As the region’s medical education leader and top health care provider, the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University and Vidant Health are working together to improve the health and well-being of the residents of Eastern North Carolina. This website is intended to inform community leaders, county health departments, health care providers, and the public on health issues that impact Eastern North Carolina, focusing on the COVID-19 pandemic.
On March 10, 2020, the General Assembly of North Carolina enacted House Bill 1043, “the 2020 COVID-19 Recovery Act,” appropriating federal relief and recovery funds related to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Bill,
“The purpose of this act is to fulfill the General Assembly’s constitutional duty to appropriate all funds, including federal funds appropriated or otherwise made available under the COVID-19 Recovery Legislation, and to direct the use of those funds in a manner that is consistent with the authorizing federal legislation and that responsibly provides for the public health and economic well-being of the State.”
As part of those appropriations, the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University (ECU) received funding to carry out the following:
- the rapid development of a countermeasure of neutralizing antibodies for COVID-19 that can be used as soon as possible to both prevent infection, and for those infected, treat infection
- bringing a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine to the public as soon as possible
- community testing initiatives
- other research and activities related to COVID-19
ECU, the Brody School of Medicine, and their partners have been working diligently towards meeting these objectives. The creation of ENCHealth.org and the content on this website are intended to provide useful public health-related information and an overview of research on activities that impact Eastern North Carolina.
Greg Kearney, DrPH, MPH
Dr. Kearney is the Principal Investigator and oversees all aspects of the ENC Population Health and Surveillance Mapping project, including project management, data collection research, and disease surveillance. He is Associate Professor in the Department of Public Health, Brody School of Medicine at ECU.
Peter Schmidt, PhD
Dr. Schmidt is the Program Director for all ECU CARES Act projects. He is the Vice Dean of Operations for the Brody School of Medicine at ECU.
T. Bennett Wall, MBA
Mr. Wall is a co-investigator and leads data visualization and strategy analysis for the project. He is Director of Service Line Development, Women & Children Services at Vidant Medical Center.
Maria Clay, PhD
Dr. Clay is the Co-Principal Investigator on the project. She is Professor and Chair of the Department of Bioethics & Interdisciplinary Studies, Adjunct Professor in the Department of Public Health and the College of Education, and Director of Clinical Skills Assessment and Education at the Brody School of Medicine at ECU.
Pamela Cowin, PhD, RN
Dr. Cowin is a co-investigator and the Administrator for Transitional Care Programs at Vidant Health/Access East Inc. focused on transitional care management, post-acute network, remote home monitoring, and bundle programs across Vidant Health. She facilitated SWARM during COVID-19.
John Fallon, MD, PhD
Dr. Fallon is a co-investigator and serves as lead for all aspects of clinical laboratory testing and reporting. He is Chair of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine at ECU.
Todd Hickey, FACHE
Mr. Hickey is a co-investigator and the Chief Clinical Network Development Officer for Vidant Health. Todd leads service line growth, network development, and Population Health at Vidant Health. He is also the Executive Lead of the SWARM team during COVID-19.
Rob Howard, MS
Mr. Howard is a co-investigator and geospatial applications engineer on the project. He is the current Associate Director of the Center for Geographic Information Science, where he manages ECU’s geospatial data platforms, and a Research Associate in the Department of Geography, Planning and Environment.
Ray Hylock, PhD
Dr. Hylock is a co-investigator and data engineer on the project, curating public datasets and Tableau dashboards. He is Associate Professor in the Department of Health Services and Information Management at the Brody School of Medicine at ECU.
Katherine Jones, PhD
Dr. Jones is a co-investigator on the project, leading data collection, management, and analysis. She is a Research Specialist in the Department of Public Health, Brody School of Medicine at ECU.
Keith Keene, PhD
Dr. Keene is a co-investigator on the project. He is Associate Professor in the Department of Biology and Director of the Center for Health Disparities at the Brody School of Medicine at ECU. His research focuses on genetic and epigenetic studies of complex diseases and health disparities.
Sally Kraft, MD, MPH
Dr. Kraft is a co-investigator on the project. She is the VP of Population Health at Dartmouth-Hitchcock and Assistant Professor of Medicine and of the Dartmouth Institute, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. She focuses on how data can be used to improve health care systems and inform community-focused interventions.
Eugene Nelson, DSc, MPH
Dr. Nelson is a co-investigator on the project. He is a Professor in the Departments of Community & Family Medicine and the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. He is a national leader in health care improvement and in the development and application of measures of quality, system performance, health outcomes, value, and patient perceptions.
Brant Oliver, PhD, MS, MPH, FNP-BC, PMHNP-BC
Dr. Oliver is a co-investigator and Associate Professor in the Departments of Community & Family Medicine, the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice; Psychiatry at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth; and a Principal Scientist at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health. His research focuses on improvement and measurement methodology.
Yoo Min Park, PhD
Dr. Park is a co-investigator and Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography, Planning, and Environment at ECU. She uses a Geographic Information System (GIS) to create maps and perform spatial data analysis for this project. Her research focuses on using GIS and geospatial technologies to understand health disparities and environmental health.
Rachel Roper, PhD
Dr. Roper is the Principal Investigator and oversees all aspects of the Biosafety Level 3 (BSL3) COVID-19 Animal Models for improved vaccine development including project management, data collection, analysis and publication. She is Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Brody School of Medicine at ECU. Dr. Roper has also analyzed patient data and is senior author on a manuscript on controlling the spread of COVID-19 in hospitalized patients
Carley Anderson, MPH
Ms. Anderson is a doctoral student in the DrPH, Environmental and Occupational Health Program at East Carolina University.
Mr. Stanley is an undergraduate research assistant in the Department of Geography, Planning, and Environment at East Carolina University.
This work is supported by the CARES Act via the 2020 COVID-19 Recovery Act, North Carolina House Bill 1043 (Session Law 2020-4), and is a collaborative effort between the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, Vidant Health, and Dartmouth Atlas Project.