McCrory budget to support Brody School of Medicine

 Brody School of Medicine  Comments Off on McCrory budget to support Brody School of Medicine
Mar 032015
 
Left to right, ECU Chancellor Steve Ballard, Dr. Wiley Nifong, Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance Rick Niswander, and Governor Pat McCrory

Left to right, ECU Chancellor Steve Ballard, Dr. Wiley Nifong, Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance Rick Niswander, and Governor Pat McCrory

Gov. Pat McCrory announced during his March 2 visit to the East Carolina Heart Institute at East Carolina University that his budget will allocate $16 million over the next two years to stabilize the financial challenges at the Brody School of Medicine.

“With those funds, my goal is for all of us to use the next two years to develop a long-term plan for a sustainable economic model that will allow the school to continue producing the doctors North Carolina needs for generations to come,” said McCrory.

Following a private meeting with ECU Chancellor Steve Ballard, Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance Rick Niswander and Brody administrators, the governor toured the heart center’s Robotics Lab and tried his hand at a robotic surgery simulation.

Also in attendance were Dr. Aldona Wos, secretary for the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, N.C. Sen. Louis Pate and N.C. Rep. Brian Brown.

N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory, left, and Dr. Wiley Nifong examine an interactive display illustrating that ECU has trained surgeons from 33 states in the use of the robotic da Vinci Surgical System.

At a press conference following the tour the governor said, “The Brody School has continued to deliver on the mission our state legislature set forth for it. Now we need to find a way to build upon those successes and expand them.

“I don’t see ECU as being only for eastern North Carolina. I see it as being for all of North Carolina,” he added.

Wos said, “It’s critical that we continue to fulfill the promise of 1974 – to provide access to care for the citizens of this region. The only way to do that is to have a viable medical community here that’s training the next generation of providers. The majority of physicians who train here, stay here. And I want to thank Brody for that.”

Ballard told McCrory, “I assure you that ECU will do our part. We’ll continue to spruce up the long-term plan we’ve been working on. It focuses on increasing efficiencies and continuing the excellent relationship we have with Vidant Medical Center, who is instrumental to our long-term plan.

“This funding means a flagship program of ours will be sustained,” he said, “and we’ll be able to continue impacting health care and economic development in the east.”

The governor’s recommended budget will soon be delivered to the legislature for consideration.

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Symposium marks progress in reshaping medical education

 Brody School of Medicine  Comments Off on Symposium marks progress in reshaping medical education
Feb 102015
 

When East CarolinREACH QI Symp Jan 2015a University’s Brody School of Medicine was awarded a $1 million grant by the American Medical Association in 2013 to help shape how future doctors are trained, AMA leaders cited the school’s reputation for bold innovation.

That spirit of innovation was the guest of honor at a symposium held January 21 at the East Carolina Heart Institute at ECU. The Quality Improvement Symposium showcased 25 quality improvement projects by faculty members across the health sciences. All are inaugural fellows in Brody’s Teachers of Quality Academy (TQA) who spent the past year pioneering ways to better meet the demands of a changing health care delivery system.

Brody established the academy shortly after being named one of only 11 medical schools to receive the five-year REACH (Redesigning Education to Accelerate Change in Healthcare) grant. The TQA is an eighteen-month faculty development program designed to prepare faculty to teach new curriculum in patient safety, quality improvement and population health in an environment of inter-professional, team-based care.

The symposium’s best oral presentation award went to Dr. Niti Armistead in the Department of Internal Medicine, for her work entitled, “Hypoglycemia and Harm Reduction through Education and Increased Use of Order Sets.” Honorable mentions for oral presentations were awarded to Dr. Jason Foltz, Department of Family Medicine, for his presentation, “Reduction in Primary Care No Show Rates,” and Dr. Megan Sippey, Department of Surgery, for her presentation, “Resident Education: Improving Surgical History and Physical Documentation.”

The best poster award went to Dr. Bryan Kitch, Department of Emergency Medicine, for his project, “Identification and Recognition of Boarding Psychiatric Patients Can Lead to Improved Medication Reconciliation.” Dr. Harry Adams, formerly in the Department of Internal Medicine and now with the Office of Medical Education, received honorable mention for his poster, “Integration of Pathology and Pharmacology Learning Issues into the Clinically Based Seminars in the M2 Introduction to Medicine Course.”

The academy has produced 20 new curricular components and student experiences that are already being infused into medical, allied health and nursing education across ECU.

To learn more about the REACH Initiative, visit www.ecu.edu/reach/.

 

 

Photography Exhibit Coming Soon to Laupus

 Brody School of Medicine, Laupus Library  Comments Off on Photography Exhibit Coming Soon to Laupus
Jan 272015
 
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An opening reception for a new photography exhibit in Laupus Library will be held 4:30-6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 17 in the library’s fourth floor gallery.

AJ Sours, physician assistant for the department of Cardiovascular Sciences at the East Carolina Heart Institute will present “Roadside Attractions: Stop and Smell the Roses.” The exhibit will be featured in the library’s Art as Avocation series for the spring semester.

Sours will showcase a collection of photography that captures the often overlooked beauty of nature. “While growing up in upstate NY, my father was a photographer for the local penny-saver newspaper, said Sours.” “He always had his camera close by for any Kodak moment that may have presented itself. I learned that very often, a Kodak moment will find you before you can find it no matter where you look. One has to be ready for it and expect it when it is least expected.”

The exhibit will be on display beginning February 17 through May 8. Visitors can view the exhibit located on the fourth floor of Laupus Library during normal operating hours posted at www.ecu.edu/laupuslibrary or call 252-744-2219.

Go to the Art as Avocation webpage at www.ecu.edu/laupuslibrary/events/artasavocation/ to learn more about the artist or future exhibitions.

For more information, call Kelly Rogers Dilda at 252-744-2232 or e-mail rogerske@ecu.edu.

Online patient portal takes health care everywhere

 Brody School of Medicine  Comments Off on Online patient portal takes health care everywhere
Jan 062015
 

MyChart-phoneAll ECU Physicians clinics are now offering patients access to their own electronic health records through a secure online patient portal called MyChart.

Once enrolled, patients can use any computer, tablet or smartphone with Internet access to securely view their test results or appointment notes, send non-urgent messages to their health care providers, request medication refills or appointments and review their active problem or medication list.

“MyChart allows patients to stay connected to their providers and to get better control of their own health,” said Dr. Tommy Ellis, chief medical information officer for ECU Physicians. “It’s a safe, easy, convenient way for patients and their families to keep tabs on all aspects of their health care. Everything’s all in one place, up-to-date and at their fingertips all the time, no matter where they are.”

Ellis said MyChart’s rollout is already contributing to better health outcomes for ECU Physicians patients, because patients who are actively involved in their own health care are more likely to comply with their doctors’ recommendations.

“When a patient can easily communicate personal health information and questions to their provider, it also helps the health care team diagnose them more accurately and develop the best care plan possible for that patient,” he said.

Ellis noted that the patient portal can also help patients avoid unnecessary or duplicate tests, procedures or immunizations when patients seek care from multiple providers.

A proxy option enables family members to monitor health information for their children or aging parents.

Dr. John Stockstill, a professor in ECU’s School of Dental Medicine, said MyChart “takes the guesswork out of being a patient.

“It keeps the uncertainties from piling up,” he said. “I can log into my medical record anytime and review what my doctor has said regarding me, how I should be taking my medications, what my medicines are supposed to be doing, when my appointments are, what my lab results are, what procedures or tests my doctor has recommended for me to stay healthy.”

Stockstill said he especially values the quick response he gets from his medical providers when he submits requests or questions through MyChart – typically less than 48 hours.

“MyChart is very patient-friendly,” he said, “but it’s not generic. It’s very personal and individual.”

Flu vaccination important despite mutated virus

 Brody School of Medicine  Comments Off on Flu vaccination important despite mutated virus
Dec 162014
 

flu4583-1Recent news about the emergence of a mutated flu virus should serve as a wakeup call to those who haven’t gotten a flu vaccination this year, according to Dr. Paul Cook, infectious diseases specialist at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University. And despite speculation that the current vaccine may not protect against this new virus, he says those who have gotten vaccinated already shouldn’t worry that it was for naught.

The Centers for Disease Control recently reported that over half of the H3N2, or Influenza A, virus samples they’ve tested thus far this season were found to be antigenetically different – or “drifted” – from the virus used in this year’s vaccine. Because this H3 virus seems to be dominating the current flu scene, the CDC is predicting a heavier flu season, with more hospitalizations and deaths than in past years.

“This happens all the time with influenza viruses; it’s nothing new,” says Cook. “The mutated virus was recognized back in the spring, but by then this year’s vaccine had already been developed and was being manufactured. Next year’s vaccine will take the mutated H3N2 into effect.”

But even with the prospect of lower protection rates, Cook says vaccination is still the best protection against the flu, and especially important for those at high risk for serious complications from it, like pregnant women, the elderly and people whose immune systems are compromised due to HIV or cancer.

“The current vaccine still covers H1N1 effectively, as well as influenza B, and those viruses are still out there,” he said. “We think it may even be providing some immunity against the mutated virus. Besides, the vaccine itself is pretty innocuous.”

Cook urges people to visit the doctor early if they begin experiencing symptoms like fever, sore throat, cough or body aches. And he echoes the CDC’s recommendation for primary care providers to be vigilant about prescribing antiviral medications like Tamiflu and Relenza as soon as flu is suspected. These medications can lessen the duration and severity of the illness when started within 48 hours of symptom onset.