Family Medicine Building

Previous Spotlights

ECU welcomes new physicians to Family Medicine Center

new 2017 physicians
From left, Drs. Shah, Haven, Prado and Whitman.

ECU Physicians has welcomed seven new physicians to their Family Medicine Center - four who are practicing comprehensive care, and three specializing in sports medicine.

In the area of comprehensive care, Drs. Kelley Haven and Audy Whitman are graduates of the Brody School of Medicine, and both completed residencies with ECU and Vidant Medical Center - Haven in obstetrics and gynecology and Whitman in family medicine.

Dr. Melissa Prado, a graduate of Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, completed her residency in family medicine at Lancaster General Health in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Uma Shah earned her medical degree at the American University of the Caribbean in St. Maarten before completing a family medicine residency at ECU and Vidant Medical Center.

Read the full article.

The Department of Family Medicine Congratulates Its 2017 Residency Graduates!

This group of physicians will be entering a variety of practice settings: eight will enter private practice Two will enter post-graduate fellowships in Geriatrics. Two graduates have accepted faculty appointments in the Brody School of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine. Of the graduates entering private practice, five will remain in eastern North Carolina; three will be practicing in rural settings.

For the fifth consecutive year, each graduate has successfully passed the American Board of Family Medicine Certification Exam on the first attempt.

We wish our graduates all the best as they embark on their post-residency careers!

Three faculty present their research at ADA Scientific Sessions

Drs. Cummings, Hambidge and Patil from ECU Family Medicine Research Division presented their research at the American Diabetes Association's 77th Scientific Sessions, June 9-13, 2017 in San Diego, California.

Dr. Cummings was selected in the oral abstract session entitled Thinking and Working Outside the Box-Prevention and Intervention Approaches. He presented "Stepped-Care Behavioral Intervention Reduces Regimen-Related Distress" based on 6 months data from the COMRADE study (Collaborative Care Management for Distress and Depression in Rural Diabetes). Dr. Lesley Lutes, Dr. Bertha Hambidge, Dr. Marissa Carraway, Dr. Shiv Patil, Alyssa Adams, Chelsey Solar, Dr. Kerry Littlewood, Sheila Edwards, and Peggy Gatlin were co-authors.

Dr. Cummings also co-authored a poster "Efficacy and Safety of Insulin Aspart 30 and Insulin Degludec/Aspart vs. Basal Insulin in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes: A Meta-analysis" along with Drs. Moshriky and Tanenberg from ECU Endocrinology.

Dr. Hambidge presented a poster on "Insulin-Using Patients Experience Comparable Reductions in Regimen-Related Distress from Behavioral Interventions" under the Psychosocial, Behavioral Medicine category. Dr. Skip Cummings, Dr. Lesley Lutes, Dr. Merissa Carraway, Dr. Shiv Patil, Alyssa Adams, Chelsey Solar, Dr. Kerry Littlewood, Sheila Edwards, and Peggy Gatlin were co-authors.

Dr. Patil presented "Rural Team-Based Diabetes Care: Telehealth Achieves Comparable Outcomes as Face-to-Face Care" as a poster under the Health Care Delivery-Economics category. Co-authors were Dr. Skip Cummings, Alyssa Adams, Lisa Rodebaugh, Dr. Dennis Russo, Jill Jennings, Dr. Elizabeth Banks, Jessica Sisneros, Dr. Ann Marie Nye, Dr. Jill Hardee, and Kay Craven.

In addition to the general poster sessions, presentations from Drs. Hambidge and Patil were selected by the Scientific Sessions Meeting Planning Committee to be showcased in a Moderated Poster Discussion. During these one-hour discussions, session moderators shared their perspectives and highlight novel or recent developments in discussion sessions with poster presenters as attendees listened in. All these abstracts were published in the Scientific Sessions Abstract Book, the June 2017 supplement to the journal Diabetes.

Dr. Jonathon Firnhaber adds "distinguished professor" to his many titles

Dr. Jonathon Firnhaber '14 stays busy. He is a physician at East Carolina University's Family Medicine Center, an associate professor of family medicine at the Brody School of Medicine, director of the family medicine residency program and vice chair of academic affairs - plus he is working on his MBA.

Now he is the recipient of the Max R. & Catherine S. Joyner Distinguished Professorship in Primary Care Medicine.

Read full story.

The Department of Family Medicine congratulates Beth Bradley as 2017 Nurse of the Year for ECU Physicians!

Beth is the Nurse Manager for the Family Medicine Center Purple Module. She has been with Family Medicine since 2012 and was a finalist for the 2015 Nurse of the Year award.

The following excerpt from one of her nomination letters summarizes this honor well: "...she is my essential and irreplaceable interface with patients, dealing on a daily basis with their requests for medication refills, test results, scheduling issues, provider communication, and health related patient education. In this role, she does an absolutely splendid job!! Ms. Bradley is extremely responsible, which allows me to sleep very well each night content in the knowledge that there are no loose ends dangling on tasks that we mutually desire to accomplish for our FMC patients. On multiple occasions, I have watched her communicate on the phone with patients, exhibiting far more patience with them than I would ever have. Beth is always cheerful, always respectful, and always going the extra mile for individuals that many others would not even attempt to interact with."

Read full story.

ECU leads state in rate of primary care medical graduates

East Carolina University continues to lead the state in the percentage of medical graduates training in or practicing primary care five years after completing school, according to a report presented this month to the state university system.

Of the 65 students who graduated from the Brody School of Medicine in 2010 who were practicing medicine or in residency or fellowship training in 2015, 36 - or 55 percent - were in a primary care field, according to the report compiled by the N.C. Area Health Education Centers and the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The report defines primary care as family medicine, general internal medicine, pediatrics, OB/GYN and internal medicine-pediatrics.

Read full story.

Faculty Attend the NC Academy of Family Physicians' 2016 Gala

NCAFP Gala 2016

Pictured, From Left: Dr. Richard Rawl, Dr. Janice Daugherty, Dr. Susan Keen (Mitch), Dr. David Gilbert (Heather), Dr. Susan Schmidt, Dr. Chelley Alexander (Hugh Lee)

East Carolina University's Family Medicine Faculty attended the NC Academy of Family Physicians' 2016 Family Medicine Gala in August at the Raleigh Convention Center. It was a fun and glamorous black tie evening that included food, fellowship and an evening spent honoring and roasting the AAFP's 2016 Family Physician of the Year, Dr. Maureen Murphy.

Proceeds from the event will be used to support the NC AFP Foundation's Family Medicine Interest Initiatives. These programs and services are a key component in helping to ensure the future of Family Medicine in North Carolina by providing information and experiences in family medicine to North Carolina Medical Students.

Golden Living Awards $125,000 Grant

Golden Living Center has awarded the Golden Living Teaching Nursing Home Grant of $125,000 to the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University to support a nursing home teaching project. Hal Garland, executive director of the local center, presented the donation to Dr. Chelley Alexander, chair of the Department of Family Medicine at Brody. Faculty members supporting the project include Dr. Kenneth Steinweg, Dr. Renee Banaszak and Terry Icard.

The money will be used to support the instruction of resident physicians and geriatric fellows, faculty salaries and teaching materials. Medical, pharmacy and physician assistant students also go to Golden Living Center for clinical learning.

Brody's Department of Family Medicine provides primary medical care for the residents of the local Golden Living Center on MacGregor Downs Road. The 72,000-square-foot facility houses 152 residents.

This is the 34th year that the center has supported the teaching project with cumulative support totaling more than $2.5 million.

Congratulations to Dr. Doyle "Skip" Cummings, Brody School of Medicine Mission Champion!

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.

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.

The Department of Family Medicine Congratulates Its 2016 Residency Graduates!

2016 Residents
Back row from left: Ricky Barker, MD; Maharshi Patel, MD; Cristiane Kaufmann, MD; Evan Lutz, MD; Meghan Scott, MD; Brian Parrish, MD; Faraz Sethna, MD.
Front row from left: Namrita Sodhi, MD; Taran Boparai, MD; Amreeta Sharma, MD; Meridith Taylor, MD.

This group of physicians will be entering a variety of practice settings: five will enter private practice and one will be practicing with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Two will enter post-graduate fellowships, one in Sports Medicine and one in Geriatrics. Three graduates have accepted faculty appointments in the Brody School of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine, one will be short-term prior to longer-term international work. Of the graduates entering private practice, two will remain in North Carolina; one will be practicing in eastern North Carolina.

For the fourth consecutive year, each graduate has successfully passed the American Board of Family Medicine Certification Exam on the first attempt.

We wish our graduates all the best as they embark on their post-residency careers!

ECU Family Medicine Receives NIH Funding For Hypertension Disparities Research Project

Adams, Cummings, and LandrineFamily Medicine at ECU has a unique opportunity to compare innovative strategies to improve racially disparate BP control patterns among African Americans in the southeastern United States. ECU Family Medicine and Public Health faculty joined with faculty from the University of Alabama-Birmingham, School of Medicine, and from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill to apply for research funding.

Together this consortium secured a $9.5 million grant from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI)/NIH, for the project entitled: "Southeastern Collaboration to Improve Blood Pressure in the US Black Belt Region."

This project will utilize a cluster randomized trial design to randomize 80 rural primary care practices in North Carolina and Alabama to explore how well a practice facilitation (i.e., improving systems and patterns of care in the practice) intervention compares with a peer health coaching (i.e., community-based but practice linked) intervention in improving the proportion of African American patients with uncontrolled hypertension who achieve guideline-recommended blood pressure control.

The study will use a two by two factorial design to compare these two strategies independently and combined together relative to augmented "usual care." The study will enroll and follow 2000 African American patients from these practices with uncontrolled blood pressure. More information about the study is available from our Research Division at 252-744-2607.