What makes you proud to be a Pirate?

I have been a proud Pirate for a long time. I’m proud that eastern Carolina has a university of the caliber of East Carolina University. I’m proud that ECU has a medical school that turns out first-rate physicians.

You are a physician. Tell me about that.

I started practicing medicine in 1985 and after training, spent ten years in Little Washington practicing primary care and internal medicine. In 1998, I came to the health system in Greenville and started having other roles in addition to patient care. A lot of the work I was doing dealt with quality, quality management in health care, and patient safety. This turned into my present role now. I am the vice president of medical affairs for our medical group, Vidant Medical Group, which is about a 300-doctor group.

What made you choose to get your MBA?

Measuring value and demonstrating value is really where it’s at in health care now. The skills I picked up in MBA school have been invaluable as far as learning how to work with finance, accounting, and using spreadsheets. I got trained before the days of Excel, so all of that has helped me understand how to display and demonstrate value for the care that we give. Both quality and cost are important in health care, and that quality divided by cost is value. That’s why I decided to get my MBA.

What do you enjoy about the distance education program at ECU?

Before I started my classes, I had no idea how cool distance education was. It’s just amazing; it’s just like being in the classroom and you can watch the class several times. If you don’t understand something, you can watch it again. There are so many different modalities you can use now like Centra to learn. The curriculum is well rounded and the professors are excellent. I have thoroughly enjoyed my distance education here at ECU.

Do you have a lot of interaction with the medical students?

When I started in 1998, I actually was a member of the faculty at Brody School of Medicine and spent a few years being an attending physician. So, I had exposure to medical students, interns, and residents. Interestingly enough some of those interns back in 1998 are now physician leaders in the health system. I’ve known some of them since they were medical students, and it’s been cool to watch them grow and develop as medical professionals.