ECU libraries get an upgrade – and a price cut

 Laupus Library  Comments Off on ECU libraries get an upgrade – and a price cut
Jan 242014

ECU students and faculty are about to have 5.5 million more papers to read. (Well, if they want to.)

After an extensive evaluation period, Laupus and Joyner libraries have selected Scopus as our new cross-campus research database. The platform hosts 21,000 peer-reviewed journals, trade publications and book series; 5.5 million conference papers; and scholarly articles from more than 3,850 journals and publishers. And with more collections being added regularly, these numbers continue to grow each day.  

Scopus will replace our current provider, Web of Science, after a thorough comparison showed that Scopus better meets the research needs of our growing ECU community. What’s more, the transition will produce cost savings for our library departments, which will help us absorb budget cuts more independently.  

We are excited to soon bring Scopus – the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed research literature in the fields of science, technology, medicine, social sciences and Arts & Humanities – to both the Central and Health Sciences campuses. It’s another example of our library team’s commitment to providing the best technology and resources for the ECU community.

ECU researchers will retain access to the Web of Science through June 30. Following this date, researchers will lose all access to the Web of Science, but they will retain access to Journal Citation Reports and other resources hosted on the Web of Knowledge platform.

For questions or assistance on making the transition to Scopus, please contact an ECU librarian at

–Kelly R. Dilda
Laupus Library


REACH program will transform medical school curriculum

 Brody School of Medicine  Comments Off on REACH program will transform medical school curriculum
Jan 212014

The REACH (Redesigning Education and Accelerating Change in Healthcare) Initiative, at the Brody School of Medicine, is thrilled to welcome its inaugural class of the Teachers of Quality Academy professional development program.

Health systems today need clinicians skilled in patient safety, quality improvement and systems-based practice. Additionally, this expertise must be developed in graduates who embody the highest values of professionalism and can thrive in an environment of interprofessional, team-based care.

The REACH program at the Brody School of Medicine is designed to close this substantial gap between today’s trainees and tomorrow’s health care practitioners.

A kick off banquet was held Jan. 16 for the 37 new TQA faculty, their sponsors, and medical school and health system leaders. TQA faculty represent all clinical departments in the BSOM, as well as faculty from the College of Nursing and College of Allied Health Sciences.

The TQA curriculum, focused on patient safety, quality improvement, team-based care and population health, as well as educational development for teaching these competencies, will begin online modules and independent reading in January. Our first of six two-day learning sessions begins in March, at which time we anticipate having thought leaders from the American Medical Association on site to champion this work and educate our faculty. During the summer, the TQA cohort will begin work on a Credential in Medical Education with ECU’s College of Education, which is where the real curriculum development for our students will begin.

We are excited to collaborate with the Institute of Healthcare Improvement in the development and administration of a pre-test/post-test for both our TQA faculty and students, based on the 16 online modules to complete the Open School Certificate, which all TQA faculty and students will complete. Student curricular pieces are being designed, implemented, and refined with current students with plans for full implementation of innovative educational strategies to be offered throughout the four years of the medical school curriculum beginning with our 2014 matriculants.

While this project was not originally designed as an interprofessional cohort of faculty and students, we are excited that leaders from the Division of Health Sciences have supported the transformation of this project into an interprofessional program, which will model the transformation needed in health care. Our health system is engaged, at the level of the Vidant Health CEO, Vidant Medical Center President, Chief Medical Officers from both Vidant Health and Vidant Medical Center and the Vidant Health Chief Quality Officer. Visit to find out more about this exciting initiative!

luan lawsonLuan Lawson, MD, MAEd
Assistant Dean of Curriculum,
Assessment and Clinical Affairs
Brody School of Medicine

Department of Addictions & Rehabilitation Studies continues to aid military personnel and families

 College of Allied Health Sciences  Comments Off on Department of Addictions & Rehabilitation Studies continues to aid military personnel and families
Jan 172014

The College of Allied Health Science is adding a fourth certificate to the Department of Addictions and Rehabilitation Studies with the new certificate in military and trauma counseling (MTC) program.

The program will prepare graduate students enrolled in counselor education programs to work effectively with the psychosocial and mental health needs of military personnel, veterans, disabled veterans, and their families. Students will also acquire the knowledge and skills to work effectively with those who have experienced civilian trauma.

Makr Stebnicki, professor in the Department of Addictions & Rehabilitation Studies and coordinator of the new MTC certificate

Mark Stebnicki, professor in the Department of Addictions & Rehabilitation Studies and coordinator of the new MTC certificate

“More than two million American troops have deployed to the Middle East since September 11, 2001 in support of the Global War on Terror,” said Dr. Mark Stebnicki, professor and Coordinator of the Military and Trauma Counseling Certificate, “More servicemen and women are surviving combat injuries than ever before due to improved battlefield medicine, post-operative medical technology, and better body armor. Many have experienced catastrophic physical injuries/disabilities (i.e., traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, and amputations) and serious mental health concerns (i.e., post traumatic stress, substance abuse, and behavioral addictions).”

Stebnicki added that transitioning from active duty to civilian life requires a unique understanding of the medical, physical, psychological, and career needs of the individual service member, as well as family members, and significant others. The new certificate will provide graduates with the skills needed to aid military personnel and veterans with that transition.

“There are unique differences in counseling persons in community mental health versus military and veteran settings,” said Stebnicki, “Because of these differences, the MTC program specializes in training students how to work competently in the diagnosis, therapeutic interventions, and rehabilitation treatment planning of service men and women who are transitioning from active duty to civilian life.”

Providing services such as these for military personnel is a large focus in the department. Dr. Paul Toriello, the Department of Addictions and Rehabilitation Services chair secured an $828,956 grant from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services to help equip the Operation Re-Entry van with satellite communication and new telehealth technology that provides clinical care long-distance.

(L-R) Jim Menke, project manager for Operation Re-entry North Carolina, and Dr. Paul Toriello, chair of the ECU Department of Addictions and Rehabilitation Studies, worked together on the grant project that equipped the Operation Re-entry van with technology to serve veterans and their families in their own communities. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

(L-R) Jim Menke, project manager for Operation Re-entry North Carolina, and Dr. Paul Toriello, chair of the ECU Department of Addictions and Rehabilitation Studies, worked together on the grant project that equipped the Operation Re-entry van with technology to serve veterans and their families in their own communities. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

With the new equipment, the Operation Re-Entry van can deliver medical, psychiatric and behavioral health services in an ambulatory unit that can travel to veterans and their families instead of making them travel for services.

To be eligible for the MTC certificate program students must be admitted by the Graduate School as a degree or certificate student and meet the minimum admission criteria including a letter of intent, a GPA of 2.7, and consent of the MTC Program Coordinator.

The courses that are required with the MTC certificate program are:

REHB 6000– Medical and Psychosocial Aspects of Disability (3): Functional capacities of individuals with disabilities, impact of disability on individual, and personal and social adjustment to life.

REHB 6100– Occupational Analysis and Career Counseling (3): Current occupational, vocational, career counseling, and career development theories and practices related to persons with and without disabilities across the life-span.

REHB 6375– Military and Trauma Counseling (3): Focuses on providing assessment, counseling, rehabilitation, and transitional services to individuals and families in the military, veterans, and/or trauma survivors.

Additionally, students are required to complete one three (3) semester hour elective approved by the MTC certificate program Coordinator.

For more information contact Dr. Mark Stebnicki, MTC program coordinator-email:, telephone: 252.744.6295. For more extensive information on the Department of Addictions and Rehabilitation visit our website at .

ECU’s online graduate nursing program ranks near the top in nation

 College of Nursing  Comments Off on ECU’s online graduate nursing program ranks near the top in nation
Jan 142014

Dr. Sylvia T. Brown

East Carolina University’s graduate program in nursing ranks among the nation’s best in online education according to a recent listing by U.S. News & World Report.

The ECU College of Nursing ranked fifth out of 96 online masters of nursing programs in the country.

U.S. News ranked online master’s degree programs in business, computer information technology, education, engineering and nursing on criteria including student engagement, faculty credentials and training, admissions selectivity, student services and technology and program ratings by peer institutions.

Nursing has been a leader in distance education on campus and since 2004 has been recognized by U.S. News as one of the largest distance education programs in the country. The current rankings assess quality categories over size.

“Our programs offer today’s working nurse the ability to pursue advanced education while remaining in the much-needed workforce,” said Dr. Sylvia Brown, dean of the ECU College of Nursing. “Our administrators, faculty and staff are committed to preparing nursing professionals who are making a positive impact on the health care of individuals in our region and around the world.”

Nursing offers seven online options in the master’s of science nursing program: adult-gerontology nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, family nurse practitioner, neonatal nurse practitioner, nursing education, nursing leadership and nurse midwifery. ECU offers the only nurse midwifery curriculum in North Carolina. 

Of 723 total students enrolled in the MSN program in the 2012-2013 academic year, 628 – or 86.9 percent – were distance education students.

One way in which the College of Nursing is using technology to enhance education is a web-based Virtual Community Clinic Learning Environment, a format similar to the popular Second Life virtual world, which creates case-based, health care scenarios for students to solve.

This is the second year that U.S. News has compiled numeric rankings on the overall quality of distance education programs. Nursing ranked 10th last year. The complete listing can be viewed at Highlights also will appear in the magazine’s “Best Graduate Schools 2015” and “Best Colleges 2015” printed guidebooks.


Giving the gift of health in 2014

 Brody School of Medicine  Comments Off on Giving the gift of health in 2014
Jan 032014
kidneys dec. 2013

Dr. Robert Harland of the Brody School of Medicine, center, poses with participants in the kidney donor exchange, left to right, Sherrie Hoopes of Jacksonville, Leslie Smith of Bevinsville, Ky., Jamaal Peele and his mother, Brenda Peele, both of Greenville, during a press event Dec. 30 at Vidant Medical Center. Photo by Jeannine Manning Hutson

The new year often brings resolutions for better health. Losing weight or eating healthy foods may be No. 1 on many lists, but organ donation can be another way to make a difference.

A four-person kidney transplant in Greenville has given two people hope in the new year and two more the satisfaction of knowing they helped save a life.

Physicians from the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University and a local private practice participated in the transplants, which took place Dec. 16 at Vidant Medical Center.

Dr. Robert Harland, professor and chief of surgical immunology and transplantation at ECU and chief of transplant surgery at VMC, said the procedures were successful and allowed two of the hospital’s wait list patients to receive living donor kidneys instead of potentially waiting years for a kidney from a deceased donor.

Jamal Peele of Greenville and Leslie Smith of Bevinsville, Ky., each had planned to donate one of their healthy kidneys to relatives, but were not good matches. They were good matches, however, for each other’s relatives.

Thus, Peele donated to Smith’s aunt, Sherrie Hoopes of Jacksonville. Smith donated to Peele’s mother, Brenda Peele of Greenville.

The donors met the recipients for the first time Dec. 30 and all are doing well. Both donors underwent their procedures laparoscopically, which requires smaller incisions and often results in a quicker recovery and shorter hospital stay. The recipients are off dialysis and have normal kidney function.

The kidney exchange was the second performed by the transplant program at ECU and VMC, following a six-person exchange in 2011. Harland estimates that about 500 paired exchange kidney transplants were performed in the United States in 2013, representing fewer than 10 percent of the approximately 6,000 living donor kidney transplants performed. However, this transplant option has seen rapid growth over the past five years. The first paired kidney exchanges were performed in the United States in 2000.

In addition to maintaining an internal paired exchange list, patients listed at VMC have the option of being listed for a nationwide exchange list.

More than 434 eastern North Carolinians are awaiting a kidney transplant at VMC, according to according to Jennifer Thompson, transplant coordinator with Vidant Health. In 2013, doctors performed 94 kidney transplants, up from 88 in 2012.

The typical length of time between joining the Vidant/ECU waiting list and receiving a transplant is between 36 and 60 months, Thompson said.

Thompson estimated more than 3,000 people are on dialysis in the 29-county area served by Vidant Health.

Clearly there is a need for more organ donors. Several observances related to organ donation kick off next month. Feb. 14 is National Donor Day, March is National Kidney Month and March 14 is World Kidney Day. April is Donate Life Month. Click the links to learn more.

In addition to Harland, the following experts were involved in the kidney transplant last month:

–Dr. Claire Morgan (ECU Physicians)

–Dr. Carl Haisch (ECU Physicians)

–Dr. Reginald Obi (ECU Physicians)

–Dr. Heather Jones (Eastern Nephrology Associates)

–Dr. Kristel McLawhorn (Eastern Nephrology Associates)

–Dr. Scott Kendrick (Eastern Nephrology Associates)

–Dr. Lorita Rebellato (ECU associate professor of pathology and laboratory medicine director of histocompatibility lab)

For more information about kidney transplants at ECU and VMC, call 252-744-2620.