Nov 062014
 
Colleen Davis 150x150

Colleen K. Davis, DMD candidate 2018, has received a four-year scholarship from the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) to attend the ECU School of Dental Medicine.

The National Health Service Corps, a program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provides financial, professional and educational resources to medical, dental, and mental and behavioral health care providers who bring their skills to areas of the United States with limited access to health care.

Davis entered the ECU School of Dental Medicine in August. She graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a minor in Southern Studies. She completed two years of post-baccalaureate studies at Western Carolina University (WCU). While at WCU, she worked as a Career Graduate Fellow in the Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education. She also served as an advanced science and math learning consultant at Southwestern Community College’s Learning Assistance Center.

“I applied to the National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program because I was drawn to its mission of enhancing access to care. I believe that all communities need resources to help maintain oral health, and I want to provide those resources directly as a dental professional,” said Davis. “It is an honor to belong to the national network of health care providers who have been assisted by the program, and I consider it a privilege to represent the NHSC at the School of Dental Medicine.”

Davis grew up in Sylva, N.C., in Jackson County about 45 miles west of Asheville. Her father, Dr. Joe Davis, had a distinguished career as a public health dentist. Upon his retirement, he served as a chief dentist at the Jackson County public health clinic until its closing in the 2014. Sylva and many other communities in the Blue Ridge Mountains are considered health professional shortage areas.

“My hope is to complete a DMD at East Carolina and return to the Sylva area as a primary care dentist,” said Davis.

In June 2014, the ECU School of Dental Medicine opened a community service learning center in Sylva, where fourth-year students, post-doctoral residents, and faculty dentists help meet the oral health needs of Jackson and surrounding counties. Davis hopes to begin serving Sylva patients while completing a rotation at the dental center during her fourth-year.

National Health Service Corps scholarships provide tuition, fees, other educational costs and a living stipend, tax-free, for as many as 4 years in exchange for an equal number of years (2-year minimum) service at an approved facility in a high-need underserved area.

 

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Oct 232014
 

If there’s a common characteristic among attendees at the annual East Carolina University College of Nursing scholarship dinner, it’s a passion for helping others. The event brings together private donors who make the academic scholarships possible with the outstanding nursing students who receive their awards.

This year’s recipients were recognized at a ceremony held this fall at the Greenville Hilton Hotel. One hundred and four students received scholarships totaling $220,070 for the 2014-2015 academic year.

College of Nursing Dean Dr. Sylvia Brown thanked donors at the event for enabling students to pursue their dreams of becoming nurses or continuing their education.

“Please know your gifts make a huge difference in our students’ ability to study and meet the demands of the nursing curriculum,” she said.

Charles with 2014 Heather A. Purtee Nursing Scholarship recipient Amy Smith and CON Dean Dr. Sylvia Brown

Charles with 2014 Heather A. Purtee Nursing Scholarship recipient Amy Smith and CON Dean Dr. Sylvia Brown

Many of the scholarships awarded were created to memorialize individuals who have or had exceptional dedication to the field of nursing. The evening event represents a heartwarming opportunity for donors to meet the students who benefit from their financial gifts.

The Voice of the Pirates, Jeff Charles, and his wife, Debby make it a priority to attend the event each year. They created the Heather A. Purtee Nursing Scholarship, a fund named for their daughter who died in a car accident in 1992 while an ECU nursing student.

Charles explained that attending the event is a way to honor his daughter’s life and preserve her memory while at the same time seeing the students who receive the scholarship.

“The College of Nursing was very dear to (Heather),” he said. “We try to award the scholarship to someone who needs financial help. That’s been gratifying to us, that we’re helping these kids.”

To make a donation to a nursing scholarship, contact Major Gifts Officer Mark Alexander at alexanderma@ecu.edu or 252-744-2324.

Oct 162014
 

East Carolina University’s Medical & Health Sciences Foundation leadership is taking steps to better align their efforts with the aims of the overall health sciences enterprise.

Strategic planning for the foundation kicked off with a retreat in New Bern on Sept. 26-27. Though the university and the ECU Foundation have produced strategic plans with great success, this is the first time the Medical & Health Sciences Foundation has taken on such a project.

“Over the last two years, the (Medical & Health Sciences Foundation) board has become more engaged than ever before,” said Marcy W. Romary, interim president of the foundation. “We want to take the board to the next level by considering how we can be helpful and better engaged with the division.”

She added, “There’s also great competition for dollars today – in the community, in the state and in general. We need to respond to that.”

A preliminary draft of vision, mission, key objectives and strategies for the foundation is scheduled for presentation and revision in October. Carol Mabe, a member of the ECU Board of Trustees, is leading the planning process.

Oct 142014
 

Laupus Library is now offering assistance with systematic reviews (SRs).  Systematic reviews are a form of evidence-based practice with scientific investigations, pre-planned methods and an assembly of original studies as their “subjects.”  These investigations also use strategies to limit bias and random error.

The goal of systematic review is to provide evidence-based healthcare by integrating clinical expertise with the best clinical evidence from systematic research.

“Well-conducted systematic reviews systematically identify, select, assess, and synthesize the relevant body of research, and will help make clear what is known and not known about the potential benefits and harms of alternative drugs, devices, and other healthcare services. Thus, systematic reviews of comparative effectiveness research (CER) can be essential for clinicians who strive to integrate research findings into their daily practices, for patients to make well informed choices about their own care, for professional medical societies and other organizations that develop clinical practice guidelines (CPGs), and for payers and policy makers. SRs can also inform medical coverage decisions and be used to set agendas and funding for primary research by highlighting gaps in evidence.” (IOM p. 17.)

The Institute of Medicine recommends working with a librarian or other information specialist to plan out your search strategy and to peer-review the final strategy used.

For more information about this new service please visit: http://libguides.ecu.edu/systematicreviewservice or call 252-744-2219 or 252-744-2230.

References: Institute of Medicine, Eden, J., Laura A. Levit, Alfred O. Berg, & Morton, S. C. 2011. Finding What Works in Health Care: Standards for Systematic Reviews National Academies Press.

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Aug 262014
 
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Two ECU School of Dental Medicine faculty members, Dr. Ervin Davis and Dr. John Stockstill, and others have published a study, “Pain-related worry in patients with chronic orofacial pain,” in the July 2014 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association.

The researchers explored the prevalence of trait, general, and pain-related worry and the association of worry with high pain levels and other variables. The study found substantial levels of worry among patients and pain-related worry related to higher levels of pain, pain interference, and pain duration. Patients who have pain-related worries may overestimate the seriousness of having pain and think of dire consequences, even feeling their lives will be devastated by pain.

Clinicians treating patients with orofacial pain should assess pain-related worry to understand the effects of their patient’s specific worries on pain and functioning. In addition, patients with substantial worry may be helped by learning techniques and skills to reduce unproductive worry and catastrophizing and improve skills to cope with chronic pain, such as learning distraction techniques, using positive self talk, and continuing activities and interests in spite of pain.

Authors: C. Ervin Davis, MS, PhD; John W. Stockstill, DDS, MS; William D. Stanley, DDS, MS; Qiang Wu, PhD

Dr. Davis is the Unit Chief of Behavioral Sciences and clinical assistant professor in the Department of General Dentistry at the ECU School of Dental Medicine, East Carolina University. Contact: daviscl@ecu.edu.

Dr. Stockstill is Division Director of Orthodontics and clinical assistant professor in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics at the ECU School of Dental Medicine, East Carolina University. Contact: stockstillj@ecu.edu.

Audio Interview

To listen to an audio interview with Dr. Ervin Davis conducted by the Journal of the Canadian Dental Association, click here.

Full Text

To read the full text of the publication, click here.