Nov 262013
 

First year students in the Department of Physical Therapy volunteered at the Pitt County Stand Down for Homeless Veterans event Oct. 25.

(L-R) First year students from the Department of Physical Therapy,  Clara Martin, Kara Clowers, Caleb Polson, Jasmine Crayton, Laura Kraich, Liz Flannery, and Marianne Gross volunteered at the Stand Down event. (not pictured: Jon McPeters)

(L-R) First year students from the Department of Physical Therapy, Clara Martin, Kara Clowers, Caleb Polson, Jasmine Crayton, Laura Kraich, Liz Flannery, and Marianne Gross volunteered at the Stand Down event. (not pictured: Jon McPeters)

The Stand Down was hosted by the QSA Foundation, a local non-profit group that works to aid homeless veterans and military families. The event’s title comes from the term “stand down” in the military culture, which is a time when exhausted combat units stop fighting and recover at a secure base camp. This is an opportunity for the unit to take care of personal hygiene, get clean uniforms, eat warm meals, and receive medical and dental care.

Applying this same idea to a community of homeless veterans, a Stand Down in the community refers to helping the homeless veterans “combat” life on the streets. For a few hours, hundreds of homeless veterans are provided with a range of services and needs, such as food, clothing, medical and dental help, job counseling, sleeping bags, and blankets. More importantly, the Stand Down was a chance for the community to connect with the homeless veteran population and provide some assistance.

While at the Stand Down, the group of students registered veterans for the event, helped veterans sign up for haircuts with the barber, handed out hygiene supplies, shoes and clothing, and provided veterans with breakfast and lunch.

“I know all of us learned a lot from this event and walked away with a deeper understanding and appreciation of the surprisingly large group of homeless and low income veterans in our community,” said physical therapy student Clara Martin, “We hope to participate again next year.”

Next year’s event will take October 24, 2014. For more information about Stand Down, visit the event’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/StandDown2013/info.

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Nov 222013
 

 

military panel Beta Nu banquet Nov 2013

Military officers and nurse leaders at the banquet were, left to right: Captain L. Pearson, director of nursing services at Camp Lejeune; Colonel Eleanor C. Nazar-Smith, commander of the 4th Medical Group, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base; and Colonel Kendra P. Whyatt, deputy commander for patient services at Womack Army Medical Center.

On Nov. 21, the East Carolina University College of Nursing’s Beta Nu Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau hosted a military panel with representatives from the Army, Navy and Air Force during a fall banquet at the Greenville Hilton.

Senior nurse leaders discussed their specific medical mission, nursing roles, current challenges, and successes. The intent was to raise awareness about military nursing.

The College of Nursing’s Dr. Donna Lake (Colonel, USAF Retired) facilitated the discussion to show the diversity in military nursing and stimulate thought on how ECU nursing faculty and students can partner with Womack Army Medical Center, Fort Bragg, Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune, and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base nurses. Each speaker shared a wealth of knowledge about nursing in various settings from more than 60 years of military nursing experience collectively.

The Joining Forces national initiative was started in 2012 by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden to support and honor America’s service members and their families. The initiative aims to educate and spark action from citizens, communities, businesses, and schools to ensure military families have the support they have earned. The campaign focuses on three key priority areas - employment, education, and wellness - while engaging in a comprehensive effort to raise awareness about the service, sacrifice, and needs of military families.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing partnered with the American Nurses Association, National League for Nursing and the National Organization for Associate Degree Nursing to engage nursing schools nationwide, including ECU, in the Joining Forces campaign.

A special military tradition was demonstrated at the ECU banquet called “The White Table or POW/MIA Table,” which symbolizes a military family member who is missing at the dinner table. The small, unoccupied table is a familiar sight at military special events. No one ever sits at the table; it pays tribute to military veterans who cannot be there due to their sacrifice in defense of freedom.

Nov 152013
 

Ninety-six East Carolina University faculty and staff were honored Nov. 5 for their published works at the William E. Laupus Health Sciences Library’s annual Health Sciences Author Recognition Awards ceremony. 

Faculty and staff submitted 220 entries – 193 peer-reviewed journal articles, 22 book chapters and five books – published between July 1, 2012 and June 30. A bibliography is available at www.ecu.edu/laupuslibrary/hsar/.

The awards pay tribute to those who expand the scholarly work of the university and the research reputation of the Division of Health Sciences through their published works, said Dr. Richard R. Eakin, interim director of Laupus Library. “You will see that our faculty and staff expertise extends over a wide range of subjects in health sciences and health sciences education,” Eakin said. “We express gratitude to our authors for their hard work and impressive scholarship.”

The library hosted the awards ceremony and dinner reception for honorees at the Greenville Hilton. The event was co-sponsored by the Friends of Laupus Library, which provide needed support for special programs and activities of the library.

Other sponsors were Matthews Medical Books, The Little Bank, John and Marcia Tinglestad, Dr. John Papalas and Springer.   

Authors recognized in the College of Allied Health Sciences were Debbie Amini, Leigh Cellucci, Martha Chapin, Anne Dickerson, Denise Donica, Elizabeth Forrestal, Susie Harris, Mary Hildebrand, Robert Kulesher, Shari Sias, and Leonard Trujillo.

The Brody School of Medicine authors were Abdel Abdel-Rahman, Shaw Akula, Hazaim Alwair, Yan-Hua Chen, Paul Cook, Kay Craven, Doyle Cummings, Ramesh Daggubati, Moahad Dar, Tejas Desai, Jamie Dewitt, Lynis Dohm, Lixue Dong, Bruce Ferguson, Jonathan Firnhaber, Christopher Geyer, Kelly Harrell, Greg Kearney, Greg, Juhee Kim, Cheryl Knudson, Warren Knudson, Kathryn Kolasa, Alan Kypson, Myon-Hee Lee, Qun Lu, Chris Mansfield, Sanjay Mehra, Assad Movahed, Rajasekhar Nekkanti, Dale Newton, Lloyd Novick, Ann Marie Nye, Thomas Penders, Stephanie Pitts, Walter Pories, Rachel Roper, Maria Ruiz-Echevarria, Sy Saeed, Sy, Samuel Sears, Robert Shaw, Brian Shewchuk, George Sigounas, Ann Sperry, Robert Tanenberg, David Terrian, Katherine Verbanac, Jitka Virag, Xiajia Wang, C.J. Wingard, Li Yang.

The School of Dental Medicine authors were Joseph Califano, Bobby Collins, and Linda May.

The Laupus Health Sciences Library authors were Anne Anderson, Kathy Cable, Gina Firnhaber, Carrie Forbes, Elizabeth Ketterman, Katherine Rickett, and Roger Russell.

Those recognized in the College of Nursing were Rebecca Benfield, Sylvia Brown, Rita Coggins, Robin Webb Corbett, Martha Engelke, Laura Gantt, Mark Hand, Sonya Hardin, Candace Harrington, Carolyn Horne, Elizabeth Jesse, Mary Kirkpatrick, Debra Kosko, Kim Larson, Michelle Mendes, Jane Miles, Janice Neil, Anette Peery, Marie Pokorny, Donna Roberson, Mary Ann Rose, Melissa Schwartz, Elaine Scott, Kathleen Sitzman, and Melvin Swanson.

 

 

Nov 142013
 

Sometimes, the simple stuff works best.

This is true when it comes to the valuable practice of churches, nonprofits and community groups hosting health screenings. The advice? Keep it simple. Stick to the straightforward medical tests that change behaviors, and avoid more complicated screenings that lead to additional invasive procedures.

It’s common practice for churches and other community groups to host health screenings. These events help raise awareness for common health issues and often provide basic screenings at little to no cost. This type of community action is built around the promotion of good health habits. But, as recent news stories have covered, some advanced screenings should be left to doctors.

In some cases, tests are offered by for-profit companies and come with an advertising pitch for additional services. Doctors warn patients and community groups to always consider the source with these sorts of tests. In fact, the American Academy of Family Physicians maintains a list of tests to avoid. One potential problem is test  results showing things that – though abnormal – are completely benign. When an incorrect diagnosis is delivered, patients are then subjected to more invasive tests that can be more harmful. It takes the eye of a trained physician to tell the difference.

Dr. Jason Foltz, clinic director of family medicine at ECU, says people at community events should seek tests that focus on improved outcomes – tests such as blood pressure, Body Mass Index, glucose and cholesterol screenings. Proponents of these community screening events say that while doctors can preach to patients about the need to exercise or quit smoking, it sometimes takes the reality check of a positive test result to motivate a person to make a change.

These tests can also serve as guideposts for patients working on managing an existing condition. Just last week, the East Carolina Heart Institute at ECU hosted the 12th annual Winning with Diabetes conference. At this event, guests received blood pressure, vascular and kidney screenings.

In most cases, tests such as these are only the first steps in establishing a plan for better health, Foltz says. If anything alarming comes up during one of these simple screenings, you should visit your doctor so he or she can get you started on a program to correct the issue.

Follow ECU Health Sciences on Twitter to learn about future health screenings.

Nov 122013
 

In 1972, farmland covered the Pitt County countryside where the ECU health sciences campus is today.

It’s hard to imaclass1972_5x7gine the changes that have been made since the first medical school students entered ECU that same year.

Those 20 students knew they had to succeed their first year in Greenville, after which they would transfer to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It was the first step toward ECU having its own medical school.

The program helped fulfill the vision of Dr. Leo Jenkins, president of what was then East Carolina College, to build a medical school on campus. The first class was honored Nov. 8-9 by the ECU Medical and Health Sciences Foundation during ECU’s homecoming.

In 1965, a year after Jenkins began his campaign for a medical school, the North Carolina General Assembly authorized East Carolina to establish a school and provided planning funds for its development.

The first ECU medical faculty members started work in 1970, under the leadership of Dr. Wallace Wooles, a pharmacologist and the first dean. The following year, the General Assembly appropriated operating funds to allow enrollment in the one-year program.

In 1972, those first 20 students arrived, followed by two more classes of 20 each, all North Carolinians, in 1973 and 1974.

The thinking in Greenville, Raleigh and at the UNC General Administration offices in Chapel Hill was that ECU would grow to a two-year program, with expansion to a full four-year program later.

But in late 1974, plans changed. The next year, upon recommendation of the UNC Board of Governors, the General Assembly appropriated $43 million for initial construction of facilities and implementation of a four-year medical school at ECU. The charter class of 28 students enrolled in 1977. The school received full accreditation in February 1981, and the first class graduated that spring.

Today, the Brody School of Medicine at ECU enrolls 80 students with each class.

And the farmland has been replaced by a bustling health sciences campus made up of the Brody School of Medicine, the College of Nursing, the College of Allied Health Sciences, the School of Dental Medicine, the Laupus Health Sciences Library, the East Carolina Heart Institute, ECU Family Medicine and many other clinics taking care of patients.

“It is just fascinating to be here at a time when the school has clearly come into its own, and the earliest graduates are displaying all of the high qualities of the profession, in leadership and service, that were imagined so many years ago,” said Dr. Paul Cunningham, dean of the medical school.

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Dr. Evelyn McNeill, left, an original ECU medical faculty member, talks with Dr. James Parsons, a member of the first one-year medical class, during a gathering Nov. 8 at the Brody Medical Sciences Building. (Photo by Doug Boyd)