Nursing welcomes visiting scholar from Finland, awards announced

East Carolina University’s Beta Nu Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, the international honor society of nursing, welcomes two distinguished speakers at the chapter’s induction ceremony Oct. 18. The special guests are Dr. Kim Crickmore Osborne, vice president of operations and care navigation at Vidant Medical Center, and Dr. Maj-Helen Nyback from Novia University of Applied Sciences in Vasa, …


ECU PA students celebrate National Physician Assistant Week

From Oct. 6 to Oct. 12, students in the East Carolina University Physician Assistant Studies program celebrated National Physician Assistant Week by honoring their professors and giving back to their community.


The ECU Physician Assistant Studies program class of 2015. (photo by Michelle Messer Photography)

Events included a faculty appreciation ice cream social Thursday afternoon, held in the East Carolina University Heart Center. PA students recognized the program’s faculty for their dedication to preparing the students for careers as physician assistants.

The students continued their celebration of PA week by decorating pumpkins with the children at The Little Willie Center. The center, a facility located on Fifth Street that provides after school tutoring and mentoring services hosted the students Friday afternoon.

“Being a PA student is an awesome yet challenging experience,” said Caitlyn Fulp, a member of the class of 2015, “It can be difficult to look past the quizzes, exams, assignments, and labs that pile on top of balancing family, friends, gym, chores, and grocery shopping. Spending time with the kids at the after school program helped me do just that! Laughing, painting pumpkins, and coloring pictures of Minnie Mouse were just what I needed to recharge and get some perspective. I am excited to participate in more opportunities like this in the future.”

The East Carolina University Physician Assistant Studies program, which graduated its first class in 1999, currently has 102 enrolled students.  The program operates on a 27 month curriculum and is one of only seven PA programs in North Carolina. In 2003, the program transitioned to a master-level program with all graduates since 2005 earning Master of Science degrees in PA studies.

To learn more about the Physician Assistant Studies program at ECU visit




Telepsychiatry: ECU’s innovative answer to North Carolina’s mental health shortage

A void in mental health providers now qualifies 58 of North Carolina’s 100 counties as Health Professional Shortage Areas, according to federal guidelines. The effects of this shortage are far-reaching: For patients, there are long lines and limited access to psychiatric counsel. For the (mostly rural) hospitals navigating these at-risk patients – usually through their …