Men: Staying healthy should be a year-round priority

 Brody School of Medicine  Comments Off on Men: Staying healthy should be a year-round priority
Jun 282013

“Yeah, yeah. Don’t worry. I’ll take care of it.”

All too often, that’s the response of men when an important health concern is brought up.

Unfortunately, statistics show that women are 100% more likely to see a doctor for preventative exams than men.

To help combat this cavalier approach to health, we’re reminding men that June is Men’s Health Month. It’s time to stop avoiding potential health concerns until they absolutely can’t be avoided any more.

June is a perfect time to get serious about making some changes to your health. It’s easier than you think. That test or screening you’ve been avoiding: get it done. Haven’t been in for a physical in a few years? Don’t wait any longer. Haven’t darkened the door at the gym?

It’s more important than you think.

Especially in eastern North Carolina, where we see high rates across many health indicators.

For example:
• 37% of men in eastern North Carolina have high cholesterol, compared to 12% nationally
• 28% of men in eastern North Carolina are current smokers, compared to 20% nationally
• 1,478 eastern North Carolina men have died from prostate cancer in the past five years.

There is plenty that we can do to curb these alarming rates. Eating right and exercise can help lower cholesterol. Quitting smoking is tough, but can dramatically improve your overall health while lowering the risk of multiple cancers. (If you’re trying to quit, click here for information and resources.) And, the risks of prostate cancer can be mitigated if you get screened starting at age 50.

At the ECU Brody School of Medicine, our mission is to improve the health of every one in eastern North Carolina and we offer plenty of clinical resources for men looking to improve their health.

So, as Men’s Health Month draws to a close, man up, follow through and get serious about improving your health. In doing so, you could be saving your own life.
– Al Delia, Director Office of Health Access
Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University


From Moldova to Pirate Nation

 Laupus Library  Comments Off on From Moldova to Pirate Nation
Jun 282013



Silvia Ciubrei

“Du-Te Pirat.”

That’s how Silvia Ciubrei will say “Go Pirates” when she returns to her home town of Chisinau, Moldova.

In addition to a new-found appreciation for purple and gold, she’ll also bring home a wealth of knowledge after touring Laupus Library as part of a visit sponsored by the Medical Library Association (MLA). The MLA’s Irene Cunningham Traveling Fellowship enabled Ciubrei to visit several health science libraries – including Laupus – after attending the MLA’s annual conference in Boston.

While at Laupus, Ciubrei met with librarians from multiple divisions including collections management and medical history, as well as librarians from our digital collection. She also visited the College of Nursing, where she was able to test the equipment in the cutting edge simulation lab.

During her visit, Ciubrei expressed her interest in evidence-based medicine and praised the way Laupus fits into the overall mission of the Division of Health Sciences.

“I’m very interested in Laupus Library because the people here understand the role of the library in the health system,” she said.

Through the years, Laupus has been honored to host visitors through the North Carolina-Moldova Partnership for Peace initiative. Formalized in 1999, it is a bi-lateral association that works together in the areas of civil emergency operations, expansion of markets, cultural, scientific and academic exchanges, and the coordination of humanitarian efforts.

Laupus and other health sciences libraries across the state also have provided thousands of medical books and electronic journals to the former Soviet state in eastern Europe.

Here at Laupus, we are always excited to share our knowledge and discuss best practices with our librarian colleagues, both near and far.

Jun 252013

East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine is embarking on a new initiative made possible with a $1 million grant from the American Medical Association’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education initiative.

“We are thrilled that the AMA has selected Brody as one of 11 medical schools in the country to receive funding to support an innovative curriculum that will help shape the future of medical education and improve the health of our patients,”  said Dr. Luan Lawson, assistant dean of academic affairs and assistant professor of emergency medicine, who is a co-principal investigator on the grant. “These innovative, comprehensive and systematic curricular changes will ensure our graduates are prepared with the skills necessary to provide high quality care and improved health for our region,”

As a leader in preparing students for primary care and practicing in underserved areas, Brody School of Medicine and the ECU Division of Health Sciences is poised to create and test new models of medical education. Since the creation of the medical school at  in 1977, ECU has focused on producing primary care physicians, meeting the health needs of our region, and offering physician training to students from non-traditional, diverse backgrounds. We have been engaged in curriculum revision to ensure our graduates are equipped with the new competencies needed to provide safe, patient-centered care.

Brody will partner with Vidant Health to implement a longitudinal curriculum focusing on patient safety and quality improvement of complex health care delivery systems.  Partnering with other health care professionals will prepare students to work in teams to improve health care delivery with a focus on prevention in the community.

The rapid changes in health care over the past several decades have resulted in the lack of a critical mass of clinically-based faculty members trained in the competencies necessary to treat principles of patient safety, quality improvement and team-based care. Partnering with ECU’s College of Education to develop the Teachers for Quality Academy will help provide professional development for faculty in these new competencies, in addition to providing practical skills in curriculum development, new teaching methods and assessment tools.

A select group of students known as LINC (Leaders in Innovative Care) Scholars will gain advanced expertise in patient safety, quality improvement, interprofessional and team-based care, and leadership in change management through experiential collaborative activities with Vidant Health, the ECU College of Nursing and public health. LINC Scholars will earn a certificate in health system transformation and leadership. This advanced knowledge and mentored projects in the clinical setting will immerse learners into quality improvement systems and support leadership development.

The support and collaboration across multiple areas of the university and health system will ensure the success of our vision of a comprehensive, integrated curriculum in patient safety, quality improvement and team-based care with a well-prepared core of highly skilled and motivated faculty that will perpetuate continued growth and improvements across the school. The partnership with Vidant Health, ECU College of Education, ECU Department of Public Health, and ECU’s Division of Health Sciences will enhance our shared goals of providing safe, optimal and satisfying care, while educating the future workforce of the region. Most importantly, we will be producing a new kind of graduate prepared for residency training and ready to incorporate these skills into future care. Furthermore, graduation of the first LINC Scholars in 2018, and annually thereafter, will provide future leaders with skills and self-efficacy to address the complex problems facing our health care system.

We believe that the proposed changes in curriculum will move the BSOM, its partners in nursing, allied health, the School of Dental Medicine, and Vidant Health closer to a goal of improving the health of the citizens of eastern North Carolina and reducing health disparities. “We are honored to share innovative ideas as part of the learning consortium of other grant recipients to develop best practices in medical education to ensure a healthier future for our patients and our community,” Lawson said.



ECU PA students take the spotlight during annual conference

 College of Allied Health Sciences  Comments Off on ECU PA students take the spotlight during annual conference
Jun 212013

Several ECU physician assistant studies students attended the American Academy of Physician Assistants 41st annual national conference held in Washington, DC,  May 25-29.  The conference marks the largest annual gathering of PAs with an attendance of over 7400 PAs and PA students.

rickerMelissa Ricker was elected president of the Student Academy of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) board of directors for the 2013-2014 term.

Ricker concluded her 2012-2013 term as the southeast regional director for the Student Academy of the AAPA.  Ricker was the first student from ECU and North Carolina to represent the southeast region and its 38 schools.

“Serving as southeast regional director this past year has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my recent past,” says Ricker. “I want to continue to use my creativity and passion for getting students involved, and I look forward to serving the role of president of the Student Academy.” Ricker said.

boybandSean Russell and Joe Bartholomew made quite an impact at conference when they presented their “new age” approach to promoting healthy lifestyles with their music group parody, BOYBANDemia.

Created by Russell and Bartholomew, along with a third member, Adam Rhodes, BOYBANDemia began as a class project to promote smoking cessation.  Lyrics for popular 90’s songs were re-written, vocals recorded, and a music video was produced and uploaded on YouTube.  Reaching 10,000+ views in the first month, the group went on to write, record, and produce two more parodies about obesity and CPR education, which combined reached over 85,000 views.

Considerable media attention prompted the AAPA research project manager to invite the group to present their unique project at the AAPA conference. Physician assistants and PA students from all over the nation were in attendance as Russell and Bartholomew debuted their unconventional approach to educating the general public about the most common causes of mortality in the US.

“If these music videos make you laugh, then they’ve done their job, if it makes you get healthier, then we’ve done ours,” said BOYBANDemia.

Victoria Bennis01Victoria Bennis (pictured on left) was awarded the 2013 Student Paragon Award.  The award is given to a student who has demonstrating exemplary service as a PA student.

Bennis is very active in the community, organizing multiple health promotion events at a local elementary school, and raising awareness in the school systems and community through her organization, Save A Life. She said that she is honored to be one of many to proudly represent ECU.


2013 conference-medical knowledge bowl team01Amy Petticrew, Holley Spears, and Mercedes Camprubi-Soms represented ECU in the National Medical Challenge Bowl, and they made sure to display plenty of pirate pride!

Of the 68 teams competing, the ECU PA team placed in the top 36 schools in first round, advancing them to the second round to compete live on stage in a jeopardy style elimination contest. 

Although the pirate PAs did not secure the win, they had a great time competing against their peers and celebrating the PA profession.

Welcome to ECU–intended nursing majors explore their options

 College of Nursing  Comments Off on Welcome to ECU–intended nursing majors explore their options
Jun 182013

From now until mid-July, nearly 5,000 new students will visit ECU’s campus for summer orientation. All over campus, students who just graduated from high school are learning about college classes and visiting residence halls to get a feel for life at ECU.

During the two-day orientation visit, intended nursing majors will meet with advisors and administrators from the College of Nursing to learn about the curriculum and student resources. The prerequisites for the nursing program are rigorous and students are well-prepared for entry to the College of Nursing.

The top questions/answers from today’s sessions were:

How many students are admitted to the BSN program each year?
The College of Nursing admits 130 students each semester (260 each year). Students enroll in approximately 60 semester hours of prerequisites before they apply to the College of Nursing in their sophomore year.

What if my child does not get admitted to the College of Nursing?
Fortunately, ECU is a large university that offers 102 undergraduate degree programs for students to explore. Often, students are interested in a healthcare career but nursing is not the best fit for them. We encourage these students to consider their interests and keep their options open by making good grades and taking elective courses that count for several different majors.

Where will my clinical rotations be?
The College of Nursing has partnerships with clinical agencies all over eastern North Carolina. In order to provide students with clinical experiences in many different healthcare settings, students may travel up to 90 minutes from Greenville.

What makes ECU College of Nursing special?
ECU graduates more new nurses than any school in North Carolina. With over 7500 alumni, Pirate Nurses work and live in all parts of NC and the nation. ECU ranks very high state-wide with an average of 96% percent of our students passing the NCLEX-RN licensure exam on the first attempt.

In her orientation welcome presentation, Dean Sylvia Brown proudly tells students that Pirate Nurses are honest, committed and passionate about helping others. As a Pirate Nurse herself, she knows firsthand what the students will experience when they arrive in August!

Visit for more information about ECU College of Nursing.

Laurie Evans, MA
Director of Marketing
ECU College of Nursing