Tell a friend about this page.
All fields required.
Can be sent to only one email address at a time.
Share Facebook Icon Twitter Icon



2014 Health Informatics Career Fair and Symposium 

Through a collaborative effort between five universities across North Carolina, the Health Informatics Career Fair and Symposium was an informative success with 239 registrants and 23 exhibitors attending the event at the East Carolina Heart Institute Oct. 24, 2014.

The East Carolina University College of Allied Health Sciences' Department of Health Services and Information Management, Duke Center for Health Informatics, ECU College of Business, the School of Library and Information Sciences at North Carolina Central University, the Carolina Health Informatics Program at University of North Carolina, and the Health Informatics Professional Science program at UNC-Charlotte came together for this initiative to provide a venue for students and the general public to learn about practicum opportunities, the latest research trends and developments in health industries and job opportunities in the health informatics field.

Health Informatics is an evolving field that links information technology, communications, and healthcare. The growth in the area of electronic health records has steadily driven the need for qualified individuals who can process and analyze clinical data. Through the Health Informatics Career Fair and Symposium, registrants learned more about the scope of the field and predicted outcomes for its future.

Podium Gordon WebThe event began with an address from keynote speaker Lynne Thomas Gordon, Chief Executive Officer of the American Health Information Management Association, who reminded students that the future is now and shared 10 important factors for achieving success. Gordon highlighted that to accomplish goals students need to have positive self-expectancy, self-motivation, self-discipline, and self-awareness, along with other key requirements.

Following the keynote address, those in attendance participated in panel discussions on topics such as transitioning into health informatics, careers in health informatics and perspectives in health informatics. Panelists and moderators included faculty from all participating universities as well as employers and students.

Between sessions, posters that were entered in the poster contest were available for viewing in the atrium. Mengyuan Fang, a graduate student in the ECU College of Business was awarded for his poster "Effects and Sustainability of Health Information Exchange" which included contributions from ECU faculty members Dr. Yajiong Xue and Dr. Huigang Liang. Kim Joyner, Quality/Accreditation Manager for Student Health Services at ECU was also awarded for her poster, "Disaster Preparedness Drill - Student Health Services".

Throughout the day, exhibitors such as Vidant Health, Community Care of North Carolina, and Epic, a software company that provides medical software for medical groups, hospitals and integrated healthcare organizations, were available to answer questions and meet with students. Other exhibitors and sponsors included Allscipts, American Health Information Management Association, BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina, Cardinal Innovations, Greenway Health, IBM, Kinston Health Center, Northeastern University, SAS, and Seagate Consultants.

Spear-headed this year by the Department of Health Services and Information Management at ECU, the symposium is an annual event that rotates between the university partners. The fifth annual symposium will be held in the Research Triangle Park area in October 2015.

View more photos from the event below:










downes art

Dr. Downes' Art Showcased at Laupus

Sheldon Downes, Ed.D., Professor Emeritus from the Department of Addictions and Rehabilitation Studies presents a 2014 Fall Semester exhibit as part of the Art as Avocation series. Entitled, "The Beauty of Realism," Downes showcases a collection of oil paintings that capture the beauty of landscapes and scenes from nature. The exhibit is on display in the Laupus Library 4th floor gallery beginning October 21 and will run through December 12, 2014. Please see attached flyer for more information. The opening reception will be held on October 21st at 4:30pm in the library's 4th floor exhibit gallery and is open to the public.

44th Annual Downes Symposium a Sold-Out Success

The 44th Annual Meta M. Downes Speech-Language and Hearing Symposium was not only a great opportunity for those interested in the speech, language, and hearing fields but also a successful, sold-out event.

With 247 students, professionals, and faculty registered to attend the symposium, held Oct. 17 in the East Carolina Heart Institute, a satellite location had to be added in the Health Sciences Building.

The annual event is truly a student-run event with the East Carolina University Chapter of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) taking the helm in organizing the symposium , arranging speakers, and executing the symposium.

Deborah Bengala, director of undergraduate education and clinical associate professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders serves as the advisor for NSSLHA and said she couldn’t sing the praises of her students loud enough when it comes to their leadership abilities in making the symposium a success.

“The goals of the annual symposium are to raise money for scholarships and community projects, as well as to provide current clinical and research information, to students and professionals. We are able to accomplish these goals through the collaborative work of our graduate and undergraduate students,” said Bengala.

This year’s event focused on developing evidence-based treatment for childhood articulation disorders and vocabulary and literacy development in Latino preschoolers. Those in attendance heard presentations from faculty members Dr. Lucia Mendez and Dr. Yolanda Holt, and also utilized the new information in development activities such as using the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association evidence map for speech sound disorders in children and discovering the impact of variations in classification of disorders on therapeutic approach.

During the symposium, several scholarships were awarded to students in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. Dr. Shel Downes, husband of Meta Downes and professor emeritus in the Department of Addictions and Rehabilitation Studies, presented the Meta Downes Scholarship to four students, Ivey Best, Katie Broadwell, Valentyna Hibbs, and Harris Shepherd. Michael May from the RiteCare Childhood Language Program, an organization funded through the Scottish Rite Foundation, was also present to award two scholarships to Anna Lawrence and Jillian Nyswonger.

Other awarded scholarships included the Tanya Johnson McDowell and Riley Floyd Scholarship presented to Cara Julian and Aaria McConnell, the Lina Edwards Wheeler Memorial Scholarship presented to Lisa Tallman, the James and Carol White Speech Pathology Scholarship presented to Mary Highsmith and Sara Shaw, and the Robert Muzzareli Scholarship presented to Elizabeth McGee.

The Meta M. Downes Speech-Language Hearing Symposium began in 1970 as the ECU Speech-Language Hearing Symposium, created by Associate Professor Emeritus Robert Muzzarelli and former Associate Professor Meta Downes. While it originally served as a professional development symposium designed to expand the skill set of professionals in the fields of speech and hearing, it later grew to include sessions designed for not only those who had already succeeded in the field, but also for students hoping to learn more as they furthered their education. Following the death of dedicated faculty member Meta Downes, who had been with the Department for 36 years and advised the ECU Chapter of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association, the student organization voted to re-name the event in her honor in 2010.

The event is sponsored by the East Carolina University Chapter of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) in cooperation with the ECU Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and Eastern AHEC.

View photos from the event below:











Oct_14 Research Update Web
October 2014 CAHS Research Update

Check out the October 2014 edition of the College of Allied Health Sciences Research Update featuring vital information about funding opportunities, upcoming deadlines, resources and highlights from CAHS research developments. You can view the update and access the links by clicking here.  

HI2014 Flyer Web
2014 Health Informatics Career and Internship Fair/Symposium

The Department of Health Services and Information Management and the College of Business at East Carolina University, along with several other NC colleges are collaborating for the 2014 Health Informatics Career and Internship Fair/Symposium to be held Friday, Oct. 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the East Carolina Heart Institute. To view more information, register to attend, or register to sponsor this event visit

Harris_July 2010 small01
Dr. Harris Publishes Book

Dr. Susie Harris, associate professor from the Department of Health Services & Information Management has a book publication, Managing Health Informatics and Services Operations. This book explores management skills and techniques for undergraduate healthcare students and entry-level professionals pursuing a career in the management of health information management (HIM) departments. Read more...

Gregg Givens Web

Dr. Givens Elected President of National Council

Dr. Gregg Givens, professor emeritus in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders has been elected President of the National Council of State Boards of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. Dr. Givens' term will be for the 2015 calendar year. Congratulations Dr. Givens!


Dr. Stephen W. Thomas Honored at Retirement Reception

Faculty and staff from across East Carolina University gathered at the East Carolina Heart Institute Oct. 13 to honor Dr. Stephen Thomas who will retire as the dean of the College of Allied Health Sciences Oct. 31 after 34 years with the College.

The evening began with two honorable presentations. Dr. Paul Toriello, chair of the Department of Addictions and Rehabilitation Studies and master of ceremonies for the reception along with Vice Chancellor Phyllis Horns presented Thomas with the honor of Dean Emeritus and a gold stole reflecting his new title. Dr. Don Ensley, professor emeritus from the Department of Health Services and Information Management and Amos Mills, benefactor of the Jean Mills Health Symposium recognized Thomas with a certificate of appreciation for his dedication to the annual symposium for the past 11 years.

Following the presentations, words of gratitude and praise for the Dean's endless loyalty and passion for the field, along with quips about Thomas' notoriously messy office were delivered by Dr. Horns, deans across the Health Sciences Campus, and chairs of the eight CAHS departments.

Thomas' eldest daughter Dr. Darby Thomas also spoke stating that while she is happy to have inherited her father's love for research and education; she too suffers from the "messy gene" showing photos of her current office and how it compares to the stacks of papers in Thomas'.

Thomas then took the podium to thank those in attendance for their continued commitment to the College. He recognized his chairs, faculty, staff, and fellow administrators, and then thanked his wife Melody for her unwavering support during his years as dean, interim dean, chair, and faculty member at the College.

Dr. Stephen Thomas came to ECU in 1980 as a faculty member in the rehabilitation studies department tasked to start and direct the vocational evaluation master's degree program. He was named chair of the department in 1998 then later named interim dean of the College in April 2001.

Prior to ECU, Thomas held academic, research and administrative positions with the University of Arizona in Tucson, the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonie and the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. Thomas earned his doctorate of education and his master's degree in rehabilitation studies from the University of Arizona and his bachelor's degree in psychology and sociology from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth.

Thomas, an avid sailor and boat enthusiast says that he bases his leadership philosophy on a quote by mariner and author John Rousmaniere, "The goal is not to sail the boat, but rather to help the boat sail herself." While the College feels like Dean Thomas has done an amazing job teaching the "boat to sail herself", the faculty and staff will certainly miss having him as the captain.

View photos from the reception below:










Downes Symp

44th Annual Meta M. Downes Symposium

Don't miss the 44th Annual Speech & Hearing Symposium featuring discussions regarding assessment and treatment of bliginual children and children with articulation disorders. This conference, to be held Friday, Oct. 17 in the East Carolina Heart Institute, consistently tops itself each year with outstanding speakers to elevate the practice of Speech Language Pathology professionals. Find out more information by viewing the brochure and register online here.

The College of Allied Health Sciences Celebrates Homecoming 2014

The College of Allied Health Sciences celebrated homecoming weekend at East Carolina University Oct. 3 with a reception held in the Health Sciences Building lobby. With over 150 alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the College registered to attend, the building was full of excited patrons exploring the various departments and enjoying a “treasure hunt” throughout the College. 

Dr. Thomas at HomecomingThe CAHS homecoming event began with a reception in the lobby where guests were treated with a performance from the ECU women’s a Capella group, The Magnolia Belles. Following welcoming remarks from Dean Stephen Thomas, who celebrated his last homecoming with the College before his upcoming retirement and Sydney Humphreys, student liaison to the Dean, Director of Development Pat Frede took the podium to present Dr. Thomas with a surprise. The CAHS Advancement Council along with the Medical and Health Sciences Foundation has renamed the Student Leadership Legacy Fund to the Dr. Stephen W. Thomas Leadership Legacy Student Fund. Dr. Thomas said he was made “speechless” by the honor and was grateful that a fund he feels so passionate about now holds his name.

After hearing instructions for the evening from Dr. Kathleen Cox, department chair in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, representatives from the ECU Ambassadors and CAHS Student Leaders Council led those in attendance throughout the College to learn more about each department and see presentations from faculty and students. The Operation Re-Entry van, a grant-funded mobile clinic that aids veterans across eastern North Carolina in the Department of Addictions and Rehabilitation Studies was also available in the parking lot for tours and demonstrations. 

Alumni also used the homecoming event to meet up with fellow members of their graduating class. The Department of PhysicalPT Alumni 1984 Therapy class of 1984 had a reunion after the general reception with around 20 members of the class and faculty from that time enjoying a tour of the PT labs before gathering for dinner. Many of the alumni were surprised and thrilled to see the new advances in technology available for students since their years in the program.

At the end of the event, everyone who toured through the departments and marked off their "treasure map" was able to pick some "pirate booty" from the CAHS treasure chest of goodies donated by each department.

View more photos below:









Jason Brinkley

Dr. Brinkley Invited to Join Customer Advisory Board

Dr. Jason Brinkley has been invited to join the Customer Advisory Board for the JMP division of SAS Institute. The JMP Customer Advisory Board is a 16 member panel that serves in a consultative role to provide feedback regarding future directions, product features, and marketing and communications initiatives. The board consists of 16 members mostly coming from industry with current representation from Procter & Gamble, Archer Daniels Midland, Pacific Gas & Electric, Eastman Chemical Company, Bank of America, GlaxoSmithKline, and others. Dr. Brinkley is only one of three university affiliates on this year’s board. Responsibilities include conference calls and on site meetings which will feature demonstrations of new features in JMP, lively roundtable discussions about best practices in analytics, and the future of the analytic marketplace.

Kulesher On Call Dr. Kulesher Participates in "Doctors on Call" segment for WITN 

Dr. Robert Kulesher from the Department of Health Services and Information Management served on a panel of health professionals for WITN's "Doctors of Call" segment Sept. 10. Dr. Kulesher answered calls regarding health insurance choices and provided resources for those trying to understand and select the right insurance for their needs. You can view the video interview between Dr. Kulesher and WITN's Lynette Taylor here.

Sept. Research Update 1
September 2014 CAHS Research Update

Check out the September 2014 edition of the College of Allied Health Sciences Research Update. This bimonthly update provides vital information about funding opportunities, upcoming deadlines, resources and highlights from CAHS research developments. You can view the update and access the links by clicking here.   

Beth Velde

Dr. Beth Velde Invited to Join Academy of Engagement Scholarship

The Academy of Community Engagement Scholarship (ACES) board of directors has invited Dr. Beth Velde, director of strategic planning & the Mills Symposium for the College of Allied Health Sciences, to become an inaugural member of the Academy. Read more on the ECU Health Beat Blog by clicking here

CAHS Homecoming 2014 InviteWeb
Celebrating Homecoming 2014

The East Carolina University College of Allied Health Sciences will host a Homecoming 2014 Reception Oct. 3 from 6 p.m. to 9 the Health Sciences Building. To RSVP by Sept. 19 please visit this link. Visit the CAHS Homecoming 2014 website for more information. 

» Other Links

 facebook icon linkedin icon

Twitter Icon Health Beat blog icon
 instagram icon


Give To East Carolina University