Sep 232014
 

Between 90,000 and 100,000 Americans are living with sickle cell disease today and approximately 125 infants are born with it every year in North Carolina – 25 of them in eastern North Carolina. September has been designated National Sickle Cell Awareness Month to increase awareness of their plight.

“Normal red blood cells are soft and round and can squeeze through tiny blood vessels. They carry oxygen to all parts of the body through a substance called hemoglobin,” said Dr. Beng Fuh, director of hematology and oncology for the Department of Pediatrics at the Brody School of Medicine.

Fuh said sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder that occurs predominantly in African-Americans. The red blood cells of people with the disease contain mostly abnormal hemoglobin, which causes their red blood cells to stiffen, bend into the shape of a sickle – a curved tool once used to harvest wheat – and sometimes block small blood vessels. Complications include anemia, tissue and organ damage, strokes and excruciating pain.

Because blood transfusions are one of the main treatments for these complications, ECU’s Sickle Cell Awareness Committee has partnered with the local American Red Cross to encourage eligible donors to give blood in September to help ensure a stable and diverse blood supply for people living with this disease.

ECU’s sickle cell disease program is one of the largest in the state with approximately 900 adult and pediatric patients.

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Sep 192014
 

The College of Allied Health Sciences is planning for two big events in October, the 44th Annual Meta M. Downes Speech-Language and Hearing Symposium and the Health Informatics Career and Internship Symposium.

Downes SymposiumThe Downes Symposium, sponsored by the East Carolina University Chapter of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association in cooperation with the ECU Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSDI) and Eastern AHEC, will enable learners to increase knowledge and skills needed to work with individuals with communication impairments and their families. The target audience includes speech-language pathologists, audiologists, students, and all interested others.

The theme for this year’s symposium is “Developing Evidence Based Treatment for Childhood Articulation Disorders and Vocabulary and Literacy Development in Latino Preschoolers” and will feature lectures from CSDI faculty members Lucia Mendez and Yolanda Holt. Along with development activities based on the symposium theme, those in attendance will also learn more about evidence-based practices, posing clinical questions, impact of variations in classification of disorders, and the link between vocabulary and literacy.

This annual professional development event will be held Oct. 17 from 8:30 a.m to 4:30 p.m.at the East Carolina Heart Institute with registration beginning at 8 a.m. For more information view the brochure.

The Health Informatics Career and Internship is a collaborative effort between Duke Center for Health Informatics, the Department of Health Service and Information Management at East Carolina University College of HI Flyer with Big LogosAllied Health Sciences, East Carolina University College of Business, the School of Library and Information Sciences at North Carolina Central University, the Carolina Health Informatics Program at University of North Carolina, and the Health Informatics Professional Science program at UNC-Charlotte.

Spear-headed by the Department of Health Services and Information Management at ECU (HSIM), this event will provide a venue for students and the general public to learn about practicum opportunities, the latest research trends and developments in health industries and job opportunities in the health informatics field. At the fair, students will also have the opportunity to meet and get to know potential employers.

Along with hearing from keynote speaker Lynne Thomas Gordan, chief executive officer of the American Health Information Management Association, those in attendance will also have the opportunity to participate in panel discussions on topics such as transitioning into health informatics, careers in health informatics and perspectives in health informatics. Panelists and moderators include faculty from all participating universities as well as employers and students.

The Health Informatics Career and Internship Symposium/Fair will be held Oct. 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with registration beginning at 9:30 a.m. in the East Carolina Heart Institute. for more information visit www.hicareerfair.com.

 

 

Sep 152014
 
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Student Donna Parker practices caring for an infant.

Neonatal nurses are charged with providing medical care for the smallest patients. Their jobs don’t end there though.

They are a source of calm for anxious parents as they teach moms and dads how to care for their little ones. They rock and soothe fussy babies when their families can’t be there. Neonatal nurses are practitioners whose skill and compassion touch and save lives every day.

In honor of National Neonatal Nurses Day, please join the East Carolina University College of Nursing in thanking our faculty, students, alumni, preceptors and all neonatal nurses for all they do!

Sep 112014
 

Hal Garland, executive director of the Golden Living Center, presents a check for $123,000 to Dr. Chelley Alexander, chair of the Department of Family Medicine at ECU’s Brody School of Medicine, to support the medical school’s Teaching Nursing Home Project. Pictured (from left) are Dr. Kenneth Steinweg, director of the geriatric division for the Department of Family Medicine; Garland; Alexander; Maria Knupp, family nurse practitioner with the project; and Dr. Renee Banaszak, the project’s director.Hal Garland, executive director of the Golden Living Center, presents a check for $123,000 to Dr. Chelley Alexander, chair of the Department of Family Medicine at ECU’s Brody School of Medicine, to support the medical school’s Teaching Nursing Home Project. Pictured (from left) are Dr. Kenneth Steinweg, director of the geriatric division for the Department of Family Medicine; Garland; Alexander; Maria Knupp, family nurse practitioner with the project; and Dr. Renee Banaszak, the project’s director.

Golden Living Center has donated  $123,000 to the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University to support a nursing home teaching project.

Brody’s Department of Family Medicine provides primary medical care for the residents of the local Golden Living Center on MacGregor Downs Road. The 72,000-square-foot facility houses 152 residents.

Hal Garland, executive director of the local Golden Living Center, presented the donation to Dr. Chelley Alexander, chair of the Department of Family Medicine at Brody; Dr. Kenneth Steinweg, director of the geriatrics division for the Department of Family Medicine; Maria Knupp, family nurse practitioner with the project; and Dr. Renee Banaszak, the project’s director.

The money will be used to support the instruction of resident physicians and geriatric fellows, faculty salaries and teaching materials. Medical, pharmacy and physician assistant students also go to Golden Living Center for clinical learning.

This year is the 33rd the center has supported the teaching project with cumulative support totaling more than $2.5 million.

Sep 092014
 
Representatives from the Greater Carolinas Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society visited Greenville to formally present ECU Physicians Neurology with recognition as a partner in MS care. Pictured during that event are, left to right, are Robert Frere, Londra Fleming, Shawnna Patterson, Donald L. Price Jr., Lovie Powers and Kaye Gooch.

Representatives from the Greater Carolinas Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society visited Greenville to formally present ECU Physicians Neurology with recognition as a partner in MS care. Pictured during that event are, left to right, are Robert Frere, Londra Fleming, Shawnna Patterson, Donald L. Price Jr., Lovie Powers and Kaye Gooch.

 

ECU Physicians Neurology, a leading provider of care for people living with multiple sclerosis in eastern North Carolina, has been recognized as an official “Partner in MS Care” by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

This formal designation honors the practice’s commitment to providing exceptional MS care, and to working closely with the society to address the challenges of people affected by the disease.

“We are so proud to partner with ECU Physicians Neurology to enhance coordinated care for the more than 800 people who live with MS in Pitt County and its surrounding areas,” said Kaye Gooch, executive vice president of programs and services for the Greater Carolinas Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

“In earning this recognition, ECU Physicians Neurology has demonstrated extraordinary leadership in MS care, making a tremendous impact on people affected by MS in their community and region,” she said.

Joseph Hodges, clinical administrative manager for the practice, said, “This designation is an important achievement for us because it endorses the level of care and professional commitment our physicians and staff provide our patients living with multiple sclerosis. It means we work in cooperation with the MS Society and with many local providers and hospitals to ensure patients receive the highest level of quality care available.

“Although multiple sclerosis is a chronic neurological disease, it impacts many body functions,” he added. “Thus, coordination with other physicians and caregivers is essential for patients to achieve a high level of functionality in their daily lives.”

MS is a chronic, unpredictable disease of the central nervous system in which the body’s immune system incorrectly attacks healthy tissue in the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves, disrupting the flow of information between the brain, spinal cord and other parts of the body.

Symptoms can range from relatively benign to disabling and include blurred vision, loss of balance, poor coordination, slurred speech, tremors, numbness, extreme fatigue, memory and concentration problems, paralysis and blindness. It’s estimated that more than 2.3 million people worldwide are affected by MS.

ECU Physicians Neurology is the largest and most comprehensive neurological medical practice in eastern North Carolina, with 10 physicians who care for patients with MS. One of them, Dr. Robert Frere, who is board-certified in neurology and psychiatry, holds a specialty certification in neurophysiology.

The practice provides MS diagnosis, neuropsychological or cognitive evaluation and treatment, ongoing MS medical and symptom management, pain management, and patient and family education. They also participate in MS clinical trials and research.

ECU Physicians Neurology is located at 2280 Hemby Lane in Greenville. For an appointment, call 252-752-4848, or toll-free 1-800-775-4840. For more information about the practice visit www.ecu.edu/ecuphysicians.