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Foster Hunt

Foster Hunt serves veterans through the Navigate Counseling Clinic

Service-learning projects are one of many requirements for first-semester physician assistant studies students in the College of Allied Health Sciences. But when PA student Foster Hunt wasn’t compelled by any of the usual sites for the assignment, he forged his own path.

Hunt earned an undergraduate degree from Appalachian State University in information technology before beginning five years of service in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he worked closely with doctors, medics and Navy corpsmen. After deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, he sought more opportunities to work in field medicine and began to consider returning to school in the health sciences.

"It was never a far stretch for me to go to PA school," said Hunt. "My mother’s a nurse, my aunt’s a nurse, and my great grandfather was a physician. There are pictures of me when I was little taking my mother’s blood pressure."

Read more about Foster Hunt here.

Author Awards 2015

CELEBRATING SCHOLARSHIP: Laupus Library marks 10 years of honoring health sciences authors

East Carolina University’s Laupus Library marked a decade of honoring research and scholarship from across the Division of Health Sciences’ colleges and schools at a Nov. 10 event.

The annual Health Sciences Author Recognition Awards celebrates the achievements of faculty and staff who have published peer-reviewed works in the last year. Nearly 100 authors were recognized for their books, book chapters, journal articles and other creative works.

"I can't tell you the pride I have because I have the undeserved privilege of working with you all," Dr. Phyllis Horns, vice chancellor for health sciences, told attendees. "We lead this institution in our research and scholarship…and we should not take that lightly. It’s a huge responsibility."

driving skills group

GEARING UP: Students teach driving skills to teens with autism

A driving program developed by East Carolina University graduate students is steering some local teens with autism toward greater independence.

When five students in the Department of Occupational Therapy went looking for resources this spring to help teens with autism become more independent, they found precious few. So they took action and created a week-long "boot camp" to help teenagers with high-functioning autism learn to drive.

Their first class of teens completed the program this summer and their experience continues to deliver results.

Read more about their experience.

Stand Down

PT students aid veterans at annual event

Senior students from the Department of Physical Therapy supported this year’s Pitt County Stand Down, held October 23 in Greenville. Sponsored by the QSA Foundation, a non-profit organization that helps homeless and low-income veterans, the four-hour event offered medical treatment, employment opportunities, and other resources to many in need.

A total of 31 students volunteered as part of a community outreach project to promote physical therapy and wellness. Veterans typically have myriad orthopedic pains due to years of rigorous physical demands while serving in the military.

Students worked in teams and performed screenings, evaluations, and treatments for 18 individuals. Physical Therapy Chair Dr. Walter Jenkins and Dr. Keith Sales, clinical instructor and project mentor, supervised activities and advised students on complex cases.

"I believe that the continuation of this project in future years will strengthen the relationship between our department and our local veterans," said student Clara Backus. "We want veterans to know that we support them and are here to help improve their quality of life."

Natalie Smith

PA Studies professor advances urgent care research

A College of Allied Health Sciences’ faculty member in Physician Assistant Studies is prompting emergency department clinicians to thoroughly analyze urinalysis results for the possible diagnosis of serious illnesses.

Natalie Smith, a clinical assistant professor and practicing physician assistant in emergency medicine, was published in the Journal of Urgent Care Medicine after she determined that routine urinalysis results can show an underlying presence of potentially life-threatening diseases. In her article, “Hyperbilirubinemia – An Urgent Care Approach,” Smith describes how she was able to link the presence of bilirubin in urine to a serious diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.

Read the full story here.

DARS accreditation

Counseling program earns accreditation

The master's program for Substance Abuse and Clinical Counseling is now accredited by the Board of Directors of the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Offered by the department of Addictions and Rehabilitation Studies for the College of Allied Health Sciences, the program’s accreditation has been granted for a two-year period through October of 2017.

After an extensive review of self-study documents and a site visit, among other commitments from the department, the board believed the program substantially met the requirements for accredited status.

"We are proud to have our Masters in Substance Abuse and Clinical Counseling accredited by CACREP in Clinical Mental Health Counseling," said Dr. Paul Toriello, chair of Addictions and Rehabilitation Studies. "We believe this accomplishment reflects the excellence demonstrated by our program since 1989."

Graduates of the Substance Abuse and Clinical Counseling Program may be employed in community mental health and substance abuse settings such as inpatient or outpatient programs, detoxification centers, residential and halfway-house programs, and home-based counseling programs.

"CACREP accreditation assures students of a high-quality program and a streamlined path toward professional licensure and jobs," noted Toriello. "Without the extraordinary vision, leadership and hard work of Dr. Lloyd Goodwin, professor and creator of the Substance Abuse and Clinical Counseling, and Dr. Shari Sias, assistant professor and the program’s current director, we would not have accomplished this momentous task."

Rhonda Joyner

Health Informatics & Information Management program graduates first master’s student

A distance education student from the Charlotte area has become the first person to graduate from East Carolina University with a master’s degree in health informatics and information management. Rhonda Joyner of Indian Trails completed her required internship this summer and is now seeking employment in the health care industry. ECU’s Department of Health Services and Information Management – housed in the College of Allied Health Sciences – launched its inaugural graduate program in 2013. The degree builds on a graduate certificate in health informatics.

Read more about Joyner’s experience at

Ethics and Professionalism cover

Cellucci and Forrestal prepare future healthcare managers

Ethics and Professionalism for Healthcare Managers by Elizabeth J. Forrestal and Leigh W. Cellucci, Professors in the Department of Health Services and Information Management, discusses a host of difficult decisions that health care managers face every day. Many can be loaded with ethical implications that, if not addressed properly, can evolve into major issues for both the manager and the organization as a whole.

This book prepares new and aspiring healthcare managers to make better decisions through a solid grounding in ethics and professionalism. The book uses cases that are based on a variety of health care settings, including hospitals, physician practices, ambulatory surgery centers, home health agencies, and skilled nursing facilities.

More info at

Learn more...

Alliance Newsletter Fall 14 Web

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