Willis, CME receive recognitions
By Doug Boyd
ECU News Services
Dr. Stephen Willis
(Dec. 12, 2012)
An East Carolina University physician has been recognized for his work in the field of continuing medical education.
In addition, the CME program at the Brody School of Medicine at ECU has received accreditation with commendation.
Dr. Stephen Willis, executive director of the Eastern Area Health Education Center and associate dean for CME at ECU, has received the Robert Raszkowski, MD, PhD ACCME Hero Award for his volunteer service to the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education.
Willis has served as a recognition surveyor, a member and co-chair of the ACCME Committee for Recognition and Review, and on the ACCME board of directors. He said he is honored to receive the award, and it reflects the medical school's commitment to education.
"It just says (ECU) is a very supportive place to work with an appreciation of … working on the national scene to improve health education," he said.
Willis has also been instrumental in local and national efforts to disengage CME activities from commercial sponsorship.
"This new approach has left speakers and attendees more able to freely learn the relevant facts of clinical care without any shadow of vendors or other commercial sponsors," said Dr. Nicholas Benson, vice dean of the Brody School of Medicine. "It has been a difficult, and not completely popular, process. This award seems to indicate that the national CME accrediting body recognizes the great accomplishments of Steve just as much as our local team does."
ECU's CME reaccreditation term is for six years. Only 22 percent of the providers reviewed from 2008 to 2012 achieved accreditation with commendation. Normally, accreditation is for four years; accreditation with commendation adds another two years.
Randy Horton is the director of the Office of CME at the Brody School of Medicine.
"Dr. Willis and his team at Brody's Office of CME have been working in partnership with (Community Care of North Carolina) to provide performance improvement CME throughout the eastern North Carolina region," said Dr. Elizabeth Baxley, senior associate dean for academic affairs at the medical school. "Performance improvement CME is the leading edge of continuing education, and has its roots in the clinical quality improvement movement. Given this, and the fact that the majority of CME operations have not ventured into this yet, I am not at all surprised they received commendation with their accreditation status."