ECU grad named ‘hottest dad’ on Today Show

 Brody School of Medicine  Comments Off on ECU grad named ‘hottest dad’ on Today Show
Jun 172013

ECU medical school graduate Andrew Ungaro was featured June 14 on the Today Show with Kathie Lee and Hoda Kotb as winner of the iVillage Hottest Dad in America contest.

Ungaro is a Navy doctor who lives in Portsmouth, Va. with his wife, Marley, and children Langley, 14, and Grey, 10. He graduated from the Brody School of Medicine in 2010 and received his master’s of science in biology from ECU in 2006.

Ungaro was selected from among 1,500 entries narrowed down to nine categories that received 150,000 votes online.

Ungaro received a week-long vacation for two to Scrub Island Resort in the British Virgin Islands, along with a $100 American Express gift card and a $250 spa credit at the resort.

Watch a video of the Today Show announcement at

Read more about the contest at iVillage,


Brody selected by American Medical Association to help transform medical education

 Brody School of Medicine  Comments Off on Brody selected by American Medical Association to help transform medical education
Jun 142013

Dr. Elizabeth Baxley

East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine is one of 11 schools in the nation selected for a $1 million grant from the American Medical Association to change the way it educates students while keeping its focus on rural and underserved populations.

The American Medical Association announced the winners June 14 at its annual meeting in Chicago. ECU will receive funding through the AMA’s $11 million Accelerating Change in Medical Education Initiative aimed at transforming the way future physicians are trained.

“This grant provides Brody and the ECU Division of Health Sciences with the opportunity to create and test new models of medical education. All students will benefit from the changes we are planning,” said Dr. Elizabeth Baxley, senior associate dean for academic affairs and professor of family medicine in the Brody School of Medicine. Dr. Luan Lawson, assistant dean of academic affairs and professor of emergency medicine, is co-principal investigator for the grant.

The university will implement a new comprehensive core curriculum in patient safety and clinical quality improvement for all medical students. It will feature integration with other health-related disciplines to foster interprofessional skills and prepare students to successfully lead health care teams as part of the transformation, Baxley said.

“Our medical schools today not only have the imperative to teach the art and science of medical care, but to train our graduates how to work in, and improve, complex health systems,” Baxley said. “Preparing students to work in teams with other health professionals is a hallmark of the needed changes, as is a better understanding of the ‘health’ of a community and how we can positively impact that.”

Additionally, up to 10 students each year will be selected to become Leaders in Innovative Care Scholars. These students will complete additional course work, lead projects and earn a certificate in health care transformation and leadership.

The grant also will provide training for faculty members through a new Teachers of Quality Academy, which will focus on patient safety, quality improvement and team-based care and explore new ways of engaging students to be more active in their own education, Baxley said.

Strategies will include e-learning, simulation, problem-based learning, clinical skills training and targeted clinical experiences. Emphasis on rural and underserved populations remains a fundamental part of Brody’s mission.

In addition to ECU, the following schools received funding: Indiana University School of Medicine; Mayo Medical School; NYU School of Medicine; Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine; Penn State College of Medicine; The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University; University of California, Davis School of Medicine; University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine; University of Michigan Medical School; and Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

The AMA will provide $1 million to each school over five years. A critical component of the AMA’s initiative will be to establish a learning consortium to disseminate rapidly best practices to other medical and health profession schools.

Of the 141 eligible medical schools, 119 – more than 80 percent – submitted letters of intent outlining their proposals in February. In March, 28 individual schools and three collaborative groups of schools were selected to submit full proposals before a national advisory panel worked with the AMA to select the final 11 schools.

For more information about the initiative, visit  


Health sciences students & faculty get sneak peek into emerging patient care tool

 Laupus Library  Comments Off on Health sciences students & faculty get sneak peek into emerging patient care tool
Jun 112013

What if you could diagnose, recommend and manage patient care from your iPad? Thousands of health care professionals across the country do it every day. And this summer, so can ECU health sciences students and faculty.

Through July 31, Laupus Library is providing the health sciences community with exclusive access to VisualDx, an innovative new application used by more than 1,500 hospitals for diagnostic accuracy, patient engagement, and medical education.

Designed for ease of use at the point of care, VisualDx is supported by regularly-updated data reviewed by physician experts across a variety of practices. Covering more than 1,200 pediatric and adult conditions represented by over 25,000 images, VisualDx guides users through a visually-based diagnostic process, providing on-the-spot patient education with real medical images a patient can relate to.

Providing our students and faculty members with this cutting-edge tool is an exciting educational opportunity for future graduates to familiarize themselves with an emerging new technology they might soon use in the workforce. And because it’s designed for the patient care setting, VisualDx also gives students a glimpse into the patient-provider dynamic – a perspective our many future primary care providers can especially benefit from.

To learn more and to view the trial link and evaluation information, click here:

Kelly R. Dilda
Public Communications Specialist
Laupus Library

Jun 072013

This week, we’ve enjoyed kicking off the summer season – and the launch of our new ECU Division of Health Sciences Twitter and LinkedIn pages – by participating in National Sun Safety Week. It’s a topic that hits home for all of the schools and colleges within our division, as sun damage can affect all parts of the body.

Our research-based tweet tips are a good place to start for those of us who need a sun safety refresher course heading into the warmest months of the year. But protecting your skin from harmful rays can be just as much about what not to do.  With that in mind, here are four ways some sun worshippers get burned:

1)      Skipping sunscreen on overcast or cloudy days. A common misconception is that the risk of sunburn on cloudy days is less, but the sun’s damaging UV light can pass through clouds (in fact, up to 40% of UV radiation reaches earth on a completely cloudy day!). So, don’t let the weather be what determines your SPF use; wear it no matter the forecast.

2)      Putting off dermatology check-ups. While skin cancer is by far the most common type of cancer, it is also one of the most treatable. The key is to get checked regularly – especially if you fall into any of these high-risk categories.

3)      Neglecting to reapply. Many times, we think we’re covered by lathering up with sunscreen once. Not true, says the American Academy of Dermatology: sunscreen should be applied every 2 hours and/or after swimming or sweating heavily, perhaps after a rigorous game of beach volleyball. Keep that sunscreen bottle by your bag, rather than buried at the bottom of it.

4)      Assuming the sun can’t find you in certain places, times or by wearing “protective” covering. We often think about getting sunburned in the obvious places and ways: usually, on the beach, in a bathing suit, on a hot summer day. While that’s certainly a high-risk setting for overexposure, UV rays can also hit us in everyday places we don’t think about: in the car, through our clothes, and in mountainous or wooded areas. The lesson: use sunscreen liberally no matter the time, place – or outfit.

Keep sun safety in mind all year round and you’ll ward off skin cancer – and be able to enjoy the warm summer weather that much more.


“Why can’t I communicate?”

 College of Allied Health Sciences  Comments Off on “Why can’t I communicate?”
Jun 042013

Imagine knowing what you want to say but being unable to produce the words.  Imagine hearing words that others say but being unable to understand them.  These are difficulties that may confront people living with aphasia. 

Aphasia is an acquired communication disorder that impairs a person’s language skills.  The production or comprehension of speech, reading, or writing may be difficult for someone with aphasia.  It is important to note that aphasia does not affect a person’s intelligence.  Accessing ideas and thoughts through language may range from a mild impairment to being so severe as to make communication extremely difficult.  Aphasia manifests itself in a variety of ways and combinations.

The most common cause of aphasia is stroke.  In fact, 25-40% of stroke survivors acquire aphasia. (  However, aphasia can also occur when someone experiences head trauma, brain tumors, or infections.  Language capabilities can also become slowly and progressively impaired with no known neurological trauma.  This is known as Primary Progressive Aphasia.

Aphasia affects about one million Americans and is more common than Parkinson’s disease or cerebral palsy. (  Aphasia can occur at any age and affects people of all races, nationalities, and gender.

Although there is no cure for aphasia, speech-language pathologists can significantly help the individual with aphasia and their families/friends learn strategies to improve communication.  Language skills can continue to improve over a period of years after the initial brain injury.  Some individuals with aphasia are able to return to work and many others continue to participate in activities they enjoyed prior to their brain injury.

June is National Aphasia Awareness Month.  The ECU Speech-Language and Hearing Clinic provides individual evaluations and treatment sessions for individuals with aphasia.  An aphasia group also meets each Friday during the semester for individuals with aphasia to practice their communication skills and enjoy interactions with others.  Call 252-744-6104 for more information.

Sherri Winslow, MS, CCC-SLP
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders