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ECU Physicians to transfer gastroenterology clinical services to Vidant Medical Group

November 25, 2014 by Kathryn Kennedy, Chris Mackey

East Carolina University has announced it will transition the operation of its gastroenterology services and Digestive Disease Center from ECU Physicians, the clinical practice of the Brody School of Medicine, to Vidant Medical Group on Dec. 1.



The transition is part of ongoing efforts by leaders at Brody School of Medicine and Vidant Health to develop an integrated care delivery system in response to changes in the health care industry, including decreasing reimbursement and increasing indigent care. 



ECU and Vidant have long been partners in improving digestive health for patients in eastern North Carolina. This change integrates the clinical services under Vidant Health and continues the academic component of gastroenterology under the Brody School of Medicine. The clinical services offered include screening exams for colon cancer, upper endoscopies, ultrasounds to detect gallstone and pancreatic disease, and treatment for acid reflux.



“The most important thing about this transition is that patients will continue to receive great care from the same doctors in this community,” said Dr. Mark Rumans, chief medical officer for Vidant Health. “These doctors will join an established health care system providing acute, intermediate, rehabilitation, and outpatient health services to more than 1.4 million people in 29 counties.”



The ECU Physicians Digestive Disease Center today consists of five physicians and six staff. In addition to the services offered through the Endoscopy Center, the practice also treats patients for heartburn, irritable bowel and Crohn’s disease, ulcers, swallowing problems and liver conditions like viral hepatitis and cirrhosis.



An agreement between ECU’s Brody School of Medicine and Vidant will maintain the fellowship program in gastroenterology and allow these physicians to continue teaching and research activities.



“Each of these strategic operational changes will ensure Brody remains on sound financial footing while preserving critical health care services for patients in eastern North Carolina,” said Dr. Nicholas Benson, medical director of ECU Physicians.



Gastroenterology patients should see no change in the services provided. The clinics will continue to operate from the third floor of the 521 Moye Medical Center on Moye Boulevard.
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