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Participating in the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Pediatric Specialty Care (from left to right) were ECU pediatric cardiologist David Hannon; Frankie Beeker, chair of the Greenville-Pitt County Chamber of Commerce; Cynda Johnson, dean of the Brody School of Medicine; 5-year-old Benjamin Perkin; Michael Lewis, vice chancellor of the ECU health sciences division; Ronald Perkin, chair of the ECU pediatrics department; 3-year-old Savannah Perkin; and Greenville Mayor Don Parrott. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Open House Launches New Pediatric Specialty Care

By Crystal Baity

Area children with chronic illness or conditions such as diabetes, heart, digestive, kidney or respiratory disease or those at risk for obesity can be seen close to home by East Carolina University specialists.

More than 60 people gathered July 27 for a ribbon cutting and open house in the newly-opened ECU Physicians Pediatric Specialty Care. The office is located at 2150 Herbert Court, just off Hemby Lane.

Dr. Dale Newton, vice chair of operations in pediatrics in the Brody School of Medicine at ECU, said the department has grown from 15 faculty members and 18,000 patient visits 20 years ago to 52 faculty members and an expected 50,000 outpatient visits this year.

Thirty years ago, pediatricians often had to refer patients to medical centers west of I-95. Now most pediatric specialties are available in Greenville through ECU Physicians, the group practice of the Brody School of Medicine.

“We can all remember the days when we had real special needs for our young people and had to take them to Duke or Chapel Hill, but now we can do most everything here,” said Greenville Mayor Don Parrott.

Services include pediatric cardiology including electrophysiology, catherization, ablation, echocardiography, pacemakers and defibrillators; gastrointestinal care for digestive disorders, gastric bleeding, malnutrition and reflux; weight management with nutrition and activity assessment as part of ECU’s Pediatric Healthy Weight Research and Treatment Center; diabetes and endocrinology; nephrology for children with abnormal kidney function, nephrotic syndrome, glomerulonephritis, hypertension and other conditions; pulmonary care for respiratory diseases, cystic fibrosis and asthma with bronchoscopy services and pulmonary function testing; and the Center for Children with Chronic and Complex Conditions.

Dr. Ronald M. Perkin, chair of the ECU pediatrics department, acknowledged Jerry Atkins, an ECU alumnus, whose funding helped bring the building to fruition.

“This is more than a building,” said Dr. Cynda Johnson, dean of the Brody School of Medicine. “It’s a place we’re proud to bring our patients and a place you feel proud to practice in. We desperately need facilities like this for all our clinics.”

The new office adds more than 12,000 square feet in clinic space to a total of more than 30,000 square feet in three locations. The other sites are Adult and Pediatric Health Care at Doctors Park #2 and the Pediatric Outpatient Center at the Brody School of Medicine.

For an appointment, call 252-744-5437. For more information, visit www.ecu.edu/ecuphysicians.

8/29/06
This page originally appeared in the Sept. 1, 2006 issue of Pieces of Eight. Complete issue is archived at http://www.ecu.edu/news/poe/Arch.cfm.