Occupational therapy graduate students inducted to national honor society

Eleven occupational therapy graduate students at East Carolina University were inducted Oct. 29 in the Delta Beta Chapter of Pi Theta Epsilon, the honor society for occupational therapy students and alumni.

The chapter is the only one in North Carolina and one of 80 active chapters in the United States, said Dr. Leonard Trujillo, chairman of the Department of Occupational Therapy in the College of Allied Health Sciences.

Inductees are Alana Justice, Keli Alana McColl, Chelsey McKeel, Kelly Michelle Pippin, Stacia Pomeroy, Monica Powell, Brittany Robertson, Erin Schofield, Sarah E. Timmons, Farrell Wiggins and Caitlin Zawistowicz. Dr. Denise Donica is the faculty advisor.

The society recognizes and encourages superior scholarship among students enrolled in professional entry-level programs at accredited education programs across the United States. Pi Theta Epsilon supports the development of occupational science and the practice of occupational therapy by promoting research and scholarly activities of its members.

Dr. Stephen Thomas, dean of the College of Allied Health Sciences, was guest speaker and Trujillo made closing remarks.

For more information on Pi Theta Epsilon, visit http://www.aotf.org.

For information on the occupational therapy program at ECU, go to http://www.ecu.edu/ah.

ECU graduate students inducted to the occupational therapy national honor society are sitting, left to right, Chelsey McKeel, Stacia Pomeroy, Alana Justice and Brittany Robertson. Standing are left to right, Monica Powell, Caitlin Zawistowicz, Kelly Pippin, Erin Schofield, Farrell Wiggins, Keli McColl, Sarah Timmons and Dr. Denise Donica, faculty advisor.

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Expert to speak about health care reform at ECU

Dr. Don Berwick, an internationally known health care expert and former administrator of the Medicare and Medicaid programs, will talk about the Affordable Care Act Oct. 10 at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University.

Berwick

Berwick’s lecture, “The Affordable Care Act: Aiming to Build a Better Health System,” will be from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. in the auditorium of the Brody Medical Sciences Building at 600 Moye Blvd. in Greenville. The lecture is open to students, faculty staff and the public.

Ron Pollack, executive director and vice president of Families USA, will also give brief remarks.

Berwick is a founder of the Institute for Health Care Improvement, which aims to reduce errors, waste, delay and unsustainable social and economic costs in health care. He also created the “IHI Open School,” an online learning tool and health professions student organization that serves more than 100,000 students and faculty members across the globe.

Berwick’s lecture is sponsored by the Brody School of Medicine, Families USA and the North Carolina Justice Center.

For faculty, staff and students who cannot attend the lecture in the Brody Building, it will be simulcast at the East Carolina Heart Institute at ECU.

At 5 p.m. Wednesday, the award-winning film “Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare” will be shown in the Brody Auditorium. The film is free and open to the public. An informal discussion will follow.

For more information, contact Karen James at jamesk@ecu.edu or by calling 252-744-3420.

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“Crossing Borders” event set for Oct. 25

East Carolina University’s Division of Health Sciences will host an interdisciplinary program, “Crossing Borders,” from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25 in the Brody School of Medicine Auditorium.

The event will bring students and faculty from each of the health sciences disciplines – allied health sciences, dental medicine, Laupus Library, medicine and nursing – together with a focus on collaboration in education. Approximately 300 students have been invited.

They will watch the film, “Crossing Borders,” a feature documentary directed by Arnd Wächter examining different cultures, hidden preconceptions and discovering oneself.

After the film, students will divide into small discussion groups to work with facilitators from each unit.

The event is sponsored by the offices of ECU Diversity and Dr. Phyllis Horns, vice chancellor for health sciences. Dr. Donna Lake from the College of Nursing has led the event planning group.

For more on the film, go to http://crossingbordersfilm.org/

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ECU professor serves on vehicle technology panel

East Carolina University occupational therapy professor Dr. Anne Dickerson was one of ten experts on a panel that reviewed vehicle technologies for benefits in promoting capacity, confidence and convenience for drivers as they age.

Dickerson is the director of Research for the Older Adult Driver Initiative at ECU. She has been researching functional performance of older adults since the early 1990s. When the American Occupational Therapy Association identified older adult drivers as an emerging practice area in 2003, she began to focus on the functional performance of driving and has become one of the leading occupational therapy researchers in this growing area.

She has an occupational therapy degree from Temple University, a master’s degree in allied health education/health administration from Texas State University and a doctorate in
developmental psychology from Florida International University.

Other panel participants included practitioners and researchers with expertise in geriatric medicine, kinesiology, human factors and occupational therapy.

The study was conducted by The Hartford and the MIT AgeLab.  For more information about the study, visit http://www.thehartford.com/advance50/vehicle-technology. For details on the panel, visit http://www.thehartford.com/sites/thehartford/files/TopCarTechnologiesExperts.pdf.

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Toriello named chair of Dept. of Addictions and Rehabilitation Studies

Paul Toriello

Dr. Paul Toriello has been named the new chair of the Department of Addictions and Rehabilitation Studies at East Carolina University effective Aug. 1.

In the addictions and rehabilitation field since 1991, Toriello has worked as a paraprofessional, case manager and clinician. He also spent several years as the training director and then clinical director of a 108-bed residential facility serving adolescents with behavior disorders and substance abuse issues.

Toriello joined ECU in 2005 after four years at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. He has directed the PhD program in rehabilitation counseling and administration since 2009, and has served as the College of Allied Health Sciences’ interim assistant dean for research grants since 2011. In the role of principal investigator, Toriello conceived and started an addictions treatment clinic in 2007, and developed it into a state-licensed substance abuse intensive outpatient program.

He has participated in more than $5 million in projects funded by the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, National Institute on Drug Abuse, the U.S. Department of Defense and other agencies. He is president-elect of the American Rehabilitation Counseling Association.

Toriello earned his Doctor of Rehabilitation, specializing in substance related disorders, from the Rehabilitation Institute, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. He received a bachelor’s in psychology and master’s in rehabilitation counseling from Wright State University. He is a board-licensed clinical addictions specialist and a board-certified rehabilitation counselor and clinical supervisor.

Toriello replaces Dr. Lloyd Goodwin, who served as interim department chair for several years on two separate occasions.

Goodwin facilitated the new department name change to reflect its expanded emphasis; combined two graduate degree programs to improve their visibility and reflect current and future practice; and initiated the application for a new national accreditation to broaden student recruitment and employment markets for graduates, according to Dr. Stephen Thomas, dean of the College of Allied Health Sciences.

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