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Pieces of Eight


Research Event Fosters Collaboration

By Erica Plouffe Lazure

More than 60 faculty members, researchers and physicians from East Carolina University convened Nov. 9 to discuss research and opportunities for collaboration between east and west campuses at a first-ever conference, “‘The Business of Healthcare’ – A Mini Research Symposium.”

“We hope the conference fosters collaboration between east and west campuses,” said ECU College of Business professor David Rosenthal, who organized the inaugural event with Elizabeth Layman, chair of ECU’s Department of Health Services and Information Management.

“There is a lot of research being done at Brody, and at the Allied Health Sciences building, and on the east campus, and I felt this could be an opportunity to pull together some ideas and come up with ways to collaborate,” Rosenthal said.

The second “Business of Healthcare” symposium will be held April 10, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., at the Allied Health Sciences facility on ECU’s west campus, Rosenthal said. A new session will enable both faculty and graduate students to present papers and receive constructive feedback on research they are conducting at ECU.

Research presenters from the Nov. 9 meeting included: Jamie Brown Kruse, professor of economics and director of ECU’s Center for Natural Hazards Research and the new RENCI@ECU; David Loy, professor of recreational therapy; Elaine Scott, professor of nursing, Scott C. Simmons, assistant director of ECU’s Telemedicine Center; Dr. Bruce Ferguson Jr., professor and associate chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery; John Placer, chair of the Department of Computer Science; Dr. Walter Pofahl, chief of the Division of Advanced Laparoscopic, Gastrointestinal, and Endocrine Surgery; and Jason Yao, professor of engineering.

Representatives from ECU’s research support offices also spoke at the meeting. These include: Katherine Rickett of the Laupus Library; Denise Brigham of ECU’s Institutional Review Board; Xiaoming Zeng, professor of the Department of Health Services and Information Management; Sharon Hamilton, director of corporate and foundation relations; and Richard Best of the Office of Sponsored Programs.

“People in these departments offer a valuable service to the campus, and we plan on having them again,” he said.

The symposiums are sponsored by the ECU College of Business, The Center for Healthcare Information Systems Research and the ECU School of Allied Health Sciences, and is hosted by the ECU School of Nursing and the Laupus Library.

For more information about the spring conference, contact Rosenthal at

This page originally appeared in the Jan. 26, 2006 issue of Pieces of Eight. Complete issue is archived at