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




REACH program will transform medical school curriculum

 Brody School of Medicine  Comments Off on REACH program will transform medical school curriculum
Jan 212014

The REACH (Redesigning Education and Accelerating Change in Healthcare) Initiative, at the Brody School of Medicine, is thrilled to welcome its inaugural class of the Teachers of Quality Academy professional development program.

Health systems today need clinicians skilled in patient safety, quality improvement and systems-based practice. Additionally, this expertise must be developed in graduates who embody the highest values of professionalism and can thrive in an environment of interprofessional, team-based care.

The REACH program at the Brody School of Medicine is designed to close this substantial gap between today’s trainees and tomorrow’s health care practitioners.

A kick off banquet was held Jan. 16 for the 37 new TQA faculty, their sponsors, and medical school and health system leaders. TQA faculty represent all clinical departments in the BSOM, as well as faculty from the College of Nursing and College of Allied Health Sciences.

The TQA curriculum, focused on patient safety, quality improvement, team-based care and population health, as well as educational development for teaching these competencies, will begin online modules and independent reading in January. Our first of six two-day learning sessions begins in March, at which time we anticipate having thought leaders from the American Medical Association on site to champion this work and educate our faculty. During the summer, the TQA cohort will begin work on a Credential in Medical Education with ECU’s College of Education, which is where the real curriculum development for our students will begin.

We are excited to collaborate with the Institute of Healthcare Improvement in the development and administration of a pre-test/post-test for both our TQA faculty and students, based on the 16 online modules to complete the Open School Certificate, which all TQA faculty and students will complete. Student curricular pieces are being designed, implemented, and refined with current students with plans for full implementation of innovative educational strategies to be offered throughout the four years of the medical school curriculum beginning with our 2014 matriculants.

While this project was not originally designed as an interprofessional cohort of faculty and students, we are excited that leaders from the Division of Health Sciences have supported the transformation of this project into an interprofessional program, which will model the transformation needed in health care. Our health system is engaged, at the level of the Vidant Health CEO, Vidant Medical Center President, Chief Medical Officers from both Vidant Health and Vidant Medical Center and the Vidant Health Chief Quality Officer. Visit to find out more about this exciting initiative!

luan lawsonLuan Lawson, MD, MAEd
Assistant Dean of Curriculum,
Assessment and Clinical Affairs
Brody School of Medicine

Jun 252013

East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine is embarking on a new initiative made possible with a $1 million grant from the American Medical Association’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education initiative.

“We are thrilled that the AMA has selected Brody as one of 11 medical schools in the country to receive funding to support an innovative curriculum that will help shape the future of medical education and improve the health of our patients,”  said Dr. Luan Lawson, assistant dean of academic affairs and assistant professor of emergency medicine, who is a co-principal investigator on the grant. “These innovative, comprehensive and systematic curricular changes will ensure our graduates are prepared with the skills necessary to provide high quality care and improved health for our region,”

As a leader in preparing students for primary care and practicing in underserved areas, Brody School of Medicine and the ECU Division of Health Sciences is poised to create and test new models of medical education. Since the creation of the medical school at  in 1977, ECU has focused on producing primary care physicians, meeting the health needs of our region, and offering physician training to students from non-traditional, diverse backgrounds. We have been engaged in curriculum revision to ensure our graduates are equipped with the new competencies needed to provide safe, patient-centered care.

Brody will partner with Vidant Health to implement a longitudinal curriculum focusing on patient safety and quality improvement of complex health care delivery systems.  Partnering with other health care professionals will prepare students to work in teams to improve health care delivery with a focus on prevention in the community.

The rapid changes in health care over the past several decades have resulted in the lack of a critical mass of clinically-based faculty members trained in the competencies necessary to treat principles of patient safety, quality improvement and team-based care. Partnering with ECU’s College of Education to develop the Teachers for Quality Academy will help provide professional development for faculty in these new competencies, in addition to providing practical skills in curriculum development, new teaching methods and assessment tools.

A select group of students known as LINC (Leaders in Innovative Care) Scholars will gain advanced expertise in patient safety, quality improvement, interprofessional and team-based care, and leadership in change management through experiential collaborative activities with Vidant Health, the ECU College of Nursing and public health. LINC Scholars will earn a certificate in health system transformation and leadership. This advanced knowledge and mentored projects in the clinical setting will immerse learners into quality improvement systems and support leadership development.

The support and collaboration across multiple areas of the university and health system will ensure the success of our vision of a comprehensive, integrated curriculum in patient safety, quality improvement and team-based care with a well-prepared core of highly skilled and motivated faculty that will perpetuate continued growth and improvements across the school. The partnership with Vidant Health, ECU College of Education, ECU Department of Public Health, and ECU’s Division of Health Sciences will enhance our shared goals of providing safe, optimal and satisfying care, while educating the future workforce of the region. Most importantly, we will be producing a new kind of graduate prepared for residency training and ready to incorporate these skills into future care. Furthermore, graduation of the first LINC Scholars in 2018, and annually thereafter, will provide future leaders with skills and self-efficacy to address the complex problems facing our health care system.

We believe that the proposed changes in curriculum will move the BSOM, its partners in nursing, allied health, the School of Dental Medicine, and Vidant Health closer to a goal of improving the health of the citizens of eastern North Carolina and reducing health disparities. “We are honored to share innovative ideas as part of the learning consortium of other grant recipients to develop best practices in medical education to ensure a healthier future for our patients and our community,” Lawson said.



Brody selected by American Medical Association to help transform medical education

 Brody School of Medicine  Comments Off on Brody selected by American Medical Association to help transform medical education
Jun 142013

Dr. Elizabeth Baxley

East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine is one of 11 schools in the nation selected for a $1 million grant from the American Medical Association to change the way it educates students while keeping its focus on rural and underserved populations.

The American Medical Association announced the winners June 14 at its annual meeting in Chicago. ECU will receive funding through the AMA’s $11 million Accelerating Change in Medical Education Initiative aimed at transforming the way future physicians are trained.

“This grant provides Brody and the ECU Division of Health Sciences with the opportunity to create and test new models of medical education. All students will benefit from the changes we are planning,” said Dr. Elizabeth Baxley, senior associate dean for academic affairs and professor of family medicine in the Brody School of Medicine. Dr. Luan Lawson, assistant dean of academic affairs and professor of emergency medicine, is co-principal investigator for the grant.

The university will implement a new comprehensive core curriculum in patient safety and clinical quality improvement for all medical students. It will feature integration with other health-related disciplines to foster interprofessional skills and prepare students to successfully lead health care teams as part of the transformation, Baxley said.

“Our medical schools today not only have the imperative to teach the art and science of medical care, but to train our graduates how to work in, and improve, complex health systems,” Baxley said. “Preparing students to work in teams with other health professionals is a hallmark of the needed changes, as is a better understanding of the ‘health’ of a community and how we can positively impact that.”

Additionally, up to 10 students each year will be selected to become Leaders in Innovative Care Scholars. These students will complete additional course work, lead projects and earn a certificate in health care transformation and leadership.

The grant also will provide training for faculty members through a new Teachers of Quality Academy, which will focus on patient safety, quality improvement and team-based care and explore new ways of engaging students to be more active in their own education, Baxley said.

Strategies will include e-learning, simulation, problem-based learning, clinical skills training and targeted clinical experiences. Emphasis on rural and underserved populations remains a fundamental part of Brody’s mission.

In addition to ECU, the following schools received funding: Indiana University School of Medicine; Mayo Medical School; NYU School of Medicine; Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine; Penn State College of Medicine; The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University; University of California, Davis School of Medicine; University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine; University of Michigan Medical School; and Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

The AMA will provide $1 million to each school over five years. A critical component of the AMA’s initiative will be to establish a learning consortium to disseminate rapidly best practices to other medical and health profession schools.

Of the 141 eligible medical schools, 119 – more than 80 percent – submitted letters of intent outlining their proposals in February. In March, 28 individual schools and three collaborative groups of schools were selected to submit full proposals before a national advisory panel worked with the AMA to select the final 11 schools.

For more information about the initiative, visit