbi, Dr. Xiaoming Zeng. Not pictured: Dawn Camden

East Carolina University graduated its final class of Health Information Management students on May 10, 2013. 

The graduation ended a long history of educating close to 600 health information management professionals.

The Medical Records Administration department was created in 1970, with Mrs. Peggy Wood as the first chairperson.  She remained in that position for 26 years. In 1993, the department was renamed Health Information Management.  It was later expanded to include the BS in Health Services Management, and renamed the Department of Health Services and Information Management in 2002.

Since its beginnings, more than ninety percent of the health information management professionals in eastern NC received a degree from ECU.

The decision to discontinue the bachelor’s degree is due to the change in health information technology. In the future, more emphasis will be placed on the sharing of medical information, and computer specialists trained at the graduate level in health informatics will be needed.   Accordingly, as one chapter closes, another will open through the MS in Health Informatics and Information Management.  The first class of students will enter in fall 2013.

Congratulations HIM students!

Last HIM class of 2013

School of Dental Medicine named Apple Distinguished Program

 School of Dental Medicine  Comments Off on School of Dental Medicine named Apple Distinguished Program
May 132013

The ECU School of Dental Medicine recently celebrated its designation as an Apple Distinguished Program. Pictured with Assistant Dean Dr. Todd Watkins, third from left, and Dean Greg Chadwick, third from the right, are dental students, left to right, Vivek Thanawala, Diana Luckhardt, Isaac Morton, Loren Moles and Barry Price. (Photo by Cliff Hollis).

Apple executives from North Carolina visited the School of Dental Medicine in April to celebrate the school’s designation as an Apple Distinguished Program for 2012-2013 with students, faculty and staff.

The Apple Distinguished Program title is reserved for programs that meet criteria for innovation, leadership and educational excellence and demonstrate Apple’s vision of exemplary learning environments. The school uses innovative technology in all aspects of its teaching, problem-solving and clinical education programs.

The School of Dental Medicine has created an environment with 31 rooms and clinical spaces connected by video teleconferencing, integrated seminar rooms, and simulation labs in Ledyard E. Ross Hall on campus and at community-based centers in rural parts of North Carolina.

Dental faculty and residents currently treat patients at ECU Community Service Learning Centers in Ahoskie and Elizabeth City. Eight more centers will be built in North Carolina in the near future. “Within the next two years, we’ll be placing fourth year students in underserved areas across the state to help improve oral health,” said Dr. Greg Chadwick, dean of the ECU School of Dental Medicine. “This concept is resting upon connectivity through these technologies.”

While at ECU, Dr. Sarah Farrell, development executive Apple Education, recognized Dr. R. Todd Watkins as a member of the 2013 Class of Apple Distinguished Educators. Watkins, assistant dean for dental education and informatics and the first faculty member hired by the school, was given the task of developing and implementing a new vision for health science curriculum, which involves an emphasis on problem-solving and critical thinking.

The Apple Distinguished Educator Program began in 1994. Today it has grown into a worldwide community of visionary educators and innovative leaders who are doing amazing things with technology in and out of the classroom. Apple describes its distinguished educators as “part of a global community of education leaders” who “explore new ideas, seek new paths, and embrace new opportunities.”

As part of the program, Watkins will meet with other educators from around the world to discuss trends and technologies at a conference in Austin, Texas, in July.


ECU faculty member serves as Nurse of the Day at N.C. General Assembly

 College of Nursing  Comments Off on ECU faculty member serves as Nurse of the Day at N.C. General Assembly
May 072013

Bagley, Becky-c23East Carolina University nurse faculty member Becky Bagley is serving as Nurse of the Day at the North Carolina General Assembly in Raleigh today.

Bagley, director of nurse-midwifery education in the ECU College of Nursing, will provide services such as taking vital signs, checking blood pressures, and dispensing over-the-counter drugs for headaches, upset stomachs, or allergies to legislators and legislative staff members.

The day is made possible by the North Carolina Nurses Association.

“I chose to serve as Nurse of the Day to broaden my horizons,” Bagley said. “I am a soon-to-be DNP graduate at Duke University and this is a great way to sit in on legislative sessions.”

Many NCNA members who previously served have said the experience has validated their choice of the nursing profession. The nurses enhance the positive image of nursing in the state of North Carolina, officials said.

The North Carolina Nurses Association

The North Carolina Nurses Association is the professional organization for all registered nurses in North Carolina. Through NCNA nurses become powerful advocates patients and the nursing profession. For more information please visit