June 20, 2024
Eighth Annual ECU Health Quality Improvement Symposium features projects that advance the study of Quality

Each year, the ECU Health Quality Improvement Symposium brings together a diverse group of academic and community physicians, health professionals, health care teams, residents, fellows and students from the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University to present their work to an audience of peers and health system leaders.

On Wednesday, Jan. 31, ECU Health and ECU’s Brody School of Medicine hosted the eighth annual event at Eastern AHEC. This year’s event was held in-person and virtually, and showcased more than 40 projects related to quality improvement, patient safety, population health and interprofessional practice.​​

The day kicked off with opening remarks from Dr. Mike Waldrum, CEO of ECU Health and Dean of Brody School of Medicine. After welcoming attendees to the event, Dr. Waldrum expressed his pride in the symposium’s contributions, highlighting the collaborative efforts of teams in addressing regional challenges.

Eighth Annual ECU Health Quality Improvement Symposium features projects that advance the study of Quality

“When I look at these posters and our presenters, I see multidisciplinary, diverse teams coming together to educate, engage in dialogue and drive quality improvement for ECU Health and the patients we serve. I am incredibly proud of our team members and students for their commitment to addressing the immense challenges we face as a region,” Dr. Waldrum said.

Following the opening remarks, selected presenters who were chosen from an application process that took place in late-2023, shared their work with the audience of 178 in-person and virtual attendees.

Presentations were categorized into podium presentations, poster presentations, and works-in-progress poster presentations. Awards for the top three podium and poster presentations were announced in the early afternoon.


  • Outstanding podium presentation: Erin Atwood, MD, MEd, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Endocrinology, Brody School of Medicine, “Increasing Counseling about the Risk of Hypoglycemia Associated with Alcohol Consumption and Insulin use for Adolescent Patients with Diabetes at the ECU Health Pediatric Diabetes Clinic”
  • Honorable mention: Jennifer Stahl, MD, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Brody School of Medicine, “Right Care at the Right Location: Tele ICU Project”
  • Honorable mention: Benjamin Copeland, MD, Department of Pediatrics, Brody School of Medicine, “Improving Mental Health Access for Children in Foster Care in Eastern North Carolina”


  • Outstanding quick shot podium presentation: Juan Guillen-Hernandez, MD, Department of Pediatrics, Brody School of Medicine, “Reducing Unplanned Extubations in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit”
  • Honorable mention: Juli Forbes, MSN, RN, ECU Health Beaufort Hospital, a Campus of ECU Health Medical Center, “Improving Efficiency and Staff Satisfaction in the Operating Room Through a Revised Block Scheduling Framework at a Rural Community Hospital”
  • Honorable mention: Titilola Babatunde, BS, MS4, LINC Scholar, Brody School of Medicine, “Improving Documentation of a Pediatric Early Warning Score in the Electronic Health Record”
  • Honorable mention: Kate Knowles, MSN, RN, CNL, Management, ECU Health Duplin, “Back to the Basics: Hand Hygiene”


  • First place: John “JC” Rowe IV, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Brody School of Medicine, “Optimizing Outcomes for Patients with First Trimester Bleeding”
  • Second place: Gabriella Boccia, MHA, Administrative Fellow, ECU Health, “Improving Sick Visit Clinic Access at ECU Health Physicians Adult and Pediatric Health Care”
  • Third place: Stephanie Smith, MSN, RN, ACM-RN, Maynard Children’s Hospital, ECU Health Medical Center, “Improving Fall Risk Identification in Pediatric Patients”

With a total of 15 podium presentations and 29 poster presentations, symposium attendees gained insights into a variety of Quality-related projects. Dr. Waldrum emphasized the importance of what these presentations can offer.

“These presentations cover complex health care problems and this symposium enables us to think deeply about how we can tackle important issues facing our region,” Dr. Waldrum said. “It is always gratifying to see our team members and students come together to demonstrate their expertise and showcase the passion they have for the work they do.”

​The symposium closed with two concurrent education sessions led by ECU Health team members:

  • Patient Safety, Reliability Science and Root Cause Analysis Application presented by Susan Ingram, MSN, RN CPHQ, Director of Patient Safety
  • Fostering Psychological Safety for Team and Quality Outcomes presented by Randy Cobb, DSL, ACC, CPCC, Director of Organizational and Leadership Development

To learn more about the symposium and view a list of presentations, click here.

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