Jun 272014
 

North Carolina’s Commission for Public Health recently approved a mandate for incoming seventh graders to be vaccinated against meningitis – an infection of the brain or spinal cord – and other meningococcal diseases beginning July 2015. The mandate also includes an additional booster for incoming high school seniors beginning July 2020.

Barring lack of approval by the state’s Rules Review Commission later this month, the new policies will align North Carolina’s policy with recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the national Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

Meningococcal disease is caused by a certain type of bacteria that infects the brain, spinal cord, bloodstream or lungs. Although it’s considered rare – affecting about 3,000 people nationwide every year – it is potentially fatal and extremely expensive to treat.

According to information published by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, 10 to 15 percent of those who contract a meningococcal disease die from it. Twenty percent of survivors suffer debilitating long-term effects, including brain damage.

Meningococcal diseases that would be prevented by the vaccine tend to be more prevalent in the adolescent population, but only about half of North Carolina’s teens are vaccinated against them.

The following physicians in East Carolina University’s Department of Pediatrics are experts on adolescent health issues and the importance of immunizations for this population: Dr. Roytesa Savage, director of ECU’s Pediatric Outpatient Center and associate professor of pediatrics; Dr. David Holder, clinical associate professor for pediatrics; and Dr. Sharon Mangan, clinical associate professor of pediatrics.

In addition, the following ECU physicians serve on the North Carolina Immunization Advisory Committee: Dr. Karin Hillenbrand, associate professor for pediatrics and director of ECU’s pediatric residency program; and Dr. Kristina Simeonsson, associate professor for pediatrics and public health.

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Jun 242014
 

College of Allied Health Sciences Dean Stephen Thomas, on behalf of East Carolina University, received a Navy Employer Support Certificate of Appreciation from Chief of Navy Reserve Vice Adm. Robin Braun during a ceremony at Joint Expeditionary Base (JEB) Little Creek in Norfolk, Va. on June 20.

“I am truly honored to have been nominated for this reserve employer recognition by Pat Frede, our director of development and a proud Navy Veteran and Reservist. It was a privilege to tour the base in Norfolk and witness the demonstrations mostly by reservists and I am grateful to have experienced it.  This recognition is another example, in addition to the Freedom Award received by Chancellor Steve Ballard in 2010, of how ECU continues to remain a military friendly campus,” said Dr. Thomas.

(L-R) Chief of Navy Reserve Vice Adm. Robin Braun with Dr. Thomas' wife, Melodie and Dr. Stephen Thomas after presenting East Carolina University with the Navy Employer Support Certificate of Appreciation. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Hannah Brim/Released)

(L-R) Chief of Navy Reserve Vice Adm. Robin Braun with Dr. Thomas’ wife, Melodie and Dr. Stephen Thomas after presenting East Carolina University with the Navy Employer Support Certificate of Appreciation. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Hannah Brim/Released)

The certificate is presented by the Chief of Navy Reserve annually to recognize selected civilian employers of Navy Reserve Sailors, as nominated by their own citizen-Sailor employees. Selected employers were nominated by their Navy Reserve Sailor employees.

“Employer support is critical to the Navy Reserve mission. Since 9/11, more than 70,000 Reserve Sailors have been mobilized and served around the world – many for multiple tours. In fact, in any given month nearly 25% of our Navy Reserve force is deployed globally. The magnitude of support for the employee by the employer is truly remarkable,” said Vice Adm. Robin R. Braun, Chief of Navy Reserve. “This is our opportunity to thank these outstanding patriots for their support.”

At the beginning of the day, the Chief of Navy Reserve met with Dr. Thomas and 39 other civilian employers of Navy Reserve Sailors from across the nation and presented them with a Certificate of Appreciation for their dedication and support of employees who serve in the Navy Reserve, ensuring that their Sailors are “Always Ready. Anytime, Anywhere.”

Navy Seal Demonstration

Reserve SEAL Team 18 provides a demonstration for the employers recognized June 20 in Norfolk.

Throughout the one-day event employers had the opportunity to get a close up and personal look at the Naval Expeditionary Combat Command, a fast-attack submarine at Submarine Force Atlantic, the USS Iwo Jima (LHD-7) at Naval Station Norfolk, a static display of aircraft from Naval Air Force Reserve, and witness a demonstration by Reserve SEAL Team 18.

Companies invited to this year’s event were nominated by their employees who are also Navy Reserve Sailors. Guests included CEOs, company owners and senior executives from small, medium and large companies who encourage company leadership to promote a culture of pride and recognition in their employees’ service, value their Reserve Sailor/employee and support their service, even when called to duty on short notice, and maintain contact with the Reserve Sailor and their family members when they are on duty for an extended period of time.

“Employers are a key facet of every Reserve Sailor’s life. The service each Sailor provides to the fleet is achieved in no small part due to employer support,” said Braun. “Employer support of our Reserve and Guard forces not only means peace and freedom abroad – it means peace and freedom here at home. It can never be taken for granted. They are critical not just to our readiness, but also to our recruiting, retention and esprit de corps.”

The Navy Employer Recognition Event is an annual Navy familiarization day sponsored by the Chief of Navy Reserve to recognize employers who provide their Reserve Sailors with superior support, and provide them an opportunity to see first-hand what Reserve Sailors do every day. Selected employers are chosen from nominations submitted by their Reserve Sailor employees.

Jun 202014
 

Labor and delivery nurses care for women during one of life’s most transformative events. For Dorothy “Dot” Marshall Cummings, who guided hundreds of women through childbirth during her career, working with new mothers and babies was more than a job. It was her passion.

Cummings worked as a labor and delivery nurse for nearly four decades in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. A mother of six, she was known among colleagues for her eagerness to teach new moms how to care for their babies and for her commitment to mentoring young nurses.

Cummings, second from right in the front row, in her nursing class photo.

Cummings, second from right in the front row, in her nursing class photo.

“She adored children,” said her daughter, Sue Collier (BSN ’81, MSN ’91), who explained that even as she approached the end of her life at age 84, her mom drew others to her with the same engaging personality that so many of her patients loved.

To honor her mother’s lifelong commitment to nursing, Collier created the Dorothy Marshall Cummings Nursing Honors Scholarship. The new award will support full-time students who are enrolled in both the East Carolina University College of Nursing and the ECU Honors College. Students considered for the scholarship must, like Cummings, have an interest in maternal and child health care.

The award is one of two College of Nursing honors scholarships established this year. ECU alumni James and Selba Morris Harris of Alpharetta, Georgia, recently established the James and Selba Harris Honors Scholarship. That scholarship honors Selba Harris (BSN ’64), who graduated as part of the College of Nursing’s first class.

“It is the generosity of alumni like these that helps make the dream of becoming a nurse possible for our students,” said College of Nursing Dean Dr. Sylvia Brown. “We are so appreciative of their willingness to give back to their alma mater.”

It’s fitting that a nursing honors scholarship is named after Cummings, who embodied nursing’s motto of “service” long past retirement and years after learning she had Alzheimer’s disease. As a long-term resident at Golden LivingCenter in Greenville, she endeared herself to staff and other residents with her concern for the well being of others.

“If there was a resident who was upset across the room, she would try to get to them and comfort them,” said Tracy Taft, who cared for Cummings as an aide at Golden Living Center. “She still tried to help, even it was just holding your hand. That was her heart, that was the kind of person Dot was.”

Cummings’ love for nursing was so great that it inspired others to pursue it as a profession. Witnessing her dedication to helping others inspired Taft to go back to school and become a registered nurse.

“I knew she was a nurse and I wanted to give my life to helping take care of people, even if it wasn’t her,” she said.

Sue Collier

Sue Collier

Collier herself was inspired by her mother to become a nurse, dreaming of entering the profession from the time she was a little girl. Today the ECU College of Nursing graduate serves as a performance improvement specialist for patient-family engagement with the NC Quality Center at the North Carolina Hospital Association.

The scholarship is a way of building the future of the profession that has been so important to both Collier and her mother.

“A scholarship like this can be the difference between someone not finishing the program or not going to school and becoming a future nurse,” she said, urging others with the means to join her giving efforts.

And the fact that the scholarship honors a wonderful woman at the same time? It doesn’t get much better than that for Collier.

“I think the greatest way to remember someone is to help someone else,” she said.

If you are interested in contributing to this scholarship or setting up your own, please contact Mark Alexander at alexanderma@ecu.edu or 252-744-2324.

Jun 102014
 

Sharon Justice, PhD“They just don’t get it!” Have you ever caught yourself thinking this? School and workplaces today are, quite a mix, not only of cultures and experiences, but of generations.  And if it isn’t already complicated enough, the Digital Natives are entering high school this year, and for the first time will enter the workplace, filling volunteer, seasonal and part-time roles.  

Brody School of Medicine faculty participating in the INSPRE program (INclusion, Support, Professional development, Retention, Enrichment) recently attended a leadership development session led by East Carolina’s Sharon Justice, teaching instructor in the College of Business.  

The INSPRE program is cosponsored by the Vice Chairs of Certificate in Medical Education Program and a mentoring committee for each participant.  INSPRE workshop sessions are held every other year to address peer mentoring and leadership development in an effort to ensure recruitment and retention of outstanding faculty members that are reflective of the patients and medical learners they serve.

Participants learned that each generation is defined by common experiences, shared values and historical events. Each assumes that the next generation:

  • Wants what they have
  • Shares their definition of “success”
  • Believes the subsequent generations should “pay their dues” the same waygenerations
  • Has it much easier

When we stop to evaluate, we realize these assumptions can lead to misunderstandings and potential conflicts.  What can we do to communicate and work together better?

The most effective way to work in a multi-generational work place starts with observation; take time to understand generational differences.  What is common to the 20 year old (technology, apps, widgets) can be a foreign language to a WWII.  Different doesn’t mean wrong or bad, it’s just different.  Be open to different perspectives.

 Understanding Generations

 

WWII

Boomer

Gen X

Millennial

Assets

Experience, Knowledge, Focus, Dedication

Service, Dedication, Team, Knowledge

Adaptability, Tech knowledge, Independence, creativity, willingness to buck the system

Collaboration, Optimism, Multi-task, Tech Savvy

Liabilities

Reluctance to Buck the system, Dislike conflict, Reticent when disagree

Dislike conflict, reluctant to go against peers, Process before result, Not always budget minded

Skeptical, Distrust authority/institutions

Need supervision and structure, Inexperience, especially with people

Communication

Memos, letters

Phone, in person

Voice mail, Email

Instant Msg, Blog, Text, Email

Rewards

Tangible symbols of loyalty (certificates, etc.)

Promotion, personal recognition

Free time, New resources, results, certifications

Awards, Certificates, Tangible evidence of credibility

 

Jun 062014
 

Lord Voldemort’s plot to steal the Philosopher’s stone.  The basilick.  Befriending Dragons.  Unicorns.  The Centaur Firenze. Was it all J.K. Rowling’s fantasy – or is a bit of history behind the magic of Harry Potter?

On June 9, Laupus Library opens an exciting exhibit that begs the question. “Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine” will explore the world of Harry Potter and the hocus-pocus of the Renaissance era that inspired it.

“In 1997, British author J.K. Rowling introduced the world to Harry Potter and a literary phenomenon was born.  Although a fantasy story, the magic in the Harry Potter books is partially based on Renaissance traditions that played an important role in the development of Western science and medicine.

The exhibit will display and explore potions, monsters, herbology, magical creatures, fantastic beasts and immortality. It will also feature the works of Renaissance-era science, magic and medicine figures like Nicolas Flamel, Konrad Genser and Agrippa von Nettesheim.”

Laupus extends an invitation to everyone – especially Harry Potter fans.  Attendees are encouraged to dress in Harry Potter character attire. The exhibit opens on June 9 at 8:00 a.m. and remains free and open to the public through July 19.

The exhibition was developed and produced by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. For more information: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/hmd/about/exhibition/harrypotter-bookinfo.html.

Kelly R. Dilda
Public Communications Specialist
Laupus Library