Greenville, N.C. – October 11, 2021– Vidant Health hospitals have received several American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Get With The Guidelines® achievement awards for their work in treating stroke, diabetes, cardiac arrest, heart attack, and heart failure.
These awards recognize the hospital’s commitment to ensuring patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.
“Vidant’s recognition by Get With The Guidelines® demonstrates our commitment to quality care. Meeting our mission to improve the health and well-being of eastern North Carolina means finding solutions for chronic conditions that affect so many in our region, “ said Teresa Anderson, PhD, RN, NE-BC, senior vice president of quality at Vidant. “The Vidant system is proud to be recognized by the American Heart Association for turning guidelines into lifelines.”
Vidant Health hospitals receiving recognition include:
“We are pleased to recognize Vidant Health for their commitment to diabetes, stroke and heart care,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., national chairperson of the American Heart Association’s Quality Oversight Committee and executive vice chair of neurology, director of Acute Stroke Services, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts. “Research has shown that hospitals adhering to clinical measures through the Get With The Guidelines® quality improvement initiative can often see fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates.”
Stroke, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, which includes heart failure, heart attack and cardiac arrest, are among the leading causes of death in the nation. Cardiovascular disease claims more lives each year than all forms of cancer and chronic lower respiratory disease combined.
According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone in the United States suffers a stroke every 40 seconds and there are nearly 795,000 new or recurrent strokes each year. Stroke kills about 140,000 Americans each year, accounting for one out of every twenty deaths. In eastern North Carolina, the stroke death rate is even higher, highlighting the need for preventative and rapid care.
“These awards are another proud moment for the Vidant Health system as it earns the recognition from AHA/ASA for providing the highest level of stroke care through its network of acute stroke ready hospitals, primary stroke centers and a comprehensive stroke center,” said Dr. Shailesh Male, stroke medical director at VMC. “This honor is a testament towards Vidant’s commitment to improve the health and well-being of eastern North Carolina.”
To speak with a Vidant neurologist for non-emergency care, please call 252-816-9700.
Greenville, N.C. – Sept. 28, 2021 – Since 1989, The North Carolina Great 100, Inc. has recognized and honored nurses around the state for their commitment to excellence and to promote a positive image of the nursing profession. Out of thousands of nominations that are submitted annually, 100 recipients are selected based on their outstanding professional abilities and contributions made to improving health care services to their communities.
This year, 14 Vidant Medical Center (VMC) nurses have been selected to the 2021 NC Great 100.
Vidant Health extends heartfelt gratitude to these nurses for their contributions to patient care and living the Vidant mission of improving the health and well-being of eastern North Carolina.
The Vidant nurses chosen this year are:
Anthony Ayscue, BSN, RN, CRN, is the assistant nurse manager for ARU, VAT and Radiology Nursing at VMC. Anthony has been with Vidant for more than 18 years and has been in his current role for more than five years. Anthony is a certified radiology nurse, and earned an associate’s degree from Edgecombe Community College and a bachelor’s degree from Barton College. He is a member of the Association for Radiologic & Imaging Nursing.
Youssef Belahchich, RN, is a staff nurse III working in the Neurosciences Unit at VMC. Youssef has worked at Vidant for seven years and previously served as an orthopedic RN. He graduated from Pitt Community College with an associate degree in nursing and worked in a skilled nursing facility before joining VMC.
Amy Campbell, PhD, RN, CPHQ, LSBB, is a quality nurse specialist III on the Performance Improvement Quality Analytics team at VMC. Amy started her career as a staff nurse on the pediatric floor at the former Pitt Memorial Hospital in 2000. Amy has been in her current role for 12 years. Amy earned an associate degree in nursing from Pitt Community College, bachelor’s degree in science nursing from East Carolina University (ECU), as well as a master’s degree and PhD in nursing from ECU. She is certified in Lean Six Sigma Black Belt from North Carolina State University and is a certified professional in Health Care Quality. Amy was an East Carolina Hall of Fame doctoral scholar and the 2018 Association for Leadership Science in Nursing Doctoral Grant recipient. Amy is a member of National Association of Healthcare Quality, Association of Leadership Science and Sigma Theta Thau.
Michelle Carawon, MSN, RN, CCRN-K, is an infection control preventionist III at VMC. Michelle has been with Vidant for 16 years and has been in her current role for the past year. Michelle is certified in critical care nursing and earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from East Carolina University and a master’s degree in nursing from Walden University. Michelle is a member of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, Sigma Theta Tau-International Honor Society of Nursing, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and the East Carolina University Alumni Association.
Miriam Coggins, BSN, RNC, is a staff nurse at VMC’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Miriam has worked in the NICU at VMC for 36 years. She earned a bachelor’s degree in science nursing from East Carolina University. Miriam has held multiple roles at VMC including permanent charge nurse, assistant nurse manager and interim manager. As interim manager she assisted with the opening of VMC’s current 50 bed NICU. Miriam has a certification in neonatal intensive care and serves as co-chair of the Central Line Team.
Roland Ennis, RN, is an assistant nurse manager of the Orthopedic Unit at VMC. Roland has been with Vidant for 21 years and has served in his current role as assistant nurse manger for 10 years. He earned an associate’s degree in nursing from Edgecombe Community College.
Amanda Helms, BSN, RN, is a staff nurse III in the Trauma Surgery Intermediate Unit at VMC. She has been at Vidant for 15 years and has served in her current role for nine years. Amanda earned an associate’s degree in nursing at Beaufort County Community College and received a bachelor’s degree in nursing from University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Amanda obtained trauma nursing core course certification and is a member of the American Nurses Association, North Carolina Nurses Association, Society of Trauma Nurses and Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.
Kristie Hertel, MSN, RN, CCRN, ACNP-BC, FCCM, is an advance practice provider with the Trauma and Surgical Critical Care Department at VMC. Kristie started at VMC in 2006. Kristie earned a bachelor’s degree from Nazareth College, a master’s degree from Rush University and is currently enrolled at UNC Wilmington working toward a doctorate in nursing practice. She has received specialty certification as a certified critical care nurse and acute care nurse practitioner along with induction as a fellow in the Academy of Critical Care Medicine. Kristie is a member a member of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, Society of Critical Care Medicine and Sigma Theta Tau International.
Stephanie Head, MSN, RN, PMGT-BC, NE-BC, is the nurse manager of the Vidant Pain Management Center, a hospital outpatient department of VMC. A Vidant nurse for 30 years, Stephanie has been the manager at the Vidant Pain Center for the past nine years. Prior to her current role, Stephanie served as a nursing assistant for two years. Stephanie earned a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in nursing leadership from East Carolina University. She holds a specialty certification in pain management nursing and is a nurse executive-BC. Stephanie is an active member with American Society of Pain Management Nurses and North Carolina Organization of Nurse Leaders.
Patty Jordan, MSN, RN, NE-BC, CCCC, is a senior nurse administrator in Patient Care Services at VMC. Patty has been with Vidant for five years. She earned a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing and a master’s of science degree in nursing and health care administration from Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville. Patty has obtained specialty certifications as a nurse executive, and as a cardiovascular care coordinator. Patty is a member of American Association of Critical Care Nurses, East Carolina Chapter of American Association of Critical Care Nurses, American Organization of Nurse Leaders, Sigma Theta Tau, and the North Carolina Nurses Association.
April Meeks, BSN, RN, PCCN, is the assistant nurse manager on the Palliative Care Unit at VMC. April has been with Vidant for 15 years and in her current role for more than a year. She earned an associate degree in nursing from Edgecombe Community College and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. April is specialty certified as a progressive care certified nurse. April is a Daisy Award Honoree and a Vidant Brody Award Finalist. April is a member of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, North Carolina Organization of Nurse Leaders, North Carolina Association of Healthcare Quality and Sigma Theta Tau.
Shannon Mazza Roberson, BSN, RN, CPEN, SANE-P, is a staff nurse IV in the Special Care Nursery at Maynard Children’s Hospital. Shannon has been with VMC for the past eight years and she earned a bachelor’s degree from Barton College. She began her career with Vidant in the Children’s Emergency Department as a staff nurse. Shannon has been a part of the leadership team within Emergency Services as both assistant nurse manager of the Children’s ED and nurse manager of the Adult ED. Shannon has more than 23 years of nursing experience and has cared for pediatric patients throughout her career. She is a certified pediatric emergency nurse as well a sexual assault nurse examiner for pediatrics. She is a 2020 finalist for the Vidant Brody Award as well as a Daisy and Team Daisy Award recipient. Shannon holds multiple certifications in the field of Emergency Services. Shannon is a member of the International Association of Forensic Nurses, the Emergency Nurses Association and a member of Sigma Theta Tau.
Sherry Stone, DNP, RN, NPD-BC, is an education specialist in nursing at VMC. Sherry has been at Vidant for six years. She earned an associate degree from Patrick Henry Community College, a bachelor’s degree from Old Dominion University, a master’s degree from Western Governor’s University and a doctorate in educational leadership from American Sentinel University. Sherry has obtained certification in nursing professional development. She is a member of the American Nurses Association, the North Carolina Nurses Association, the National League for Nursing and The Association for Nursing Professional Development for which she serves as the chair for the Recognition Committee.
Ashley Venters, MSN, RNC-LRN, is a staff nurse III in Special Care Nursery at VMC. Ashley has been in her role for more than 14 years and earned a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in nursing education at East Carolina University. Ashley is currently working towards post-master’s work in the field of family nurse practitioner. Ashley obtained her specialty certification in low-risk neonatal nursing and is a member of Beta Nu and Sigma Theta Tau.
Roanoke Rapids, N.C. – Sept. 10, 2021 – Vidant North Hospital is proud to announce it has received re-certification for its Joint Care Center, an acknowledgement of nationally recognized standards for joint care patients. This marks Vidant North’s third certification since 2017.
Certification is a process through which health care organizations demonstrate compliance with national standards. This certification highlights Vidant North’s Joint Care Center standing as an outstanding resource for in the community and provides the services and treatments nearby, allowing patients the convenience of quality care close to home.
“The Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement certification program is designed to assist health care organizations to provide high quality, comprehensive health care with an emphasis on patient safety,” said Tracy Olesnevich, director of acute care services at Vidant North. “We are pleased to once again receive this recognition of continued excellence in coordinated and comprehensive care for patients receiving joint replacements.”
Since its inception in 2005, the Vidant North Joint Care Center has provided the highest level of care to patients and has helped them return to previous levels of mobility so that they may continue to enjoy the activities that enhance their lives. The convenience of having high-quality joint care close to home is key to Vidant’s mission of improving the health and well-being of eastern North Carolina.
During the certification process, Vidant North’s Joint Care Center is evaluated on quality outcomes including patient experience and satisfaction. Dedicated specifically to joint replacements, Vidant Joint Care gives patients a sense of community by spending time with other patients who are undergoing the same surgeries. The experiences of comradery between patients in this unit is one of the factors why many choose to return to Vidant Joint Care when they have future joint replacement needs.
“Enhancing patient care is at the forefront of Vidant North’s efforts to meet the mission of improving the health and well-being of eastern North Carolina,” said Jason Harrell, president of Vidant North. “We are proud of this certification and the commitment of our team members across all levels and services to make this a reality.”
As members of the Alliance, Vidant and ECU can offer cancer patients access to a larger pool of state-of-the-art clinical trials at Vidant and ECU clinics. These trials include treatment for breast, gastrointestinal and genitourinary cancers, as well as leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma, neuro-oncology and respiratory cancers.
Health care providers typically must demonstrate their ability to meet an annual average enrollment of at least 15 patients in specific clinical trials for rare cancers over a three-year period in order to become Alliance members. However, the ECU and Vidant organizations combined for 17 patient accruals last year and already have 17 this year, which prompted the Alliance to grant ECU and Vidant membership earlier than expected.
“This is a good thing, because it means that throughout the network here at ECU and Vidant, we are offering more and more trials to our patients, especially patients with more unusual diseases,” said Dr. Darla Liles, chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology at ECU’s Brody School of Medicine. “Hopefully this encourages more people to consider a clinical trial, because I think there is some hesitancy. I think the more people learn that we have these trials — and they don’t have to go to UNC and Duke for these trials, they can get it done right here — the more they will realize that these are really good things that offer cutting-edge treatments for cancer patients.”
Dr. Emmanuel Zervos, surgical oncologist and director of Vidant Cancer Care, said the partnership between Vidant and ECU along with gaining membership to the Alliance is crucial to providing more high-quality care to patients in the East.
“Whether in Greenville or at any of Vidant’s Commission on Cancer-accredited community hospitals, the Alliance partnership between ECU and Vidant represents the shared vision of providing state-of-the-art cancer care in our region, regardless of where or by whom that care is delivered,” said Dr. Emmanuel Zervos, surgical oncologist and director of Vidant Cancer Care. “Cancer services has been at the forefront of collaboration because of the profound impact that cancer has on our region — validation of this collaboration through accelerated full and unrestricted membership into the Alliance assures that these patients will continue to be served both now and into the future.
Greenville, N.C. – June 28, 2021 – The 2021 Vidant Health Board Quality Leadership Award winners were recently recognized by the Vidant Health Board of Directors for their improvement of patient care. These winning teams are a representation of excellent work across the system that drives the quality goal of zero harm, creates exceptional experiences and improves patient outcomes. Nine nominations were reviewed by the committee and the winning teams are as follows:
Vidant Edgecombe Hospital: “Impact of a Palliative Care Program in a Community Hospital” was selected for its work in reducing the mortality rate and readmission rate by five percent.
Vidant Family Medicine – Edenton: “Responding to COVID-19: Building an Airplane While Flying” for its work to establish a fully functioning respiratory clinic by April 9, 2020, that would see patients requiring screening, testing and treatment for COVID-19 infections.
Vidant Medical Center, Maynard Children’s Hospital team: “A Sustained Improvement in CLASBI Reduction” for its work to reduce central line associated blood infections in Maynard Children’s Hospital by 50 percent.
To receive this honor, team members submitted projects that demonstrated at least two of the following requirements:
Quantifiable improvement in an organizational quality priority with sustained excellence over time
Demonstration of empathy and compassion in patient care
Implementation of innovative solution to patient care problem
Community outreach that addresses the social determinants of health in a meaningful way
“We are proud to see team members from across Vidant Health recognized for their hard work and dedication to patient care,” said Dr. Shirley Carraway, Ed. D, chair of the Vidant Health Board of Directors. “The pandemic brought unique challenges to healthcare and these team members continued to innovate and improve the health and well-being of eastern North Carolina, and we are proud to honor them in this way.”
Barbara Woodland, Terry King and Richard Lucht earned the Governor’s Award for 2020. They each volunteer at VMC in a number of capacities and have adapted to changes in volunteering throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Former Vidant team member, current volunteer
For Barbra Woodland, that meant a move to the department from which she retired.
“I feel especially privileged that my former supervisor here at the hospital had her secretary call me and ask if I would come and help with screening at the rehab center,” Woodland said. “When I can help, I’ve always been a team player so that works for me.”
Woodland began working for Vidant Health in December of 2005 and retired 10 years later as the Rehabilitation Residency program coordinator. She said she isn’t the kind of person who could sit at home after retiring, so she needed to get involved in something.
She’d had experience volunteering before and decided to get involved at VMC.
“Many people think you just volunteer when you retire,” Woodland said, “but I used to live around the corner from a neighborhood church in the inner city so I have a lot of good experiences, I would say. Experiences about meeting different people and treating people with respect and courtesy. Just because they’re in need of something, not feeling that great or have medical problems, we need to help them.”
Woodland said the recognition for her means that someone appreciates what she is doing for her community.
Retired minister and stroke survivor gives back
Terry King is familiar with this recognition as he received the award in 2014 as well. King, who was a minister in his working years, suffered a stroke in 2009 and stopped working full-time. With encouragement from his wife, a nurse at VMC, and his father, King decided to step into volunteering as a new way of continuing to serve others.
“I came in here as green as grass and said, ‘here I am, I want to serve’ and I have never looked back,” King said.
King said his interactions with patients, families and Vidant team members keep him coming back. He recalled times helping family members of patients who don’t speak English and helping patients navigate the hospital. He said the smiles on the faces of those he can help are better than any payment he could receive for the work.
He believes his time as a minister has prepared him for this chapter of his life and helps him in his interactions with patients and families.
“It’s helped me because I understand the human experience. You just take people from where they are, and you don’t try to change them – just try to work with them and help them see the benefit of changes,” King said. “I’ve worked with people who are very upset and frustrated and being able to diffuse that situation just by listening and talking normally and paying attention and being caring, that’s life.”
King also said that he enjoys feeling like a part of the Vidant team as a volunteer and the teams at VMC have made him feel welcomed and appreciated.
New accolades for former Volunteer of the Year
Richard Lucht was named Volunteer of the Year two years ago and received the state recognition for the first time this past year.
After retiring from East Carolina University, where he taught piano in the School of Music, he mentioned a desire to get involved in volunteering to a friend who suggested VMC. Six years later, he said he knows how important volunteering has been for him.
“I keep reinventing myself and I think one has to do that to find meaning in their life,” Lucht said. “A lot of people get very depressed about retirement but I found it a very exciting time. That’s all part of that – it helps keep me vital and it’s a very positive part of my retirement life. That just adds to the aspect of my being.”
Lucht said his family has been service-oriented for a long time and recognized his mother and brother for being influential in that space. He also said he has several nieces who are physician’s assistants and doctors.
As a retired professor, he said it is very exciting to him to be around a teaching hospital where many medical students are learning their craft – one of the many rewards for volunteering at his local hospital.
“Getting involved and meeting the diverse population we serve out there is very rewarding to me – the patients and also the bright, young college students that are working in some aspect of the medical field,” Lucht said. “It’s meeting people and giving back to a community that has been very kind to me and my family here.”
Vidant is proud of the volunteers that help us serve a region. The selflessness and passion these volunteers and so many others show each day is an inspiration and an important part of Vidant’s mission to improve the health and well-being of eastern North Carolina.
On April 7, Vidant Medical Center (VMC) hosted its Donate Life event, Pause to Give Life, to recognize organ donors and their families. Vidant team members, including the donor resource team and transplant team, were among those in attendance.
During the ceremony, the Donate Life flag was raised on the VMC flagpole at 10:08 a.m., a time symbolic of the ratio of one donor being able to save up to eight lives. Following the raising of the flag, a 30-second moment of silence was observed to honor donors and their families and recognize the more than 3,000 patients waiting for a life-saving transplant in North Carolina.
“It was a record year for organ donors at Vidant. We had 55 donors in 2020 that resulted in saving or enhancing 179 lives by those donations,” said Van Smith, VMC executive vice president of operations. “This is a celebration of the work of Vidant and Carolina Donor Services in partnership to support the community and improve the quality of life across eastern North Carolina.”
Carolina Donor Services President and CEO Danielle Niedfeldt recognized VMC for the record year of organ donations with an Outstanding Service Award during the event. Niedfeldt said in addition to a record year for transplantations at VMC, the hospital performed at a remarkable level in its own right and as compared to others within the Carolina Donor Services area.
Among the speakers at the event was Gerri Ashe, a community health worker at Vidant Health. She shared her story as a family donor – or someone whose loved ones have donated organs after they have passed.
Ashe began working at Vidant in February of 2008. In November of that same year, her oldest brother passed away from a stroke at just 43 years old. She recalled that when she was getting her license her dad told her to sign up as an organ donor and her siblings did the same. After his passing, they learned he would be able to donate three organs – his heart and his corneas.
“At that time, I decided to turn what seemed to be a really difficult situation into a positive moment of being able to share my story,” Ashe said. “It also made me want to get more involved and become more educated so I could help families understand the process.”
Ashe said she completed her studies in health education and promotion this past February.
As a community health worker, Ashe has many responsibilities in educating eastern North Carolina and connecting people to services or resources that they need to be healthy.
She said she also tries to raise awareness for the need of organ donation and stresses the importance of healthy living for anyone who may be interested in being an organ donor.
“No matter what decision a family makes, if I can just help them during that time – even as difficult as it is – I know I’ve done my job as a family donor,” Ashe said. “That’s how I honor my brother’s memory is by spreading the word and helping others realize how important it is to donate.”
Vidant Health is grateful for the countless contributions of all team members during this unprecedented time. It is with great pride that we announce Dr. Ogugua Ndili Obi, pulmonary and critical care physician at Vidant Medical Center and ECU Brody School Medicine assistant professor, was awarded the prestigious Dogwood Award from North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein for her contributions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Dogwood Awards are given annually to honor North Carolinians who are dedicated to keeping people safe, healthy, and happy in their communities.
“Dr. Obi and her team have risked their own personal safety to bravely care for COVID-19 patients,” said Stein. “It is my honor to recognize Dr. Obi and all the medical professionals on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. Every North Carolinian owes a debt of gratitude to the health care professionals who are responding to this crisis.”
Dr. Obi’s award is a recognition of all health care heroes who have selflessly cared for their community. Vidant team members – both clinical and non-clinical – have never wavered in their commitment to meet our mission to improve the health and well-being of eastern North Carolina.
“I would like to accept this award on behalf of all the physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, care partners and everyone who takes care of COVID-19 patients both here at Vidant Medical Center and across North Carolina,” Dr. Obi said. “This award is dedicated to all of the team members at Vidant, especially in the Medical Intensive Care Unit. Every single one of them has made incredible personal sacrifices and stepped up in a truly amazing way to take care of patients with COVID-19. I am truly humbled and honored to receive this award, and to work with Vidant care teams.”
Please join us in thanking Dr. Obi and all health care heroes.
Since 1989, The Great 100 Gala has recognized and honored nurses in North Carolina for their commitment to excellence and to promote a positive image of the nursing profession. Out of the thousands of nominations, the selection committee chooses 100 nurses to honor as the best of the best in the state.Read more »