The Department of Family Medicine, the founding clinical department of the Brody School of Medicine, has been a vital part of ECU since the establishment of the school of medicine in the 1970s.
Over the years, as it has served its patients, the Department of Family Medicine has outgrown its first permanent facility. According to Dr. Ken Steinweg, professor and chair of the Department of Family Medicine, the practice had really reached the limit of what it could accomplish in the old facility.
This summer, the Department of Family Medicine moved into the new Family Medicine Center, located on the Health Sciences Campus. The new building also houses the Frances J. and Robert T. Monk Geriatric Center, an exciting asset to the practice. This center is the result of a generous $2.5 million endowment from the Monk family of Farmville.
Dr. Cody Wingler talks with a patient in the new
Family Medicine Center.
“The old facility was too small, and we could not accommodate all of our residents so that they could see patients in the required amount of time they had,” Steinweg said. “It was very constraining in terms of what we are able to do.”
Also due to space limitations, the practice was spread over four separate locations, which meant that everyone was scattered. This presented challenges for patients, physicians, and residents.
“Since the department was in four separate buildings, our learners and faculty had to move all around the separate locations,” Steinweg said. “We are now all in one place, which has allowed us to organize our practice to meet the needs of the patient-centered medical home. It is just wonderful.”
Being together in one building also helps facilitate communication, said Steinweg.
“Having the faculty and the residents together in one place promotes wonderful interaction in regard to what happens day-to-day,” he said. “The increased interactions are gold for learning and faculty/resident communication.”
The Department of Family Medicine’s philosophy has always been aligned with the mission of the medical school and strives to provide patients with the best possible care. This mission includes increasing the supply of primary-care physicians to serve in North Carolina, improving the health status of citizens in eastern North Carolina, and enhancing the access of minority and disadvantaged students to a medical education.
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