The Board of Directors of the NCEast Alliance voted unanimously last Thursday in favor of a resolution supporting the East Carolina University (ECU) Brody School of Medicine (BSOM).
The Board of Directors of the NCEast Alliance voted unanimously last Thursday in favor of a resolution supporting the East Carolina University (ECU) Brody School of Medicine (BSOM). The Resolution endorsed asking the state of North Carolina to increase funding and remove restrictions for collection of payments owed to the Brody School of Medicine and ECU Physicians in accordance with the wishes of the UNC Board of Governors. The changes are needed so the school can continue its mission by serving the citizens of eastern North Carolina.
Founded as a one year medical school in 1971 and a four year medical school in 1974, the Brody School of Medicine is a leader in primary care education with nearly 2,200 graduates. Over 400 doctors who’ve graduated from the BSOM are practicing in eastern NC. The School of Medicine and ECU Physicians employs approximately 1,800 people from several counties and has an estimated $700 million economic impact.
The mission of the Brody School of Medicine is threatened by continuing budget cuts and deficits to the point that the State of North Carolina is only providing 21% of school revenues compared with 53% of the School of Medicine’s budget two decades ago. The budget is now more heavily supported by ECU Physicians, the School’s practice plan.
The Brody School of Medicine has served as a hotbed of healthcare advancements which has garnered international acclaim. Dr. Randolph Chitwood is a recognized pioneer in developing new technology for minimally invasive heart surgery and he performed the first mitral valve repair surgery in the United States in 2000 using this technology. Joined by Dr. L. Wiley Nifong, they led the federal Food and Drug Administration’s successful clinical trials on the use of surgical robots on cardiac patients. Since then, more than 800 surgeons from across the world have come to Greenville, NC and the Brody School of Medicine to study the minimally invasive surgical techniques pioneered by ECU surgeons. More than 1,300 minimally invasive or robotic procedures have been performed at ECU.
Additionally, the East Carolina Diabetes and Obesity Institute (ECDOI) at the Brody School of Medicine is well known for cutting-edge collaborative research in several fields related to disorders of metabolism, including bariatric surgery, muscle insulin signaling/glucose transport, bioenergetics/exercise physiology, and pediatric healthy weight programs.
“Unlike most academic medical centers, we do not own our teaching hospital and that sets us apart from other medical schools in the state. While we have a highly successful partnership with Vidant Medical Center to provide a teaching hospital, which provides us payment for services provided, there are significant legal restrictions for an independent hospital to fund a medical school that is under separate ownership. Because of these factors we have always and will continue to require strong state support,” added Ballard.
It is the position of the NCEast Alliance Board of Directors that the Brody School of Medicine is a critical component of the health and economic growth of the region and has been an integral part of advancing a higher level of healthcare through its partnerships with Vidant Medical Center.
The NCEast Alliance is a regional, public/private, not-for-profit, economic development corporation serving approximately 1.2 million residents within several small metropolitan and micropolitan areas in eastern North Carolina from the fringe of the Research Triangle to the Atlantic Coast. The Alliance provides advocacy, community capacity building, marketing/lead generation, and assists companies with site location and expansion evaluations. For more information on the NCEast Alliance, visit us at www.nceast.org or visit one of our workforce development sites (NCEast WorkReady Communities at www.ncworkready.org or STEM East at www.stemeast.org).