“In the future, this older population will grow from 12 percent to 20 percent and will probably represent one third of all health-care visits in the future,” said Steinweg. “Their special needs and problems present unique teaching opportunities for the future physicians in primary care. Through this generous gift by the Monk family, we were able to build a state-of-the-art geriatric center with family conference rooms and precepting rooms to train the medical students in the special skills needed to take care of older patients.”
Steinweg and Wingler both agree that the new Family Medicine Center impacts not only ECU, but all of eastern North Carolina.
“We have graduated 320 family-medicine physicians from our training program in the last 30 years. Sixty percent of those are in North Carolina, and one half of those are in eastern North Carolina alone,” said Steinweg. “So, you cannot go very far in eastern North Carolina without running into one of our graduates. This center will allow us to train the primary-care providers for the next 50 years for eastern North Carolina. When our students leave here, they will understand how to support a patient centered medical home and how to provide top-notch primary care.”
As a medical resident, Wingler has a unique perspective about the benefits of the new Family Medicine Center. In fact, he interviewed for four other residency positions in North Carolina, and the new Family Medicine Center helped him choose ECU because he knew that none of the other four programs would have a facility like Brody’s.
“It’s exciting to see the growth of the Department of Family Medicine and the growth of the building. This is a great place for our patients,” said Wingler. “Our new facility is going to mean a lot to the region as far as allowing us to provide quality care to more people.”
By Meagan Williford, University Marketing