ECU and Community Health
Mission, Vision and Values
Community Health Centers
Faculty and Courses Taught
Christopher J. Mansfield, PhD, MS
Certificate Program Coordinator
Community Health Organization and Leadership
Dr. Mansfield is a professor of public health and director of the Center for Health Services Research and Development at East Carolina University (ECU). His health services career began when he organized a neighborhood health center as a VISTA Volunteer. Before becoming a professor, he had 20 years of experience in public health administration, health planning, and health policy analysis. As associate director of the Eastern Carolina Health Systems Agency, he was involved in creation of rural health centers. He received a BA in economics from the University of Michigan and a MS in public management science from Case Western Reserve University. His PhD degree is in public administration with a concentration in health administration and policy from Florida State University. Dr. Mansfield has been a professor at ECU since 1988 with appointments in the departments of community health, family medicine, and public health. He has taught courses in health care systems and problems, health administration, health policy, health law, research methods for public health, and social and cultural dimensions of medical practice. His research has focused on utilization of medical procedures, professional workforce issues, social determinants of health, and measurement of health disparities. He is an elected member of the North Carolina Institute of Medicine and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health. Dr Mansfield has experience throughout the eastern North Carolina region in community diagnosis and community-based health interventions.
Xiaoming Zeng, MD, PhD
Dr. Xiaoming Zeng is an associate professor and the Chair in the Department of Health Services and Information Management in the College of Allied Health Sciences at East Carolina University. He earned his MD degree from Peking Union Medical College in Beijing, China in 1997 and PhD in Health Information Management from University of Pittsburgh in 2004. During his doctoral study at University of Pittsburgh, he finished two-year fellowship training in biomedical informatics from the center for biomedical informatics at University of Pittsburgh. He has been teaching health information technologies and informatics related courses since he joined the faculty at ECU in 2004. In 2008, he received a $50,000 grant from University of North Carolina General Administration to establish an online graduate certificate program in health informatics at ECU. Dr. Zeng has a special interest in education and workforce development for Health IT professionals. He served as the Chair of the Research Committee for the American Health Information Management Association and one of the faculty members for AHIMA Research Training Institute.
Michael H. Kennedy, PhD, MHA, FACHE
Health Care Accounting and Financial Administration
Dr. Kennedy earned his doctorate in decision sciences and engineering systems at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and his Master of Health Administration degree at Baylor University. He has 31 years experience in teaching and health services administration that have been divided between academic positions and operational assignments in the military health system as a human resources manager, equal opportunity advisor, ambulatory care administrator, and other positions of leadership culminating as the Chief Operating Officer of a small hospital. In past academic assignments, Dr. Kennedy served as Director of the Doctor of Health Administration Program at Central Michigan University, taught in the Health Services Administration Program at Slippery Rock University, and was the Deputy Director of the U.S. Army-Baylor University Graduate Program in Healthcare Administration. Dr. Kennedy is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.
Elizabeth Forrestal, PhD, RHIA, CCS, FAHIMA
Health Care Systems and Problems
Dr. Forrestal is a specialist in health informatics research and health care reimbursement. In Minnesota, she worked at tertiary care centers in several departments, such as third-party reimbursement, credit and collections, account auditing, outpatient registration, inpatient admissions, research studies, and quality management. While on the faculty of the Medical College of Georgia, she also consulted for the Physicians' Practice Group. Dr. Forrestal successfully sat for the first CCS examination in 1992. In 2001, she was awarded the designation of Fellow of the American Health Information Management Association, one of the first two individuals in the country to receive this award. She earned her baccalaureate degree from the University of Minnesota and a post-baccalaureate certificate in health information administration from the College of St. Scholastica. She earned her master's degree in organizational leadership from the College of St. Catherine's and her doctorate in higher education from Georgia State University. Her research interests include ethics and health informatics, leadership, and work redesign.
Patricia Royal, Ed.D, MSW
Patricia Royal is an assistant professor in the Health Services and Information Management Department in the College of Allied Health. Prior to her current appointment, Dr. Royal served as the Interdisciplinary Rural Health Training Program Coordinator for Duplin/Wayne/Sampson Counties, in addition to serving as a co-coordinator for Greene/Lenoir Counties. Her position was funded through a federal grant that focused on interdisciplinary teams needed for health care delivery in rural communities. Her appointment was held in the Research Division of Family Medicine with Brody School of Medicine. In this role Dr. Royal was able to gain valuable experience regarding pubic/community health in underserved areas. Dr. Royal’s education includes a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership and a master’s degree in Social Work; both degrees were conferred by East Carolina University. Dr. Royal also completed a certificate in NonProfit Management through Duke University and post graduate courses in Public Health through UNC-Ch. Prior to joining ECU, Dr. Royal worked in health care environments as a social worker for hospice and dialysis. Dr. Royal also serves as the Director for the Health Care Administration Certificate.