ECU to offer new master of science program

The Department of Health Services and Information Management has received the official notification from the UNC Board of Governors to establish the master of science in health informatics and information management program starting in fall 2013.

The MS in HIIM program is designed to prepare health informaticians and information managers who will work to lead, develop and implement clear and effective health information strategies within and across health care organizations.

The establishment of the MS in HIIM program is a direct response to the emerging strong workforce needs from the field as well as the vision of the national association, American Health Information Management Association, to transform health information management to a graduate level education by 2016.

The program at ECU is the second such program approved within the UNC constituent institutions. The program will be offered both on campus and via distance education.

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ECU faculty guest edit issue of occupational therapy journal

Dr. Jane Painter, professor, and Dr. Sharon Elliott, adjunct faculty, were guest editors and coordinators of the Special Issue on Occupational Therapy Opportunities in Fall Prevention in the March-April American Journal of Occupational Therapy.

Other College of Allied Health Sciences faculty and graduate students who assisted include:  Dr. Leonard Trujillo, associate professor and chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy; Dr. Leslie Allison, assistant professor, Department of Physical Therapy; and Dr. Andrada Ivanescu, assistant professor, Department of Biostatistics.

Past graduate occupational therapy students who assisted in data collection for the Fear of Falling article include Puneet Dhingra, MS, OTR/L, Justin Daughtery, MS, OTR/L, and Kira Cogdill, MS, OTR/L.

Published in the issue were:

Peterson, E. W., Finlayson, M., Elliott, S. J., Painter, J. A., & Clemson L. (2012).  Unprecedented Opportunities in Fall Prevention for Occupational Therapy Practitioners.  American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 66, 127-130.

Schepens, S., Sen, A., Painter, J. A., & Murphy, S. L. (2012). Relationship between fall-related efficacy and activity engagement in community-dwelling older adults: A meta-analytic review. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 66, 137–148.

Leland, N. E., Elliott, S. J., O’Malley, L., & Murphy, S. L. (2012). Occupational therapy in fall prevention: Current evidence and future directions. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 66, 149–160.

Elliott, S. J., Ivanescu, A., Leland, N. E., Fogo, J., Painter, J. A., & Trujillo, L. G. (2012). Feasibility of interdisciplinary community-based fall risk screening. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 66, 161–168.

Painter, J. A., Allison, L., Dhingra, P., Daughtery, J., Cogdill, K., & Trujillo, L. G. (2012). Fear of falling and its relationship with anxiety, depression, and activity engagement among community-dwelling older adults. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 66, 169–176.

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Allied health’s role in health care reform focus of article

An article by College of Allied Health Sciences dean Dr. Stephen W. Thomas with co-editors Dr. Lee McLean, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Alisa Debnam, Council for Allied Health in N.C., “The Role of Allied Health in Health Care Reform,” was published in the September/October 2011 edition of the North Carolina Medical Journal.

The article is available at http://www.ncmedicaljournal.com/archives/?72522.

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Health Sciences debuts ECU Health Beat

Dr. Phyllis Horns

East Carolina University Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences Dr. Phyllis N. Horns has announced the launch of a new blog called ECU Health Beat.

According to Horns’ initial post, the blog will share news from the Brody School of Medicine, the College of Allied Health Sciences, the College of Nursing, the School of Dental Medicine and the Laupus Library.

“We hope the citizens and leaders of the state visit ECU Health Beat to learn about better health, our work in the state, our cutting edge research, and the fine faculty and health professionals we get to work beside,” Horns said in the blog.

Access ECU Health Beat at http://blog.ecu.edu/sites/healthbeat/.

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Allied Health Professions Week supplement features Heather Ramsdell

Research by Heather Ramsdell, right, professor in ECU's College of Allied Health Sciences, was featured in a News and Observer special section on Health Professions Appreciation Week.

By Kit Roberson

The ECU College of Allied Health Sciences is celebrating Allied Health Professions Week Nov. 6 – 12.

Allied health professionals constitute 60 percent of all health care providers and work in both the public and private sector.  Clinical lab scientists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, rehabilitation counselors, health information managers, speech-language pathologists, physician assistants and some 80 other professional disciplines perform assessment, provide essential services, support physicians, nurses and dentists and profoundly influence the quality of health care provided across North Carolina and the country.

In celebration of health care workers who provide highly skilled, safe and quality care, The News & Observer partnered with The Council for Allied Health in North Carolina to produce a special section, Celebrating Allied Health Professions Appreciation Week that was included in the Sunday, Nov. 6 newspaper.  The supplement includes an article (p. 5) on Heather Ramsdell’s research on language development.

Ramsdell is assistant professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders.

As North Carolina’s first and only college of allied health sciences, East Carolina University is the largest provider of allied health professionals in the state.  Approximately 800 undergraduate and graduate students are enrolled in the school’s seven departments. They are led by more than 75 full-time faculty.

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Schulman awarded Ph.D.

Kathleen Schulman, interim chair of the Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, completed her Ph.D. requirements at Capella University in August. Her degree is in education with a specialization in instructional design for online learning.

Her dissertation is entitled, “A Qualitative Case Study of Instructional Support for Web-Based Simulated Laboratory Exercises in Online college Chemistry Laboratory Courses.”

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Schulman

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Business of Healthcare Symposium set for Oct. 28



East Carolina University will hold its Business of Healthcare Symposium 8:30 a.m. to noon Oct. 28 at the East Carolina Heart Institute.

Keynote speaker is Kay Gooding, director of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The event should provide a forum for regional healthcare researchers and practitioners to discuss the latest developments in information technology and quality.

Dr. Stanley Eakins, interim dean of the College of Business, said, “Our symposium will once again explore innovative solutions to local, regional and national health problems as experts share their knowledge and experiences.

“By providing a common platform, together we can better highlight opportunities and challenges related to healthcare globally in the 21st century,” he said.

For more information and online registration, visit http://www.ecu.edu/businessofhealthcare. For questions about the event, contact Dr. Lucky Xue at xuey@ecu.edu.

The event is free and open to the public. It is co-sponsored by ECU’s College of Business and College of Allied Health Sciences.

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Aphasia support group meets on campus

A support group for people with aphasia and their caregivers will meet each Friday through Dec. 2 at East Carolina University.

Aphasia is difficulty or loss in communication, usually the result of stroke or brain injury.

The ECU Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders hosts the group from 9 to 11 a.m. Fridays in Room 1305 in the Health Sciences Building at the College of Allied Health Sciences.

Participants engage in a variety of activities to improve communication skills. Contact Sherri Winslow at 252-744-6142 or winslowsh@ecu.edu for more information.

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