Health Discoveries is a show that will educate viewers on the value of ECU through its faculty and research, and about the ways in which the university is poised to make a difference in North Carolina, the region, state and world. The series will feature faculty members from across Main Campus and the Health Sciences Campus whose research, scholarly activity, teaching, or service are creating unique solutions to challenges facing people in eastern North Carolina. Episodes of the show, which will typically run about 15 minutes each, will focus on health topics being addressed across major ECU departments, including medicine, nursing, psychology and exercise science.
"'Health Discoveries' is a vehicle ECU can use to not only highlight our outstanding faculty, but to bring attention to some of the most serious health-related problems looming over our region and state." -Samuel F. Sears
The host of Health Discoveries is Dr. Samuel Sears. Dr. Sears is a Professor in the Departments of Psychology and Cardiovascular Sciences at East Carolina University. He also serves as the Director of Doctoral Studies in the Department of Psychology.
Dr. Sears was awarded the O. Max Gardner Award in 2013. This annual award is given by the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina system to the faculty member who "has made the greatest contribution to the welfare of the human race" in the past year. The award is considered the highest honor bestowed to a faculty member in the UNC system.
Dr. Sears is considered the world authority on the psychological care and quality of life outcomes of patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) patients. He has published well over 100 articles in the medicine and psychology research literatures and provides lectures all over the world on a regular basis. Recently, Dr. Sears created a smart phone app, called "ICD Coach" that is the first ever app for cardiac patients focused on successful coping.
Dr. Sears continues to practice and teach health psychology in cardiology clinics at the East Carolina Heart Institute at East Carolina University. He received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in clinical health psychology from the University of Florida.