Dr. W. Randolph Chitwood, Jr., is the director of the East Carolina Heart Institute. Dr. Chitwood performed the nation's first total robotically assisted mitral valve repair surgery in 2000. He was chief investigator for the federal Food and Drug Administration clinical trials in robotic surgery.
Dr. Chitwood also serves as professor and senior associate vice chancellor for Health Sciences at East Carolina University. He has served as president of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.
Dr. L. Wiley Nifong is an associate professor of cardiothoracic surgery at the East Carolina Heart Institute. He is the director of surgical robotics and director of surgical research. He has been involved with the training of over 800 surgical teams in the use of minimally invasive and robotic surgery.
Dr. Nifong is a pioneer of new technology to aid minimally invasive procedures including atrial fibrillation ablation energy sources, anastomotic devices, adherence devices, sutureless technology, and intracardiac retraction.
Susan Bewick, CCP, LP
Robotic Training Educator
Susan is the director of the robotic training lab and has worked as a licensed perfusionist for Dr. Chitwood for over 23 years. She has greatly contributed to the development and continued success of the robotic training program by serving as a robotic training educator for teams visiting the East Carolina Heart Institute facilities. Ms. Bewick is a certified trainer in robotic gynecology, urologic, general, cardiac, and thoracic surgeries.
Rebecca Merrick Gilbird, MPH
Business Services Coordinator
Rebecca serves as Dr. Nifong’s executive assistant and the business services coordinator for the Robotic Training Center. She has a BS in biology from the University of North Carolina and a masters of public health from East Carolina University. Rebecca brings a unique perspective to the team acquired through her past work with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the United States Senate, and BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina.
Jerome D. Fuller
Director of Telecommunications, Networks & Special Projects
Jerome D. Fuller is the Director of Telecommunications, Networks & Special Projects at the East Carolina Heart Institute at East Carolina University. He received a BS in Public Administration with an emphasis in Business Law & Information Systems from Slippery Rock University in Slippery Rock, PA. With over a decade of experience in distance education platforms such as IP and Web based Bidirectional Video & Audio conferencing, Jerome has been involved in designing, developing and hosting multiple cardiothoracic robotic surgery educational events. He has worked in the field of Robotic Surgery Training for over 8 years, with his specialty being Web based distance educational models. He and his wife, Annie, have two children, Elisha and Elana (who he says are his most notable accomplishments).
Robotic Surgery Center for Training and Education
East Carolina Heart Institute at East Carolina University
115 Heart Drive
Greenville, NC 27834
If you are a patient or have clinical questions, please contact the East Carolina Heart Institute at 252-744-4400 or visit the website at www.eastcarolinaheartinstitute.com.
Click to view interactive map. Requires Adobe Flash Player.