ECU faculty members have been awarded three grants totaling $472,180 from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust.
• The School of Nursing will receive $193,124 to develop a case management program for school age children with chronic illness. ECU faculty member Martha Keehner Engelke, associate dean for research and scholarship, and Martha Guttu, eastern region school nurse consultant with the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, will collaborate with school nurses in Dare, Pamlico, Perquimans, Pitt and Washington counties to implement the program. The goal of the project is to improve the health and educational outcomes for students with chronic illnesses such as diabetes, asthma and seizure disorders. The program will use information technology including handheld computers to assist school nurses in providing and documenting care. Engelke is the principal investigator.
• The Department of Physical Therapy in the School of Allied Health Sciences will receive $100,000 to purchase specialized diagnostic equipment for a state-of-the-art gait and balance laboratory to provide direct services to low-income patients in eastern North Carolina. The lab will provide computerized quantification of movement and diagnostic information on gait, mobility and physical activities to implement prevention and intervention programs. Initially, children with neuromuscular disease or those who are overweight and frail, fall-prone older adults will be assisted through the grant. Training for physical therapy doctoral students and medical students, as well as residents and fellows, is a component of the grant. Denis Brunt, professor and chair of the physical therapy department, and faculty members Leslie Allison and Amy Gross McMillan are the principal investigators.
• The Division of Infectious Diseases in the Brody School of Medicine will receive $179,056 to increase services and access to individuals with HIV/AIDS in eastern North Carolina. Dr. Thomas Kerkering, chief of the Division of Infectious Disease, is the principal investigator. The funds will help a social worker assist patients in getting access to important anti-retroviral medications. The monies also will help develop a database to make the Brody School of Medicine more competitive in seeking federal grants for the care of patients infected with HIV, Kerkering said. The division cares for approximately 1,700 patients from 30 counties in eastern North Carolina.