ECU students use music therapy to help Vidant Medical Center patients

ECU music therapy students Amanda Bernstein and Emily Selitto help patients at Vidant Medical Center with music. (Contributed photo)

ECU music therapy students and Emily Selitto, left, and Amanda Bernstein help patients at Vidant Medical Center with music. Not pictured are Madaline Logan and Emily Margagliotti. (Contributed photo)

 

“The girls and their music made it much easier for him to go on to glory,” Brenda Daniels said. Her husband, Noah Daniels, passed away in January at Vidant Medical Center. She said she is eternally grateful for two East Carolina University music therapy students who spent time singing and playing music for her husband and family.

For more than 45 years, the East Carolina University Music Therapy program has been training students to help people through the power of music. This semester, four of those students have brought their talents to Vidant Medical Center, to work with patients on a weekly basis.

Noah Daniels was just one of the patients who benefited from their work. “He was having a hard time, but when those girls walked in, we were elated,” his wife said. “I could see by the look in his eyes and the expression on his face, how the music lifted his spirits.”

Each Thursday, ECU seniors and music therapy majors, Amanda Bernstein and Emily Selitto visit Vidant Medical Center and go room to room singing and playing instruments for some of the sickest patients. “It’s a very humbling and rewarding experience,” Bernstein said. “We aren’t just singing and playing music for ourselves, music therapy is so much more than that; we are using our talents to help people.”

Music therapy students are required to complete a 12 hour practicum each semester in order to graduate. “Our main goal is to help patients use music to complete tasks that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to,” said Selitto. “If we can be a distraction, lift their spirits, and help relax them, if only for a few minutes at a time, then we are successful.”

Dr. Michelle Hairston, professor and chair of music education and music therapy department at ECU explained that a music therapist is constantly assessing the responses of the patient and uses his or her training to formulate a goal– and then work on it immediately. “Music is the powerful tool that reaches the soul of every individual. It is nonthreatening and inviting,” said Dr. Hairston. “Music engages patients immediately, and the personal connection of the music therapist keeps that connection going. The power of the music, the human contact (by the music therapist) and the goal-directed interaction of the two, is what makes music therapy work.”

Patricia Rice, a physician assistant at Vidant Medical Center, has been a practicum mentor for the music therapy students for the last three years. “The influence that these students have with the patients is remarkable,” Rice said. “They have a way of using music to help the patients with pain management, relaxation, and increasing physical activity which helps the patients reengage into life.”

Their influence is especially true in regards to the Daniels family. Brenda Daniels was so impressed and inspired by Bernstein and Selitto, that she asked if they would perform at her husband’s funeral. The girls obliged and sang several hymns, including Amazing Grace. “I wish that I could repay them, for what they gave to me and my husband with their music,” Daniels said. “I’ve never experienced anything like that in my entire life.”

For more information about the ECU Music Therapy program, please contact Dr. Michelle Hairston at Hairstonm@ecu.edu.

Courtesy of Vidant Health Corporate Communications

Eastern AHEC breaks ground on new building

An artist’s rendering shows the new building that will house the Eastern Area Health Education Center. (Photo by Steve Tuttle)

An artist’s rendering shows the new building that will house the Eastern Area Health Education Center. (Photo by Steve Tuttle)

The Eastern Area Health Education Center (AHEC) broke ground at 8 a.m. April 30 on a new building in Greenville that will also become the new home of East Carolina University’s Office of Clinical Skills Assessment and Education.

The 36,400-square-foot facility will feature the latest technology to improve the learning environment for the Office of Clinical Skills and the many other educational programs that Eastern AHEC operates, according to Executive Director Dr. Lorrie Basnight.

Clinical Skills now operates out of a mobile unit on the Health Sciences Campus. Clinical Skills uses standardized patients and physical training assistants to assist in the training of health sciences students. Health sciences students learn the physical exam, communication skills and interpersonal skills at Clinical Skills.

Clinical Skills will occupy the second floor of the three-story building, amounting to 10,700 square feet of space, officials said. At its March 24 meeting, the ECU Board of Trustees agreed to lease the space for $203,300 annually for a five-year term with options to renew the lease.

The new building at the corner of Arlington Boulevard and West Fifth Street will replace space that Eastern AHEC now leases on Venture Tower Drive.

“Having both AHEC and Clinical Skills in the same building will provide an opportunity for new types of learning,” Basnight said.

“This will enhance the ability of Eastern AHEC to continue to improve the health and workforce needs in our region,” said Dr. Sylvia Brown, dean of the ECU College of Nursing.

Brown said ECU also would use the new facility for several health-related conferences.

Basnight said a big plus of the new facility will be its accessibility.

“We have people from all over the region who come here for our conferences or for training, and it’s often difficult for them to navigate through the medical campus area and find a place to park. Now it will be so much easier to find us, get parked and get to your meeting quickly,” she said.

Eastern AHEC provides grants to support programs at clinical sites used by ECU’s medical, nursing, dental and allied health students. One such site is the Lucille W. Gorham Intergenerational Community Center.

In 2014, Eastern AHEC and two other regional centers established subsidized housing sites for ECU dental students working in community service learning centers across the state.

Eastern AHEC, which serves 23 counties in eastern North Carolina, is one of nine regional centers that focus on the health care needs of the state’s underserved populations. Its mission is to provide educational programs and services that bridge academic institutions and communities to improve public health.
Basnight said the new facility, including land and furnishings, is expected to cost around $11 million. She said the center has been putting aside savings from its ongoing operations for the past several years to pay for the new facility.

The project is scheduled for completion in 2016. C.A. Lewis is the general contractor.

– Steve Tuttle

Scout Out Nursing Day introduces young people to nursing profession

Dressed in period nursing costumes, Gina Woody, co-chair of the Scout Out Nursing committee, provides instructions to nursing student Catherine Steed. (Photos by Conley Evans)

Dressed in period nursing costumes, Gina Woody, co-chair of the Scout Out Nursing committee, provides instructions to nursing student Catherine Steed. (Photos by Conley Evans)


By Elizabeth Willy
College of Nursing

More than 90 Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts received an introduction to nursing during the fifth Scout Out Nursing Day, held April 11 in the College of Nursing at East Carolina University.

“The job outlook for nursing is exceptional and we hope that this event will allow the scouts to see the many opportunities the career of nursing has to offer,” said nursing professor Dr. Gina Woody. Woody was co-chair of the event’s organizing committee with fellow faculty member Bob Green.

Dr. Robin Corbett, a family nurse practitioner in the nursing graduate program, gives the scouts a primer on first aid.

Dr. Robin Corbett, a family nurse practitioner in the nursing graduate program, gives the scouts a primer on first aid.

Approximately 80 volunteers participated, including ECU nursing students, faculty and professional nurses. Attendees visited stations where they participated in hands-on demonstrations such as CPR and first aid.

A nursing history station featured volunteers in period costumes designed by the ECU School of Theatre and Dance, under the direction of theatre arts professor Cybele Moon. At another station, retired Air Force nurse and ECU nursing professor Phil Julian explained military nursing, while two nursing students played the role of patients resting on gurneys.

A simulated operating room featured nurse anesthesia faculty and students in full scrubs and surgical masks, along with a breathing, blinking and talking mannequin on the operating table. First aid topics were explained in a station set up like a campsite, with mannequins suffering from wounds sustained in a wooded environment.

Troop leaders and parents said they appreciated the opportunity to observe health care through their children’s eyes. Vidant Edgecombe nurse Jennifer Cooke said the event was an ideal way for her 7-year-old son to take a look at her profession.

“We came so he could see not only what I do when I’m at work, but also so he can explore some of the opportunities that are there for boys in health care,” she said.

Hosted by the ECU College of Nursing and the Beta Nu chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Scout Out has educated more than 500 kids since its inception in 2007.

Scouts ask questions in the operating room lab with Dr. Maura McAuliffe and nurse anesthesia students Natalie Tyson and Lisa Foxworth.

Scouts ask questions in the operating room lab with Dr. Maura McAuliffe and nurse anesthesia students Natalie Tyson and Lisa Foxworth.

Fenich earns national award from PCMA Education Foundation

ECU hospitality professor Dr. George Fenich receives the Educator Honoree Award at the 2015 Professional Convention Management Association awards ceremony. (Contributed phot)

ECU hospitality leadership professor Dr. George Fenich receives the Educator Honoree Award at the 2015 Professional Convention Management Association awards ceremony. (Contributed phot)

East Carolina University hospitality leadership professor Dr. George Fenich received the Educator Honoree Award at the 2015 Professional Convention Management Association awards ceremony April 8 in Washington, D.C.

The honorees have “career paths and accomplishments that both inspire and guide their peer communities,” said PCMA president and CEO Deborah Sexton. “While their past leadership has been instrumental in advancing our industry, their present and future leadership endeavors will help us ensure conventions, trade shows and conferences continue to serve as the critical adult education channel.”

Fenich has published more than 40 research articles and studies, including the Millennials study related by PCMA in 2012. He has authored/edited more than 10 textbook publications, contributed to chapters in six other textbooks, published more than 40 peer-reviewed journal articles, contributed more than 30 articles to conference proceedings and presented papers at more than 70 professional meetings. He served 15 years in the hospitality industry before joining higher education in 1985.

Fenich has also served, and continues to serve, on a number of industry-related committees, including the PCMA Faculty Task Force, PCMA Student Task Force, Meeting Professionals International Foundation Board, Destination Marketing Association International Faculty Task Force, and the PCMA Annual Meeting Program Committee.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from SUNY-Cortland, a master’s from Rennsalaer Polytechnic University and a Ph.D. from Rutgers University.

Fenich was one of three selected nationwide for this year’s award.

Read more at http://www.pcma.org/.

–Jennifer Brezina, College of Business

 

Alumni Association hosts April networking events

The East Carolina Alumni Association is hosting April networking events in Greenville and Raleigh. Both events are open to all alumni and friends of East Carolina, with an $11 cost for Alumni Association members and $17 for non-members.

The Greenville event is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 28 at A.J. McMurphy’s, 1914 Turnbury Drive. Register by April 23, indicating any special dietary needs during registration.

Featured alumni will be:

  • Jeff Foster ’83, founder and attorney at Foster Fitzpatrick and member of the East Carolina Alumni Association Board of Directors
  • Diane Taylor ’06, CEO and founder of Taylor Made Publishing

The Raleigh event is set for 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 18 Seaboard, located at 18 Seaboard Ave., Suite 100. Register by April 28, indicating any special dietary needs during registration.

Featured alumni will be:

  • Heather Dickson Ransom ’06, owner of Consilium Connect
  • Jeff Tippett ’91, founder of Targeted Persuasion

For both events, dress is PURPLE and GOLD business casual. Bring business cards for a business card exchange and the opportunity to win ECU door prizes.

Individuals wishing to join the alumni association to take advantage of member pricing on these and future events may do so directly on the event registration form. Please note that advanced registration is required before the deadline. Early registration is strongly encouraged, as space is limited depending on the venue.

ECU physics professor receives prestigious award

East Carolina University professor of physics Dr. Gregory Lapicki was honored as the 2015 Helms Faculty Award recipient from the ECU chapter of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society.

Dr. Gregory Lapicki

Dr. Gregory Lapicki

Presented April 17, the award recognized a paper Lapicki co-authored, “Experimental Cross Sections for L-shell X-ray Production and Ionization by Protons.” The paper explains reactions that occur in individuals undergoing proton therapy, a treatment for some cancers.

“The award validates the worth of our research,” said Lapicki. “In this case, through my fruitful collaboration with Javier Miranda from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.”

Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, is one of the oldest and largest scientific organizations in the world. The ECU chapter was chartered in 1974.

The Helms Faculty Research Award was established in 1987 by R. Marshall Helms, a longtime ECU physics professor, to honor three members of his family who were involved in research and teaching at ECU. The award focuses on the impact a single publication has on the research discipline, and cycles between faculty in biological sciences, medical/social sciences and mathematics and physical sciences.

Lapicki joined the ECU physics faculty in 1981.

For additional information, contact Lapicki at 252-328-6894 or lapickig@ecu.edu.

Award-winning author to speak at Joyner Library banquet

Allan Gurganus, acclaimed author of “Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All,” will be the keynote speaker for the Friends of Joyner Library’s annual spring banquet scheduled for 6 p.m., April 30.

Allan Gurganus

Allan Gurganus

Gurganus is also the author of “White People” (Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Pen-Faulkner Finalist), “Plays Well with Others,” “The Practical Heart: Four Novellas” (Lambda Literary Award) and 2013’s “Local Souls.” His stories have won the National Magazine Prize and have been honored in “Best American Stories,” “The O’Henry Prize Collection” and “The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction.”

The writer’s essays and editorials appear in The New York Times and the New York Review of Books. He was featured in the PBS “American Masters” series as a scholar-reader for “Walt Whitman, An American.” Gurganus wrote and narrated the script “A House Divided: Poetry of the American Civil War” for BBC 4.

The CBS version of “Widow” won four Emmys. The writer was a recent John Simon Guggenheim Fellow and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Gurganus has taught literature and writing at Duke University, The Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Stanford University, and Sarah Lawrence College.

“Allan Gurganus is one of our state’s most gifted authors and storytellers,” said Janice Lewis, interim dean of Joyner Library. “I am thrilled that he will share his insights with us. I started reading ‘Local Souls’ last night and was completely captivated by the characters and the town of Falls, North Carolina.”

This year’s banquet will be held at Yankee Hall and the program will honor lifetime Friends of Joyner Library member and library benefactor, the late Ann Rhem Schwarzmann. Tickets may be purchased ($35 members, $45 non-member) at http://tinyurl.com/friendsbanquet or 328-6514.

The Friends of Joyner Library is a non-profit organization that provides support to the library, which serves the university and region.

For more information, contact Dawn Wainwright at 328-4090.

ECU to hold annual Holocaust Awareness Day

Holocaust-Awareness

East Carolina University will hold its 12th annual Holocaust Awareness Day from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. April 21.

Beginning at 8 a.m., volunteers at the ECU Student Memorial Garden will read the names of thousands of the approximately 11 million Holocaust victims.

A 5 p.m. dinner and discussion in the Croatan Green Room will focus on Shabbat, the Jewish day of rest and spiritual enrichment. At 7 p.m. in Wright Auditorium, the documentary “Paper Clips” will highlight a project about tolerance designed by Tennessee middle school students after they learned about the Holocaust.

The day will close at 9 p.m. with the lighting of luminaries for Holocaust victims and a memorial candlelight vigil. The vigil will feature poetry, prayer and silent reflection to remember the millions of lives lost during the Holocaust.

All events are free and open to the public. Space for the dinner is limited and guests are asked to RSVP to the Ledonia Wright Cultural Center at lwcc@ecu.edu.

Holocaust Day events are sponsored by ECU Student Involvement and Leadership, the Student Government Association, Student Advisory Board, ECU C.U.L.T.U.R.E., ECU Hillel, Congregation Bayt Shalom in Greenville, the ECU Office of Equity and Diversity and ECU’s departments of sociology and foreign languages and literatures.

For more information, contact Dr. Melissa Haithcox-Dennis, director of the Ledonia Wright Cultural Center, at (252) 328-6495.