Vidant Health, The Outer Banks Hospital and Medical Group are proud to announce that Dr. Christina Bowen, medical director of The Outer Banks Hospital Center for Healthy Living, was selected by the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) to represent North Carolina and will appear in the 2020 edition of Community Stars.

Each year on the third Thursday of November, NOSORH leads National Rural Health Day, an annual day of celebration that shines a light on the vital health needs of an estimated 57 million people living in rural America.

In eastern North Carolina, National Rural Health Day is an important moment for Vidant to reflect on its service to the region and its commitment to its mission to improve the health and well-being of those it serves and loves. This National Rural Health Day, Vidant is proud to honor Dr. Bowen and the 13,000-plus team members that make a difference in the lives of the 1.4 million people we serve.

In 2015, NOSORH put out a nationwide call to nominate individuals, organizations and coalitions making a positive impact in rural communities. Soon after the stories started to arrive, the book of National Rural Health Day Community Stars was created. This year, nominations came in from 48 states, a record for this annual inspiring recognition program.

Dr. Bowen’s focus on patient-centered care and healthy lifestyle education makes a difference in the lives of those she serves. In 2019, Dr. Bowen helped organize a community education event called “Power Over Cancer: Creating an Action Plan to Prevent Breast and Other Cancers” to educate and motivate attendees on the importance of healthy lifestyle choices and how that affects health and well-being.

“I am truly humbled and honored to have been selected to receive the Community Star recognition,” Dr. Bowen said. “Having grown up in eastern North Carolina and then attending ECU’s Brody School of Medicine, I count practicing in eastern North Carolina a gift. I am thankful for my community, my team and my amazing patients.”

Outer Banks Hospital President Ronnie Sloan, FACHE, added: “Dr. Bowen’s passion, engagement, and positivity are infectious. We are fortunate that she lives and works here on the Outer Banks and the region is blessed that she has the heart and drive to spread her passion for wellness throughout the 29-county region of eastern North Carolina that Vidant Health serves.”

In addition to her role at the Center for Healthy Living, Dr. Bowen also serves as the medical director of Vidant’s Office of Experience, medical director of Integrative Medicine at ECU Health Cancer Care and medical director of the Dare County Health Department.

“Dr. Bowen has been an invaluable addition to The Office of Experience as Medical Director, and we are grateful for the vision of The Outer Banks Hospital and Medical Group to expand her influence throughout the region,” said Vidant Chief Experience Office Dr. Julie Kennedy Oehlert. “We are so fortunate to have a practicing Integrative Medicine provider at Vidant Health, who is capable of leading integrative medicine thought leadership for our patients and our team members. She is a tireless role model and advocate for compassion and love as essentials for health care.”

This National Rural Health Day, Vidant and The Outer Banks Hospital and Medical Group would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank You” to Dr. Bowen and all Vidant team members for their commitment to serving eastern North Carolina.

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To celebrate World Kindness Day, Vidant Health and the Eastern Carolina Injury Prevention Program (ECIPP) at Maynard’s Children Hospital at ECU Health Medical Center would like to recognize the students in the Pitt County Students Against Destructive Decision (SADD) program for their work bringing kindness and education to area schools.

Since its inception in 2016, Pitt County SADD has positively impacted more than 25,000 students, parents, and community members through school club meetings and events, community-based initiatives and social media interactions. Students have presented on destructive decisions at local and state conferences and been recognized on countless local, state and national platforms for their work promoting positive decision making in Pitt County.

While there have been obvious activities such as Kindness Campaigns, leaving sticky notes with positive messages and the painting of a rock with the motto “Be Kind. Be Strong. Be Smart.”, every activity, event,or engagement coordinated through Pitt County SADD carries the same overarching message of just “Be Kind”.

A highlight of SADD’s 2020 campaign for kindness included a brand new website,, designed by The Oakwood School student and SADD Student Leader Ellie Osborne. The website currently covers five main content areas: Mental Health, Road Safety, Know Your Ws, Vaping, and Social Media Safety.

“As a part of my Girl Scout Gold Award, I created a website for all of Pitt County SADD,” Osborne said. “I am so excited and grateful that the website has officially launched, and hope that it remains a great resource for youth of all ages regarding physical and mental well-being and support.”

Pitt County SADD is funded by Children’s Miracle Network, Vidant Health Foundation, Pitt County ABC Board, and Pitt County Schools, and is in partnership with the Safe Communities Coalition and ECIPP. Pitt County SADD is a peer-led program that empowers young people to successfully confront the risks and pressures that challenge them throughout their daily lives. The mission is accomplished by creating, equipping, sustaining a network of student-run chapters in schools and communities.

“It is student leaders like Ellie and our countless other SADD members that have been the driving force behind some of our strongest prevention efforts,” Sue Anne Pilgreen, program manager for ECIPP, said. “As a leader in children’s health care for eastern North Carolina, the partnership that we have with the schools and community is crucial and these students are making a positive impact on making the world more kind.”



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One of the most common contributing factors in trauma-related events is preventable blood loss. Approximately 40% of trauma-related deaths worldwide can be attributed to bleeding or its consequence. The items in these kits help control the loss of blood, leading to positive outcomes for those who sustain injuries.

The Stop The Bleed Kits are funded by Children’s Miracle Network with training provided by Maynard Children’s Hospital. They are distributed to all Martin, Greene and Pitt County Schools with education to ensure schools are prepared in the event of a trauma that results in active bleeding that could endanger a child’s life. These kits will ensure that more children can be treated and with supplies that last long-term without expiration.

“The school nurses have been instrumental in getting their school staff trained and prepared for the use of Stop The Bleed kits,” Erika Greene, pediatric trauma program manager for Maynard Children’s Hospital at ECU Health Medical Center, said. “In total, more than 100 kits have gone to the schools in Greene, Martin and Pitt Counties. It is our hope that over the next few years, we will provide education and place Stop The Bleed kits at each public school within the 29-county Vidant Health region.”

Dr. Ethan Lenker, Superintendent, Pitt County Schools, added: “Thank you, Vidant, for pushing this training out to many organizations and businesses in the community, including our school system. Because of this great partnership, many PCS staff members are trained in Stop The Bleed techniques including our First Responders and many of our administrators. We are also grateful to be a recipient of the kits as vital, lifesaving equipment in our schools.”

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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 ECU Health 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 ECU Health 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.


Awards | Covid-19 | Press Releases

ECU Health Cancer Care is pleased to announce it now offers new, comprehensive cancer care services including hematology, medical oncology, radiation oncology, and surgery to residents of the greater Roanoke Valley area for treatment of solid tumors and hematological malignancies, as part of its integration with Vidant North Hospital. Dr. John Huffman, formerly of the Boice-Willis Clinic in Rocky Mount, will provide hematology and medical oncology services, which are new at Vidant North.

In addition to chemotherapy, Vidant North offers comprehensive cancer services and greater access to all necessary cancer care:

  • Chemotherapy
  • 3D Mammography
  • Radiation Oncology
  • Surgery
  • CT
  • MRI
  • Gastroenterology
  • Internal Medicine
  • Endoscopy
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Ultrasound
  • Primary Care
  • Consultation
  • Rapid Referrals
  • Screenings

“This is an important day for Vidant North Hospital and the communities it serves,” said Dr. Vijay Chaudhary, director of regional oncology, ECU Health Cancer Care. “Providing high-quality, comprehensive cancer care close to home is an important part of how we meet our mission to improve the health and well-being of eastern North Carolina. I am pleased to welcome Dr. Huffman to the team.”

ECU Health Cancer Care’s cancer services offer greater access to those who call the valley home, including Roanoke Rapids, Enfield, Littleton, Rocky Mount, Scotland Neck and Warrenton. It is closely connected with other ECU Health Cancer Care resources, including the tertiary care team in Greenville.

“We’re excited to now offer the comprehensive cancer services of ECU Health Cancer Care, right here in the Roanoke Valley with the grand opening of our Cancer Care Center at Vidant North,” said Will Mahone, president, Vidant North. “Dr. Huffman brings decades of experience and expertise to our region and our entire cancer care team will deliver specialty care to the many patients seeking necessary cancer services in the area.”

Nurse Practitioner Elizabeth Inscoe has joined Dr. Huffman at Vidant North and existing patients of Dr. Huffman are welcome to transfer care to Vidant North and continue their treatment.

“I am thrilled to join the teams at ECU Health Cancer Care and Vidant North Hospital,” Dr. Huffman said. “This opportunity allows me to continue to serve the community in a meaningful way and to build upon the relationships I have with my patients and their loved ones. I look forward to continuing to serve and provide high-quality cancer care in this new role.”

Located in a freshly-renovated, convenient space on the second floor of Vidant North, ECU Health Cancer Care is available for medical oncology referrals, appointments, consults and other information. To learn more about these services, visit

For medical referrals, appointments and consultations, call 252-535-8240.

Cancer | Press Releases