CAHS News Archives: August to December 2013

CAHS Archived News Aug-Dec 2013

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CAHS Leads the Way with New Technology

With technology ever-changing, the College of Allied Health Sciences is leading the way for the University with new equipment in a Allied Health Sciences building classroom that will open up new possibilities for professors and students alike. Read more on the "Health Beat" blog.

U.S. Navy veteran, reservist Pat Frede returns to ECU  

The purple and gold revelry of an East Carolina University homecoming came sprinkled with red, white and blue for Pat Frede, who returned this fall from a fourth deployment with the U.S. Navy. Read more of this story by Crystal Baity here.


Dr. Hildebrand Presents at Conference

Dr. Mary Hildebrand from the Department of Occupational Therapy was invited to present at the AOTA Specialty Conference-Adults with Stroke in Las Vegas, NV, December 6-7. The topic of her presentation was "Psychological and Emotional Impairments after Stroke". 

CAHS Honors Donors at 2013 Homecoming Reception

The East Carolina University College of Allied Health Sciences celebrated the generosity and commitment of the loyal patrons who continue to invest in the future of the College's students with a homecoming reception and building dedication held Friday, Nov. 8.

The lobby was filled with friends of the college and the occasion was the one of the most well attended events, as well as the first donor appreciation event of this kind. Following a time for fellowship and delicious hors d'oeuvres catered by Rock Springs, Dean Stephen Thomas welcomed the esteemed guests and recognized the donors, donor families and current & retired faculty in attendance.

Director of Development Patrice Frede then took the podium to express her thanks to the College's patrons and to present two scholarship checks to Dean Thomas which included $2,000 to the Beth Lambeth scholarship in Addiction and Rehabilitation Studies and $1,600 to the Freedom scholarship in Occupational Therapy. Frede also took a moment to thank the staff at the Medical & Health Sciences Foundation who helped execute the event during her deployment in Djibouti, adding that the event signified not only homecoming for E.C.U. but a homecoming for her as well. As a thank you to Dean Thomas for his unwavering support and kindness during her deployments, Frede presented him with an American Flag that was flown over Afghanistan in 2009-10 and Africa in 2011-12 along with a certificate signed by all of the crew.

Following the presentations, friends and patrons of endowed funds of more than $25,000 were led by members of the Student Leaders Council to tour the college and view the rooms dedicated in honor of their generosity or in memory of their family member or friend.

Each dedicated area in the College will memorialize and honor the individual after which it is named and insure that honoree's name is known to all who enter this college, as someone who has given of themselves to advance the mission and vision of the College.

As the groups toured the college and observed the rooms, several of those in attendance were awed by the changes in technology that have taken place since the College was housed in the Belk Building on Charles Boulevard.

The following rooms have been named in honor or memory of the College's faithful friends:

Main Lobby/Atrium – Louise O. Burevitch

Room 1305 – in honor of Barbara W. Bremer

Room 1310 – in memory of Meta Downes, by family and friends

Room 1310B – in memory of Lina Edwards Wheeler, by the family of Susan Wheeler Parker Wheeler

Room 1310N - in honor of Tanya Johnson-McDowell and Riley Floyd, by Mr. and Mrs. Frank Floyd

Room 1340 –in memory of Jean Elaine Mills by Amos Mills

Room2405 - in memory of Dale Huggins, by Doug Huggins

Room 2410 – in honor of George Hamilton

Room 2410G –in memory of Catherine V. McCulley, by family and friends

Room 3206A – in honor of PCMH Volunteer Auxiliary by Etsil Mason

Room 3206J – in honor of Edwin and Nancy Monroe

Room 3325A – in honor of David L. Ward

Room 3410 – in honor of Susan T. Smith

Room 3425 – in honor of Stas & Brenda Humienny

Room 4355 – in memory of Jennifer Elizabeth "Beth" Lambeth by family and friends

The evening ended with closing remarks from both Dr. Thomas and Frede, thanking each person in attendance for their generous contributions and dedication to the College.

Should you wish to give to the College of Allied Health Sciences or any department in the college, or should you have questions, please contact Patrice M. Frede, the College's director of development at (252)744-3523 or at

2013 Homecoming Reception

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The Department of Occupational Therapy helps provide driving rehabilitation and evaluation

Faculty at the Department of Occupational Therapy at East Carolina University are doing their part in providing older drivers with the rehabilitation evaluation they need to retain their independence while keeping them safe on the road. Visit to view a video interview with Dr. Anne Dickerson and click here to read more about their work with driver rehabilitation.

Dr. Cellucci Publishes Text Book

Dr. Leigh Cellucci, associate professor in the Department of Health Services and Information Management, has recently published a textbook Healthcare Marketing: A Case Study Approach by Health Administration Press. The book information could be find here.







Dr. Hildebrand Presents at Conference

Dr. Mary Hildebrand from the Department of Occupational Therapy was invited to present at the AOTA Specialty Conference-Adults with Stroke in Las Vegas, NV, December 6-7. The topic of her presentation was "Psychological and Emotional Impairments after Stroke". 




CSDI Katelyn Nall is featured on the University home page

Communication Sciences & Disorders student Katelyn Nall is pictured on the ECU homepage with the latest story from ECU News Services writer Crystal Baity about ECU Volunteer and Service-Learning Center's "Adopt a Grandparent" program. Read more of the story here. (photo by Cliff Hollis)


 PT Students Participate in Stand Down Event

Read the latest post on the Health Beat blog to learn more about how first year physical therapy students gave back to the community through the Pitt County Stand Down event. Read more...





Hildebrand awarded for teaching practice

Dr. Mary Hildebrand was honored with the "Award for Outstanding Practice in the Area of Teaching" at the 2013 North Carolina Occupational Therapy Association annual fall conference in October. Congratulations Dr. Hildebrand!


OT Students Learn First Hand About Various Mobility Options

Second year Occupational Therapy students participated in a hands-on lesson about community mobility last week, riding Segways in front of the College of Allied Health Sciences building and driving adapted vans. During the session, Dr. Jennifer Radloff educated the group on a occupational therapist's role in assessing community mobility as an aspect of Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) as well as the role of the OT specialist in driving rehabilitation. Students worked in the experiential lab with an adapted van and drove with either handle controls or a left foot accelerator thanks to Driving Rehabilitation Services. Through this lesson they learned about different types of options on a mobility van and using a Segway as an alternative transportation option. 




Agius, Atherton & Putts Present at National Council

Marie Agius, MS, doctoral student, Dr. Leigh Atherton, PhD, LCAS, LPC, CCS, Clinical Assistant Professor, and Matthew Putts, MS, doctoral student from the Department of Addictions and Rehabilitation Studies had a poster presentation at the November 2013 National Council on Rehabilitation Education (NCRE) conference in Arlington, VA. Their presentation, entitled Navigate Counseling Clinic: A Service Learning Model for Rehabilitation Counselor Development, focused on a unique approach to Rehabilitation Counselor education utilizing a Service Learning model. 

Making Connections
ECU service van to aid veterans across eastern North Carolina

Operation Re-Entry has been featured as part of the University's celebration of veterans during the Veteran's Day holiday. Read more of the article by ECU News Services writer Crystal Baity here.

Mayer Selected as US Fellow for British Medical Journal

Physician Assistant Clinical Assistant Professor Martin Mayer has been invited to become a member of the United States Board of the British Medical Journal Fellows as a U.S. Fellow. Mayer is the first physician assistant to be offered this role.

As a US Fellow with the BMJ, he will: serve as a representative and liaison for the BMJ and US authors (e.g. by encouraging submission of important research to the BMJ), give advice to the journal to help continue to both raise its impact and nurture interest in the US, and provide editorial comments and peer review.

The BMJ is one of the world's leading general medical journals and the fourth most cited general medical journal in the world, and the most cited open access general medical journal in the world.

"I have been an enormous fan of the BMJ since I first started reading medical journals given their steadfast dedication and rigorous approach to evidence-based medicine," said Mayer, "The fact that they make their content open access is nothing short of phenomenal.

Unknown Ailment: ECU activities, research aid communication for people with aphasia

Check out the article by Crystal Baity at ECU News Services about Dr. Heather Wright and the Communication Sciences & Disorders department's work with Aphasia. View the article here

[photo by Cliff Hollis]


Dr. Susie Harris serves on panel at health informatics fair

Dr. Susie Harris from the College's Department of Health Services and Information Management served on a panel discussion, Transitioning into Health Informatics, at the Health informatics Career & Internship Fair on Friday, October 11, 2013, at the UNC Charlotte’s Center City Campus. The panel also included educators from Health Informatics graduate programs at Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill and UNC Charlotte.The bi-annual Health Informatics Career Fair was hosted by five of the state’s prominent universities, East Carolina University, Duke Center for Health Informatics, North Carolina Central University, University of North Carolina Charlotte, and University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, in the field, and also featured the industry’s leading employers who discussed the incredible job opportunities available today.  

WITN highlights Alzheimer's walk funded through ECU grant work

A two-mile walk to benefit Alzheimer's research will take place tomorrow in Washington beginning at the Redmen's Lodge at 10:30am. The funds raised will contribute to the Alzheimer's North Carolina Program which recently awarded a $50,000 grant to the Harriet and John Wooten Laboratory for Alzheimer's and Neurodegenerative Diseases Research at ECU. Dr. Sonja Bareiss from the physical therapy department is part of this grant which will fund the study of effects of physical and cognitive exercise on laboratory animals with symptoms of dementia and how certain drugs can mimic the effects. The research, grant and Alzheimer's walk was featured on WITN and can be viewed at this link.

Dr. Johnson Awarded Excellence in Clinical Practice award

Sarah Johnson, PT, DPT was presented the Excellence in Clinical Practice of the Year award by the North Carolina Physical Therapy Association this past weekend at the fall meeting in Asheville, NC.  Dr. Johnson is a 2006 graduate of the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at ECU.  She previously received a Master of Physical Therapy degree from ECU in 2005.  Since 2010 she has served as a clinician in the ECU Physical Therapy Clinic seeing a wide variety of patients.

ECU PA Students Celebrate National Physician Assistant Week

From Oct. 6 to Oct. 12, students in the East Carolina University Physician Assistant Studies program celebrated National Physician Assistant Week by honoring their professors and giving back to their community.

Read the Health Beat post for more information {link}

Balaji Rangarathnam, PhD joins CAHS staff

The College of Allied Health Sciences welcomes Dr. Balaji Rangarathnam as an Associate Professor in the department of Communication Sciences & Disorders. Dr. Rangarathnam holds a doctorate from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and both a masters and bachelor's degree in speech-language pathology and speech hearing from the University of Mysore in India.


Campbell has journal article published

Robert J. Campbell, EdD, associate professor in the Department of Health Services & Information Management, has an article published in the October 2013 issue of the Journal of American Health Information Management Association [Vol. 84(10) 42-47] titled "The Five Rights of Clinical Decision Support: CDS Tools Helpful for Meeting Meaningful Use".

October 2013

Journal article published

Dr. Martha Chapin, professor, had a journal article published titled, "Challenges in Program Evaluation Preparation and Survey Implementation" in the Vocational Evaluation and Career Assessment Professionals Journal, 8(2) and 9(1), 30–42.

Matt Cox, doctoral student in the Department of Addictions and Rehabilitation Studies, had a Test Review titled "Review of the Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices" published in the Vocational Evaluation and Career Assessment Professionals Journal, 8(2) and 9(1), 43-48.

Sept 2013



New CSDI Faculty


Andrew Vermiglio, AuD, CCC-A, FAAAis an audiologist and an assistant professor at ECU.  His research is in the area of speech recognition in noise.  He taught audiology courses at California State University, Northridge for four years. 

Prior to entering academia Dr. Vermiglio worked as a Senior Research Associate at the House Ear Institute (HEI) in Los Angeles.  At HEI he worked in the Department of Human Communication Sciences and Devices under the direction of Dr. Sigfrid Soli and in the Department of Auditory Electrophysiology under the direction of Dr. Manny Don. 

Dr. Vermiglio is one of the developers of the Hearing in Noise Test (HINT) and the Source Azimuth Identification in Noise Test (SAINT).  He has also worked as a clinical audiologist for the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Long Beach, California and at the House Ear Clinic, in Los Angeles, California. 

He has played drums professionally for many years and has served as a musician and music instructor for the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Army Reserves.

September 2013

PT Welcomes New Faculty


Meardon,-Stacey-web  Willy,-Richard-web
             Meardon                           Willy

Stacey Meardon, PT, PhD, ATC, CSCS, assistant professor, has joined the faculty of East Carolina University in the Department of Physical Therapy. 

Stacey received a BS in biology from Wartburg College, a master's degree in physical therapy from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and a PhD in kinesiology with an emphasis in biomechanics and motor control from Iowa State University. 

Her research examines neuromuscular and biomechanical factors influencing running injury with interests in bone health, factors influencing coordination of gait and factors influencing responses to footwear and orthotics. She and her husband, Chris, are the proud parents of three children, Cate age 9, Luke age 5, and Finn age 1.


Richard Willy, PhD, PT, OCS, assistant professor in the Department of Physical Therapy, received a Bachelor of Sport Science and Master of Physical Therapy degree from Ohio University and his PhD in Biomechanics and Movement Science from the University of Delaware.

Dr. Willy has been a clinician for 13 years and is a Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist.  His research focuses on the pathomechanics and treatment of patellofemoral pain syndrome and the prevention of knee osteoarthritis in young, high-risk individuals. Dr. Willy and his wife Elizabeth are proud to be new members of the ECU community.

August 2013

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       Kennedy                   Brown                          Perry                    Wilson-Brown

2013 Dean's Awards Announced


The ECU College of Allied Health Sciences held its annual Faculty and Staff Convocation on Monday, August 19, 2013.  Annual awards for outstanding performance in the areas of Teaching, Service, Research, and Outstanding Staff Personnel were given by Dr. Stephen Thomas, Dean.  Awards were presented to:

Outstanding Teaching - Dr. Michael Kennedy, Dept. of Health Services and Information Management
Outstanding Service - Mrs. Myra Brown, Dept. of Health Services and Information Management
Outstanding Research - Dr. Jamie Perry, Dept. of Communication Sciences and Disorders
Outstanding Staff Personnel - Pattie Wilson-Brown, Dean's Office

The awards were largely based on work done over the last year (July 1 - June 30) with consideration given to work completed in the preceding three years.  Congratulations to our award winners!

August 2013

Dickerson participates in several conferences


Dr. Anne Dickerson, professor and Director of the Research for Older Adult Driver Initiative (ROADI) , has contributed to expanding the knowledge of driving and occupational therapy this summer.

May 13, 2013 – Dr. Dickerson was plenary speaker at Wayne State University Institute of Gerontology Conference with a presentation: Driving with Dementia:  When to Give Up the Keys.

July 11 & 12, 2013 – Trinity University, Dublin Ireland invited Dr. Dickerson to present a two day workshop with Dr. Tadhg Stapleton:  Workshop for Occupational Therapists on Addressing Driving Issues in the Irish Context of Practice.  Since there was a wait list of 40+ therapists, Dr. Dickerson will be returning to Dublin to repeat the workshop in August.

July 29-30, 2013 – Dr. Dickerson was one of the key facilitators of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies' mid year meeting of the Committee on Safe Mobility of Older Persons (ANB60).  The meeting's objective was to begin a process to build a taxonomy of terms focused on: How We Approach Evidence of Driving Impairments/Driving Competence:  Developing a Resource to Promote Shared Understanding Among Researchers, Clinicians, Policymakers, and Licensing Officials. Dr. Dickerson will be one of the content experts for this ongoing project.

August 18-20, 2013 – Dr. Dickerson will participate in sessions meeting at the Annual Conference for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists including:  The Pathways Project:  Update and Plans for the Future, Pathways and Champions:  Strategies for Empowering Driver Rehabilitation Specialists, and Creating Poster Presentations:  Driver Rehabilitation Specialists Can Be Stars.

August 2013

Toriello awarded grant

Paul Toriello, RhD,professor and chair, has been awarded a three-year Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration grant in support of his project, Operation Reentry NC: Veteran Resiliency and Reintegration.

The grant will provide up to $828,956 in funding over three years.  The first year began on August 1, 2013.  The SAMHSA grant will provide innovative means to enable outreach to homeless veterans and their families in eastern North Carolina. 

Operation Re-entry North Carolina (ORNC) is a university-wide, multi-institutional research partnership in support of military service personnel:  wounded warriors, veterans and their families, as well as those military/VA providers who care for them.  This work will advance the quality of health care and family support for those who put their lives and well-being on the line for our nation.

August 2013

Bariess participating in study


The Harriet and John Wooten Laboratory for Alzheimer's and Neurodegenerative Diseases Research at ECU has received a grant in the amount of $50,000 to advance the studies of Alzheimer's disease.  Sonja Bareiss, PhD, PT, assistant professor in the Department of Physical Therapy is one of the lab researchers who will be participating in the study.

The money will be used to study the effects of physical and cognitive exercise on laboratory animals with symptoms of dementia and how certain drugs can mimic the effects.

The grant is the first to be awarded to the lab itself rather than to individual researchers.

Working with Bareiss are Dr. Qun Lu, director of the lab, and a scientist and professor of anatomy and cell biology at the Brody School of Medicine; and Dr. Tuan Tran, an associate professor of psychology at ECU.

The Wooten Laboratory was established in 2008 by Dr. Harriet Wooten in memory of her husband, Dr. John Wooten, an orthopedic surgeon who died of Alzheimer's disease in 2004. More information about the Wooten Lab is online at

Pictured above:  From left, Dr. Sonja Bareiss and Dr. Tuan Tran of ECU, Alice Watkins of AlzNC, Dr. Qun Lu of ECU, donor and AlzNC board member Laura Gaddis, AlzNC board chair J. Gregory Wallace and Dr. Paul Cunningham, dean of the Brody School of Medicine at ECU, were among those at the check presentation.

August 2013

CSDI welcomes new faculty


Yolanda Feimster Holt, PhD, CCC-SLP, assistant professor, has joined the faculty of in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders.

Dr. Holt received a B.S. in Political Science from Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina; a M.Ed., in Communication Sciences and Disorders from North Carolina Central University (NCCU) in Durham, North Carolina; and a Ph.D., in Speech and Hearing Science from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Prior to joining the faculty at ECU Dr. Holt served as a practicing Speech Language Pathologist in Ohio, Virginia, and North Carolina, serving both children and adults in home, school, and hospital settings. In addition, Dr. Holt served on the faculty of NCCU.

Research interests focus on the dialect variation in African American English and Southern American English. Dr. Holt is currently preparing series of experiments on speech production and perception for eastern North Carolina speakers.

August 2013