The Brody School of Medicine - 2015

Updated January 2016

When the East Carolina University School of Medicine was created four decades ago, our threefold mission was clearly established and deep-seated within our values and our daily work:

  • Increase the supply of primary care physicians to serve our state;
  • Improve the health status of citizens in eastern North Carolina;
  • Enhance the access of minority and disadvantaged students to a medical education.

Today, in the midst of tectonic shifts in health care and medical education, our vision remains clear and our mission remains constant. Brody will remain dedicated to training our doctors and treating our citizens.

Change for Brody is inevitable, but it provides an opportunity to imagine and build our future.

Have a question about the ongoing transformation of the Brody School of Medicine? Send it to Your questions help inform what information is posted on this webpage.

View 2014 Brody School of Medicine Status Report.

Mission Champions

Mission Champions is part of a Faculty Vitality Initiative at the Brody School of Medicine aimed at honoring and recognizing the value that front line faculty and staff bring to our multi-missioned organization. To nominate someone as a Mission Champion, please send an email stating the individual's name and the reason for your nomination to

Dr. Joe Chalovich

Joe Chalovich

Dr. Benson presents the Mission Champion award to Joe Chalovich.

Dr. Joe Chalovich of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology joined Brody in 1984 and exemplifies commitment to the school. He retains a refreshing enthusiasm and deep interest in science and research. He thinks deeply about scientific problems and is a leader in the scientific community. Here at ECU, he leads a workshop series that brings together scientists from many colleges and schools to brainstorm ideas. More broadly, he has served the research community as a peer reviewer of manuscripts and grant applications.

Dr. Chalovich leads by example in reminding his colleagues to honor the responsibility to help others and make a daily contribution. Over the years, he has served the school of medicine on a variety of committees. His multiple presentations to the ECU Medical History Interest Group have provided a valuable educational service for the community. Finally - as both colleagues and students would note - he is dedicated to each one of his teaching encounters with learners to make that experience outstanding.

Elizabeth Albright

Dr. Cunningham presents the Mission Champion award to Elizabeth Albright.

Elizabeth is a temp employee who has worked in various positions within Brody and East Carolina for nearly 20 years. She currently serves in Brody's Division of Academic Affairs. Colleagues often comment on her professionalism and "can do" attitude. She is considerate and genuine with students and staff and extremely efficient in accomplishing any task put before her. Rather than obstacles, Elizabeth sees challenges and is always warm and welcoming to others.

Dr. Doyle "Skip" Cummings

Dr. Cunningham presents the Mission Champion award to Skip Cummings.

Dr. Doyle "Skip" Cummings of the departments of Family Medicine and Public Health, was recently named a Brody School of Medicine Mission Champion. As a clinician, Skip provides research-based, compassionate care for patients in the clinic, hospital and across rural North Carolina. He is constantly implementing innovative ways to improve population health, correct disparities and increase the quality of life for all people.

As professor, Skip not only passes down his many years of clinical knowledge and experience, but also his values of humility and kindness. He takes time to listen, direct and inspire, even when facing other competing tasks and deadlines.

He is also a prolific researcher, trusted colleague and friend, and does everything he can to bring in grant funding and elevate his staff and colleagues. He strives to create a culture of shared and collaborative research, working across departments with telemedicine, diabetes initiatives, nutrition and behavioral health.

Joyce Fields

Joyce Fields

Dr. Cunningham presents the Mission Champion award to Joyce Fields.

Joyce Fields, a staff member with Housekeeping Services, has been described as reliable, friendly and conscientious. She recognizes when academic work is occurring after hours and adjusts her workflow to accommodate those activities, rather than simply plowing through on a predetermined routine. Faculty and students routinely comment on how helpful she is, and note that she takes everything in stride.

Dr. Christy Isler

Christy Isler

Brody School of Medicine Dean Paul Cunningham, left, congratulates Isler.

Dr. Christy Isler of the Department of Obstetrics/Gynecology has been a tireless caregiver for high-risk obstetrical patients. She has been recognized with teaching awards and most notably, with the Light of Hope award.  The Light of Hope award was created by a family specifically in Dr. Isler's honor to recognize people in the antepartum unit of Vidant Medical Center who go above and beyond the call of duty to make patients feel welcomed, comforted, reassured and honored during very difficult, prolonged stays.

Dr. Isler is now the only full-time Maternal Fetal Medicine faculty member in ECU OB/GYN. Despite this overwhelming clinical challenge, she has risen to the occasion with grace and compassion and continues to be an educational resource for medical students as well as a master educator for residents in training.  She made a commitment to eastern North Carolina and to the Brody School of Medicine when she finished her residency training to return and make Greenville her career home and she continues to serve - her patients, students and colleagues - with distinction.

She is a resource for local private practices and regional hospitals both in and outside the Vidant system. She has built collegial relationships with Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill to provide care for patients who exceed the current capabilities of our system.  She mentors medical students with an interest in women's health and nurtures interest in maternal fetal medicine for students and residents interested in that aspect of OB/GYN.  Somehow she finds time to evaluate hospitalized patients and cover our outpatient clinics all day, every weekday, and still makes herself available for telephone consultation after hours.

Dr. Robert Tanenberg


Brody School of Medicine Dean Paul Cunningham, left, congratulates Tanenberg.

Dr. Robert Tanenberg of the Department of Internal Medicine's Division of Endocrinology has been a leading faculty member at East Carolina for 17 years, consistently serving as a spokesperson for the medical school on diabetes care. A recognized authority on that subject, he provides outreach to the community in addition to outstanding lectures and continuing medical education for primary care physicians.

Dr. Tanenberg has strongly supported improved care for diabetes patients in our region by training a new cadre of providers via an innovative one-year clinical diabetes fellowship he developed over a decade ago. He also leads the Diabetes Clinical Research Center at ECU, focusing on clinical trials and finding new therapies to improve care.

Dr. Brandon Kyle


Brody School of Medicine Dean Paul Cunningham, left, congratulates Kyle.

Dr. Brandon Kyle of the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Medicine is committed to the success of his students. His Basic Psychiatry course continues to be highly rated, with Kyle earning recognition and praise from those he teaches.

He also serves as a thoughtful and committed chair for the Health Sciences Sexual and Gender Diversity Committee. The workgroup is focused on curriculum, climate and ensuring a welcoming practice environment for LGBT patients, students, faculty and staff.

Dr. Rukiyah Van Dross-Anderson


Brody School of Medicine Dean Paul Cunningham, right, congratulates Van Dross-Anderson.

Since joining Brody in 2005, Dr. Rukiyah Van Dross-Anderson of the Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology has made valuable contributions to the teaching mission of the department, as evidenced by several teaching awards for which she has been nominated or selected. Furthermore, she was able to maintain an active laboratory that is making great strides toward obtaining funding and developing novel chemical structures that may be useful in treating skin cancer.

Van Dross-Anderson has also been responsible for the development and maturation of the Summer Biomedical Research Program, which provides an opportunity for undergraduate students to spend a summer conducting research at Brody. And she led the Vice Chairs for Diversity group from 2008-2013, during which time she played an integral role in advancing the group's work in accordance with the Brody mission.

Most recently, Van Dross-Anderson assumed a major administrative role in the department as director of the graduate program and is performing magnificently at a time when there is considerable change occurring in the graduate programs at the Brody.

Dr. Jamie Powell


Dr. Nick Benson, left, and Dr. Cunningham, right, congratulate Dr. Jamie Powell.

Dr. Jamie Powell of the Department of Internal Medicine was named a Mission Champion in clinical care. Formerly serving as a resident and chief resident in internal medicine, Dr. Powell worked as a primary care provider in Ahoskie before returning to ECU.

He is the recipient of multiple teaching awards and is known for his leadership and dedication to the school's mission. He has been instrumental in guiding a faculty though a stressful time for the division, during which his selfless dedication to his colleagues and passionate commitment to patient care was truly inspiring. He has continued to lead his division forward, successfully recruiting new faculty (while working clinically far beyond what is expected of him) and managing to find time to educate.

Dr. Powell represents the finest essence of what a physician should be: dedicated, hard working, loyal, compassionate, sacrificing, determined and honorable.

Martha Dartt


Martha Dartt accepts the Mission Champion award from Dr. Cunningham.

Martha Dartt was named a Mission Champion for her service to ECU Physicians. Martha has been with ECU for 27 years and is a tremendously skilled team leader and team member.

She is known as a go-person for the clinical staff because of her wealth of knowledge and her passion for providing care for our patients is always at the forefront of her work.

Dr. Don Fletcher


Dr. Cunningham presents the Mission Champion award to Dr. Don Fletcher.

Dr. Don Fletcher was named a Mission Champion in medical education. His 20 years of leadership as course director for Gross Anatomy and Embryology have borne great results.

Over 92 percent of Brody students and alumni have passed through his classroom in the last 33 years and they consistently rank the course higher than the national average for gross anatomy courses. It is among the strongest at Brody.