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 302014
 

CRAVENAs the holiday season approaches, many of us look forward to fun events full of family, friends and food. However, those who are working to achieve or maintain a healthy weight may also worry about gaining extra pounds amidst the celebration.

Registered dietitian nutritionist Kay Craven of ECU’s Department of Family Medicine points out a few simple strategies that can curb weight gain during all the festivities.

  • Plan ahead. When you enter a party, take a few minutes to survey the foods that are available before you fill your plate. Decide which ones are most appealing to you and choose small portions of those. Rather than trying it all, take the time to savor and enjoy the foods you chose. Then move away from the food and focus on the friends and fun.
  • Don’t skip meals. Many people are tempted to skip lunch in order to splurge in the evening. But arriving at a party with an empty stomach often increases the temptation to overindulge. Instead, eat a small meal or snack such as vegetable sticks, fresh fruit, low fat yogurt or cheese, or a few nuts prior to the party. Don’t skip breakfast, either; research shows that will only lead you to consume more calories later in the day.
  • Choose vegetables first. Holiday meals are usually large and involve multiple helpings. Opting for vegetables and salad with low fat dressing first can fill you up early and stave off the desire for large portions of higher calorie meats and desserts.
  • Slow down. Mom was right. Eating slowly gives your brain timeto register how full you really are. Wait ten minutes to evaluate your hunger before going back for seconds.
  • Bring a healthy dish. Many celebrations are potluck. If you offer to bring something on the lighter side, you know a healthy option will be available. And other guests willprobably thank you.
  • Keep moving. Consider wearing a pedometer and set goals – or have a contest between family members – to increase your steps during the holidays. Take a walk with family members during gatherings. Or plan outdoor games with the kids.

 

Oct 282014
 

pink-ribbon-hi

It is estimated by the American Cancer Society that 235,030 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in the United States in 2014 and that 40,430 deaths will occur as a result of breast cancer.  With the exception of skin cancer, breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women.  United States mortality data shows a steady decrease in death rates for breast cancer since 1989.  This is mostly likely a result of improved early detection and treatment. 

Since breast cancer usually produces no symptoms in the early stages, the key to early detection is having regular breast exams and mammograms.  With early detection treatment options are increased.  Every woman should discuss appropriate screening options depending on their individual risk factors.

Brody School of Medicine’s talented and dedicated physicians treat patients at Leo W. Jenkins Cancer Center, an East Carolina University and Vidant Health Collaboration in Cancer Care. Specialties include gynecologic oncology, hematology oncology and surgical oncology. To learn more about the Leo W. Jenkins Cancer Center visit www.leowjenkinscancercenter.com.

To learn more about breast cancer prevention, detection and treatment visit on-line the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society.

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.