Dr. Michael Waldrum stands with ECU Chancellor Philip Rogers and Dr. Jason Higginson.

Today’s approval of a joint operating agreement between the Brody School of Medicine and Vidant Health by the UNC Board of Governors officially allows the two organizations to create ECU Health. After a unanimous approval by the Board of Governors, Chairman Randy Ramsey said, “This is a monumental day for health care in eastern North Carolina.”

The clinical integration will more effectively and efficiently address current issues facing the region ­­­­— such as health disparities and care delivery obstacles ­­­­— while also better anticipating future health care and educational needs.

Under the agreement, the Brody School of Medicine and Vidant Health will retain their separate legal entities but will function collaboratively under a shared brand launching in 2022, known as ECU Health. Most Vidant entities and ECU Physicians will operate under the new brand while the Brody School of Medicine’s name will not change. The terms of the agreement are effective Jan. 1, 2022.

Dr. Michael Waldrum stands with ECU Chancellor Philip Rogers and Dr. Jason Higginson.

“Today’s approval by the UNC Board of Governors allows ECU and Vidant to begin the detailed work to launch a clinically integrated academic health system. We are grateful for their support as we work together to provide quality health care for the residents of eastern North Carolina,” Chancellor Philip Rogers said. “This agreement represents an important milestone in the long-standing affiliation between two entities bound by the same mission as we become ECU Health.”

Most Vidant Health locations, Vidant Medical Group and ECU Physicians will rebrand to ECU Health. However, there are no changes to the employment status or benefits of current employees – and no assets are exchanged – as a result of the joint operating agreement approval.

Press Releases

GREENVILLE, N.C. (Nov. 12, 2021) – Today, East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine and Vidant Health took the first step in the final approval process in creating ECU Health with a goal of becoming a national academic model for providing rural health care.

ECU’s Board of Trustees approved a joint operating agreement between the Brody School of Medicine and Vidant Health that will enable the two organizations to more effectively and efficiently address current issues facing the region ­­­­— such as health disparities and care delivery obstacles ­­­­— while also better anticipating future health care and educational needs.

Dr. Michael Waldrum stands with ECU Chancellor Philip Rogers and Dr. Jason Higginson.

Under the joint operating agreement, the Brody School of Medicine and Vidant Health will retain their separate legal entities, but will function collaboratively under a new, shared brand launching in 2022, known as ECU Health. Most Vidant entities and ECU Physicians will operate under the new brand while the Brody School of Medicine’s name will not change.

“This agreement represents an important milestone in the long-standing affiliation between two entities bound by the same mission as we work toward the creation of ECU Health,” Chancellor Philip Rogers said. “It signals the point where we can begin to move forward together on our journey to launch a clinically integrated academic health system and deliver on the commitment to provide quality health care for all eastern North Carolinians.”

The agreement also requires approvals from the Vidant Health Board of Directors, Vidant Medical Center Board of Trustees, the Pitt County Board of Commissioners, and the University of North Carolina Board of Governors. The UNC Board of Governors is expected to consider the agreement for final approval during its Nov. 17-18 meeting.

The majority of Vidant Health’s locations, Vidant Medical Group and ECU Physicians will rebrand to ECU Health. However, there are no changes to the employment status or benefits of current employees – and no assets are exchanged – as a result of the approval of the joint operating agreement.

ECU and Vidant Health announced their intentions to clinically integrate in June when Dr. Michael Waldrum, chief executive officer of Vidant Health and distinguished professor at the Brody School of Medicine, was appointed dean of the Brody School of Medicine. Waldrum continues to serve as CEO of Vidant Health in a dual role that is further outlined by the joint operating agreement.

“Today’s announcement is about the residents of eastern North Carolina and brings into reality the collective vision our two institutions have shared for nearly 50 years,” Waldrum said. “Rebranding Vidant to ECU Health in 2022 further signals and strengthens our commitment to bring the best research, doctors and care to the East. We have proven in recent years, and particularly during the pandemic, what can be accomplished when we focus our energies on the mission to improve the health of eastern North Carolina.”

The joint operating agreement is a legal framework that will allow the work of clinical integration and rebranding to begin in earnest with the purpose of:

  • Improving the value of and the access to quality care and providing patients with a more streamlined health care experience.
  • More efficiently using clinical staff across the combined operations, regardless of which organization employs them.
  • Helping to facilitate new strategies and interventions for the most prevalent health needs of eastern North Carolina.
  • Creating operational efficiencies and reducing costs.
  • Establishing a shared leadership and governance structure for ECU Health.

Under the terms of the agreement, which will be effective Jan. 1, 2022, the two organizations will work together to:

  • Evaluate and modify existing practices to improve quality and coordination of care.
  • Integrate certain management structures and strategic planning efforts.
  • Develop a plan for shared services to support the integrated entity.
  • Leverage the capabilities of each organization to advance the collective research and education infrastructure.
  • Coordinate philanthropic initiatives.

“Our mission has not and will not change. How we execute the mission is what is at issue,” said Dr. Jason Higginson, executive dean of the Brody School of Medicine. “We are going to be looking at areas where efficiencies can be built into our process and where value can be added to what we’re doing to improve the final outcome. So rest assured, what Brody is here for and what it stands for is not changing.”

Waldrum noted that the Brody School of Medicine has a rich history of training physicians for North Carolina and that mission will continue as ECU Health serves the 1.4 million residents of eastern North Carolina.

“Through harmonizing our operations wherever possible and building on our unique expertise in caring for rural and underserved communities, ECU Health will set the standard and be a national model for rural health care delivery,” Waldrum said.

About Vidant Health

Vidant Health is a mission-driven, 1,708-bed academic health system serving a region of more than 1.4 million people in 29 eastern North Carolina counties. The not-for-profit system is made up of more than 13,000 team members, nine hospitals including an academic medical center, home health, hospice, wellness centers, and Vidant Medical Group, a multi-specialty physician and provider group with more than 500 providers in more than 100 practice sites in eastern North Carolina. Vidant is affiliated with The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University. As the largest employer in the East and a major resource for health services and education, Vidant’s mission is to improve the health and well-being of eastern North Carolina. For more information, visit VidantHealth.com.

About East Carolina University

East Carolina University, or ECU as it’s best known, offers 87 bachelor’s, 68 master’s and 18 doctoral degrees to 28,000 students on its Greenville, North Carolina, campus and through an acclaimed online learning program. ECU also boasts the largest business school enrollment and largest number of new nurses and education professionals produced by a four-year North Carolina university, in addition to the largest studio art program in the state. Located near Atlantic coast harbors where pirates once roamed, ECU adopted the “Pirates” mascot in 1934 for its athletics program and competes in NCAA Division 1. Visit: www.ecu.edu.

The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University was founded more than 40 years ago to increase the supply of primary care physicians serving North Carolina, improve the health status of eastern North Carolina and enhance access of minority and disadvantaged students to a medical education. Each year, the school graduates close to 86 medical students and welcomes about 125 residents and fellows. Brody consistently ranks No. 1 in North Carolina – and in the top 10% nationally – for graduating physicians who practice in-state, practice primary care and practice in rural and underserved areas. It also ranks in the top 10% nationally for graduating Black and Native American physicians.

Featured | Health News | Press Releases

Greenville, N.C. – Nov. 3, 2021 – Open enrollment is now open for Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance for uninsured community members ages 18-64 and Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) supplemental coverage for Medicare Part A plan members ages 65 and older.

SHIIP helps Medicare beneficiaries compare and enroll in plans that best fit their needs during the open enrollment period and can help identify other Medicare cost savings programs. Changes to Medicare coverage must be made by Dec. 7, 2021, to guarantee coverage will begin without interruption on Jan. 1, 2022.

“Our Access East SHIIP program helps seniors obtain free and unbiased counseling on Medicare health care products,” said Shantell Cheek, director, Access East Uninsured Programs. “It is important that consumers review their options and consult with our experts to avoid hurried and misinformed decisions. Our experts are here to help consumers navigate the complexities associated with insurance.”

Access East’s navigators also help community members seeking health-coverage through North Carolina’s federally funded ACA Healthcare Insurance Marketplace choose the best available plan, complete eligibility and enrollment forms and determine if they qualify for federal assistance to pay for premiums. Access East navigators provide free service through a grant-funded community service and provide impartial free assistance, receiving no commissions regardless of which insurance plan a consumer might choose. About 90 percent of North Carolinians who enrolled last year received financial assistance.

“Our ACA program helps underinsured community members receive access to medical care at competitive rates,” said Cheek. “I would implore all ACA and SHIIP eligible community members to consult with an expert to ensure they are obtaining insurance that meets their individual needs.”

The Annual Open Enrollment period for ACA is from Nov. 1, 2021 to Jan. 15, 2022. To enroll in ACA or speak with a Navigator, visit https://www.accesseast.org/aca-home/. 

The enrollment period for SHIIP is Oct. 15, 2021 to Dec. 7, 2021. To learn more about or enroll in SHIIP, please visit https://www.ncdoi.gov/consumers/medicare-and-seniors-health-insurance-information-program-shiip.

Health News | Press Releases

Greenville, N.C. – Nov. 2, 2021– Vidant Orthopedics has a new way to keep community members moving thanks to a new robotic knee surgery technology called the ROSA® Knee System offered at Vidant Beaufort Hospital, a campus of Vidant Medical Center, and Vidant SurgiCenter in Greenville.

Though recovery times will vary, most patients should be able to drive after two weeks, garden after three to four weeks and golf after six to eight weeks. The ROSA® Knee System is a robotic surgical assistant for total knee replacement. This new technology allows the surgeon to create a plan for the procedure using a 3D model of the patient’s knee, establishing a more precise view and a more customized approach for the patient’s joint anatomy.

“It is important to provide the latest in technologies to our patients and provide them with more options for their care,” said Dr. Deanna Boyette, chief of orthopedics, Vidant Orthopedics. “Along with this new knee replacement technology for in-patient needs, there is also the option to perform ROSA surgery on an outpatient basis, depending upon the individual needs of the patient.”

There have been seven ROSA surgeries performed at Vidant SurgiCenter in its first week with six more scheduled in the near future.

“The orthopedic surgeons are still performing the knee replacement surgeries, and with the ROSA® Knee System, we can dial in the precision of our knee replacements to levels that meet the individual needs of the patient,” said Dr. Christopher Hasty, orthopedic surgeon at Vidant SurgiCenter. “This technology allows us to provide the patient with the best knee replacement with maximum results with quick recovery time. Most patients are back to their regular activities within a couple of weeks.”

This total knee replacement technology supports patient care and offers advanced technology in the community so patients do not have to travel long distances to receive this procedure. The team of highly-trained orthopedic surgeons at Vidant Orthopedics is equipped with latest technologies, treatments and surgical techniques and can now perform these surgeries for patients who want to stay close to home.

The need for total knee replacement surgery results when other treatment options no longer provide relief. Unlike traditional total knee replacement methods, prior to surgery, the ROSA Knee takes a series of X-rays that can be used to create a 3D model of a patient’s knee anatomy. This 3D model enables the surgeon to plan the procedure according to the patient’s unique anatomy.

During surgery, ROSA Knee utilizes a camera and optical trackers attached to a patient’s leg to know exactly where the knee is in space. This helps ensure the plan the surgeon put into place is performed as intended. The ROSA Knee functions as an assistant to the surgeon providing the surgeon with data about the knee and helping in the precise positioning of the implant.

Press Releases

Greenville, N.C. – Nov. 02, 2021 Eligible community members who received their first two Pfizer-BioNTech (also known as Comirnaty) or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine doses at least 6 months ago, or the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at least 2 months ago can now schedule a COVID-19 booster shot appointment through Vidant Health by visiting VidantHealth.com/Vaccinate or calling 252-847-8000.

Vidant is offering booster shots to eligible community members in accordance with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) guidelines. Appointments can be scheduled at Vidant clinics throughout the region.

BOOSTER SHOTS FOR PFIZER & MODERNA VACCINE RECIPIENTS
Community members who initially received a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine must wait at least 6 months since their second dose and meet at least one of the below criteria:

  • 65 or older
  • 18 or older and live in a long-term care facility
  • 18 or older, have a medical condition that puts you at high risk for severe COVID-19, and believe the benefit of receiving a booster outweighs the risk of receiving the booster.
  • 18 or older, have higher risk of exposure due to work or living situations, and believe the benefit of receiving a booster outweighs the risk of receiving the booster.

BOOSTER SHOTS FOR JOHNSON & JOHNSON VACCINE RECIPIENTS
Community members who initially received a Johnson & Johnson vaccine must be 18 or older and wait at least 2 months from their initial dose.

Studies show that after being vaccinated against COVID-19, protection against the virus may decrease over time and provide less protection against the Delta variant. A booster shot may help increase immune response and improve protection against COVID-19, including the Delta variant.

There are now booster recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for all three available COVID-19 vaccines. Individuals can receive any brand of the COVID-19 vaccine for their booster shot, regardless of which brand they received initially.

THIRD DOSE FOR IMMUNOCOMPROMISED – PFIZER AND MODERNA ONLY
In addition to the new booster shot eligibility, Vidant previously announced it is closely following CDC guidance to provide third doses to eligible immunocompromised community members. A third dose may prevent serious and possibly life-threatening complications of COVID-19 in immunocompromised people who may not have responded to their initial vaccine series.

Appointments can be scheduled at Vidant clinics and oncology practices throughout the region for community members who meet the below criteria:

  • You have had an organ or stem cell transplant.
  • You are receiving chemotherapy, other treatment for cancer or tumors, taking biologic agents (Humira, Enbrel, Remicade, etc.), taking high doses of prednisone, or taking similar drugs. Many of these drugs are used for treatment of cancer, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, or psoriasis.
  • You have a disease that weakens your immune system (like HIV or a primary immune system disease).
  • Your doctor told you that you are immunosuppressed.

The third dose is recommended for immunocompromised individuals at least 28 days after their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine and is not recommended for those who received Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is also identified by its new brand name Comirnaty.

Please continue checking back to VidantHealth.com/Vaccinate for the latest information on Vidant’s vaccine efforts.

Covid-19 | Press Releases

Greenville, N.C. – Oct. 19, 2021 East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine and Vidant Health invite the community to virtually attend the 13th annual José G. Albernaz Golden Apple Distinguished Lecture presented by ECU Medical & Health Sciences Foundation and Vidant. The event is at noon on Wednesday, Oct. 20. This year’s featured lecturer is Dr. Stephen Trzeciak, who will discuss “Compassionomics” and how 40 seconds of compassion can create a meaningful connection with others.

For the first time, this year’s presentation will be livestreamed on the Vidant Health (@VidantHealthNC) and ECU Brody School of Medicine (@ECUBrodySOM) Facebook pages, where it can be viewed by students, faculty, clinical team members and the general public. Limited in-person attendance is by invitation only to safeguard against COVID-19.

While Trzeciak’s lecture is aimed at clinical community members, including practicing clinicians, residents and medical school students, the lessons around compassion can be applied to all facets of well-being in everyday life.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a considerable toll on all-around well-being,” said Dr. Julie Oehlert, Vidant Health Chief Experience Officer. “At a time when all those that work in health care are tired, stressed and have endured considerable loss, Dr. Trzeciak’s lecture will remind us about the importance of compassion not only for our patients, but each other and ourselves. Compassion is a key ingredient for resilience and well-being not only in health care but in our everyday lives. We are pleased to be able to welcome the community to share in learning about this important topic, which is so relevant for where we are right now.”

Trzeciak is a physician scientist, chief of medicine at Cooper University Health Care and professor and chair of medicine at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University in Camden, New Jersey. Trzeciak is a practicing intensivist and a National Institutes of Health-funded clinical researcher with more than 100 publications in scientific literature, primarily in the field of resuscitation science.

Currently, Trzeciak’s research is focused on a new field called “Compassionomics,” the study of the scientific effects of compassion on patients, patient care and those who care for patients. He is an author of the best-selling book: “Compassionomics: The Revolutionary Scientific Evidence that Caring Makes a Difference.” For his work in this new field, Trzeciak was awarded the 2019 Influencers of Healthcare Award by The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Press Releases

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:

Vidant Beaufort Hospital, a campus of Vidant Medical Center — Stroke Gold Plus and Target Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll

Vidant Chowan Hospital — Stroke Gold Plus and Target Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll

Vidant Duplin Hospital — Stroke Silver Plus and Target Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll

Vidant Edgecombe Hospital — Stroke Gold Plus and Target Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll

Vidant Medical Center — Stroke Gold Plus and Target Stroke Elite Plus Honor Roll, Target Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll, Mission: Lifeline Award: Gold Receiving, and Mission: Lifeline NSTEMI: Gold

Vidant North Hospital — Stroke Silver Plus and Target Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll

Vidant Roanoke-Chowan Hospital — Stroke Gold Plus, Target Stroke Honor Roll and Target Type 2, and Diabetes Honor Roll

The Outer Banks Hospital — Stroke Gold Plus and Target Stroke Honor Roll Elite

“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.

To find a heart and vascular provider, please visit Vidanthealth.com/Find-A-Doctor

Awards | Diabetes | Neurology | Press Releases

COVID-19 vaccines are prepared in a clinic

Greenville, N.C. – Oct. 1, 2021 Community members who received their first two Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine doses at least 6 months ago and meet the specified criteria below can now schedule a COVID-19 booster shot appointment through Vidant Health by visiting VidantHealth.com/Vaccinate or calling 252-847-8000.

PFIZER BOOSTER SHOT FOR 65+ AND HIGH RISK COMMUNITY MEMBERS

Vidant is offering booster shots to eligible community members in accordance with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) guidelines. Appointments can be scheduled at Vidant clinics throughout the region if it has been at least 6 months since your second dose of the Pfizer vaccine and you meet at least one of the below criteria:

  • You are 65 or older.
  • You are 18 or older and live in a long-term care facility.
  • You are 18 or older, have a medical condition that puts you at high risk for severe COVID-19, and believe the benefit of receiving a booster outweighs the risk of receiving the booster.
  • You are 18 or older, are higher risk of exposure due to work or living situations, and believe the benefit of receiving a booster outweighs the risk of receiving the booster.

The booster shot is authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for individuals at least 6 months after their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine and is not currently authorized for those who received the Moderna vaccine or Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine.

THIRD DOSE FOR IMMUNOCOMPROMISED – PFIZER AND MODERNA ONLY

In addition to the new booster shot eligibility, Vidant previously announced it is closely following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance to provide third doses to eligible community members. A third dose may prevent serious and possibly life-threatening complications of COVID-19 in immunocompromised people who may not have responded to their initial vaccine series.

Appointments can be scheduled at Vidant clinics and oncology practices throughout the region for community members who meet the below criteria:

  • You’ve had an organ or stem cell transplant.
  • You’re receiving chemotherapy, other treatment for cancer or tumors, taking biologic agents (Humira, Enbrel, Remicade, etc.), taking high doses of prednisone, or taking similar drugs. Many of these drugs are used for treatment of cancer, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, or psoriasis.
  • You have a disease that weakens your immune system (like HIV or a primary immune system disease).
  • Your doctor told you that you’re immunosuppressed.

The third dose is recommended for immunocompromised individuals at least 28 days after their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine and is not recommended for those who received Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is also identified by its new brand name Comirnaty.

Please continue checking back to VidantHealth.com/Vaccinate for the latest information on Vidant’s vaccine efforts.

Covid-19 | Press Releases

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.

Awards | Nursing | Press Releases

Vidant North Hospital

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.

Vidant North Hospital

“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.”

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