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Symposium attendees Clifford Long and Kristie Hicks with nephrology fellow Dr. Sadeem Ali. (Photos by Gretchen Baugh) 


First ECU-Vidant Quality Improvement Symposium showcases innovative projects

April 10, 2017

By Amy Adams Ellis
University Communication

A recent symposium jointly hosted by the East Carolina University Division of Health Sciences and Vidant Health gave educators and learners the opportunity to present their quality improvement projects to an audience of 130 peers and health system leaders.

The first Unified Quality Improvement Symposium, held March 31 at the East Carolina Heart Institute at ECU, showcased 32 projects related to quality improvement, patient safety, population health and interprofessional practice.

Judges Dr. Paul Bolin, chair of the ECU Department of Internal Medicine, and Dr. Linda Hofler, senior vice president - nurse executive at Vidant Health, evaluate poster presentations.

Also presented were 13 works-in-progress from faculty participating in ECU's Teachers of Quality Academy 2.0, a faculty development program designed to provide educators with the skills necessary to practice and teach new curriculum in patient safety, quality improvement and systems-based practice in an environment of interprofessional, team-based care.

In addition, three students presented their responses to a pre-symposium innovation challenge focused on the question, "How would you turn health care delivery on its head?"

The annual symposium, hosted solely by ECU health sciences the past two years, grew out of a $1 million grant that ECU's Brody School of Medicine received from the American Medical Association several years ago. The grant aims to help address the gap that currently exists between what physicians have been taught in the past and what they will need to know in order to provide safer, higher quality patient care in the future. 

The symposium's best oral presentation award went to Koren Way, transplant administrator, Vidant Medical Center, for her work entitled "Fast Pass to Transplant: Improved Transplant Outcomes through Better Waitlist Management."

Second place for oral presentations was awarded to Vidant's Amy McMahon and Dr. Joseph Pye for their presentation "Vidant Employee Clinic Redesign." And second-year internal medicine resident Dr. George Koromia took home the third place award for "Improving Post-Admission Medication Reconciliation among Inpatient Providers through Cognitive Feedback: the "Red Dot."

The best poster award went to Timothy Barnes, clinical manager, Department of Radiation Oncology, for his project, "Evaluation of the Efficiency of CT-Simulations as a Continuous Quality Improvement Strategy to Decrease the Time to Treatment Initiation for Radiotherapy Patients."

Second place was awarded to Ciarra Dortche, social/clinical research assistant in the Department of Internal Medicine, for her work "Where Did All the Patients Go? Engaging the Patient by Improving No-Show Rates: A Team Based Approach." And third place recipient was LaShawn McDuffie of Vidant Radiation Oncology for "Development of a Formal Patient Education Delivery and Documentation Process for Patients Receiving Radiation Therapy Treatment." 

First place in the student innovation challenge went to Doctor of Nursing Practice students Melissa Peeler, Rebecca Smith and Sarah Tapscott for their innovation "Meet PETE: Play, Educate, Train, and Exercise - A health centered app that is designed to encourage play, educate and train youth on healthy lifestyle choices, and promote exercise."

Second place was awarded to third-year medical students Zachary Williams, Anthony Mayen and Ryan Zeigler, and second-year dental student Christian Cook, for their proposal "MyHealth INC.: An application designed to empower patients with a rewards based incentive system, integrated with easy-to-use technology to allow patients to easily track health care data."

Third place was awarded to fourth-year medical student Alexandria Dixon and Master of Public Health student Kristie Hicks for "Group Visit Model for Well Child Visits to Improve Anticipatory Guidance, Family Satisfaction and Support, and Resident Education."

Organizers intend for the joint symposium to become an annual event.

To view the day's presentations, or to learn more about Brody's AMA grant, visit

Psychiatry resident Dr. Oliver Glass explains his project to symposium attendees. 

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