Dr. Michael Waldrum, CEO of ECU Health and Dean of the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, speaks to the Edenton Rotary Club during a meeting on March 17, 2022.

Edenton, NC – March 17, 2022 – Dr. Michael Waldrum, CEO of Vidant Health and Dean of the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, joined Vidant Chowan Hospital President Brian Harvill at the Edenton Rotary Club meeting Thursday to discuss the exciting future of Vidant Health and the impact high-quality health care has on the vibrancy of eastern North Carolina.

The presentation to the Edenton Rotary Club is one of several planned this spring and summer to meet with community groups throughout the region.

“Every time I visit Edenton, I’m reminded that Vidant Chowan is one of the most important parts of this community,” Dr. Waldrum said. “Edenton and the surrounding towns have a great hospital where they can deliver babies, receive high-quality care and build their sense of community. We value the role of rural hospitals and that is why it is so important for us to have conversations about how we can best deliver health care across the region.”

Dr. Michael Waldrum, CEO of ECU Health and Dean of the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, speaks to the Edenton Rotary Club during a meeting on March 17, 2022.

Vidant Health – the joint enterprise between Vidant and Brody launching in the spring – was at the top of the agenda. Vidant Health enables the two organizations, which have worked collaboratively for years, to come together under a shared brand to provide streamlined care across the hospital system. A logo will be revealed in April and re-branding, which is expected to take months to complete, will begin in May.

Dr. Waldrum said Vidant Health is the natural culmination of the two organization’s long partnership and shared mission of improving the health of eastern North Carolina. Vidant Health will build on successful innovations such as the MOTHeRS Project, which is a grant-funded program through Vidant that connects mothers in rural areas to resources for nutrition, behavioral health needs and maternal fetal medicine resources. This program is beginning in Edenton and highlights the importance of collaboration to solve complex health issues in the region, Dr. Waldrum said.

“Having babies and being able to give birth here is really important to Edenton,” Dr. Waldrum said. “Babies that are born here are more likely to stay here when they grow up. We want to support that in an innovative way by providing access to care that meets the community’s need. The MOTHeRS Project is a great example of how Brody, Vidant and the future Vidant Health will tackle complex challenges and bring a higher quality of care to the region.”

With Rotary Club members in attendance, Dr. Waldrum also spoke on the impact that access to care has on a community’s economic vibrancy. He shared that Vidant, which employs more than 13,500 team members, has a $4 billion economic impact on the region. Locally, Vidant Chowan has more than 500 team members and has a $61.3 million impact on the local economy. These numbers, Dr. Waldrum said, represent Vidant and the future Vidant Health’s commitment to caring for the community.

Health News | Press Releases

Greenville, NC – March 1, 2022 – As Vidant Health continues to respond to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic across North Carolina, we are taking steps to ensure the safety of all. Vidant remains vigilant with its screening process for all visitors, entry requirements and visitor restrictions by department.

In response to decreased community spread, Vidant is carefully expanding visitation in most clinical areas across the system, including for COVID-positive patients. Effective 8 a.m. Wednesday, March 2, Vidant will adopt the below screening process, entry requirements and visitor guidelines. Visitors must wear surgical masks provided at screening stations or personal N95/KN95 masks as long as they are clean, intact, without a valve and have no visible gaps.

Despite the encouraging trend of cases, it remains vitally important for community members to continue to practicing safety measures such as washing hands, wearing a mask and avoiding large gatherings.

For the latest information on Vidant’s visitor restrictions, please visit VidantHealth.com/VisitingVidant.

This is an evolving situation, and Vidant continues to monitor the spread and examine local data, including COVID-19 cases in our region and in hospitals, and will adjust visitation restrictions accordingly.

Vidant strongly encourages visitors to consider virtual visitation options such as FaceTime and phone calls. Assistance with virtual visits, including iPads for patients without the necessary technology, is available on request. Virtual visitation is the safest way to stay connected with a loved one.

Patients should limit their belongings to a few key items and refer to the below tips:

  • Bring your phone, tablet or other electronic device to connect with family members
  • Limit clothing to clean undergarments and one outfit for discharge
  • Wear or pack non-slip shoes

Covid-19 | Press Releases

Greenville, N.C. – Feb. 24, 2022 – Vidant Health is pleased to announce that Christina Bowen, M.D., ABOIM, DipACLM, has been named Vidant’s first Chief Well-being Officer, and will champion well-being efforts through the lens of team member and provider engagement and equity.

“I am excited about this new role and our commitment to our team’s well-being,” said Dr. Julie Oehlert, Vidant Health Chief Experience Officer. “There is nothing more valuable and contributory to our health care outcomes than the wonderful humans that show up every day to deliver health care and caring to the communities we serve.”

As Chief Well-being Officer effective Jan. 1, 2022, Dr. Bowen is responsible for collaborating with the entire organization to develop, guide and implement team member and provider well-being and resilience initiatives founded on evidence-based best practices and organizational data. She also collaborates with Vidant’s wellness teams to introduce and support new programs that positively influence the population health of the communities in which we proudly serve.

“I am proud to be a part of a health care organization that recognizes the importance of the overall team member experience and is committed to optimizing well-being and resilience efforts,” said Dr. Bowen. “I am very grateful to have the opportunity to pursue my passion of integrated medicine while also positively influencing the communities that I love. This is a way for Vidant to come alongside everyone who has provided amazing care to our patients, especially during the pandemic, and make sure our team members are taken care of and their wellness is in the forefront.”

In addition to serving as Chief Well-Being Officer, Dr. Bowen is an integrative medicine physician with ECU Health Physicians and the Medical Director of The Center for Healthy Living at The Outer Banks Hospital. Her previous roles at Vidant include Medical Director of the Office of Experience and Medical Director of Integrative Oncology. Dr. Bowen is board certified in family medicine, hospice and palliative medicine, lifestyle medicine and integrative medicine, and has received numerous honors and awards, including The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health’s North Carolina’s Community Star in 2020.

“The creation of this role brings continued focus to our intention of belonging,” said Mark Dunn, Chief Diversity, Inclusion and Talent Management Officer, Vidant Health. “It is important to be our authentic selves at work and in the communities we live in and serve. Our collective well-being is important not only to our patients, but to our families. This role will help us provide support and development in an area that is needed now more than ever.”

A native of eastern North Carolina, Dr. Bowen graduated from East Carolina University in 2003 with a doctorate in medicine. In 2004, she completed her internship at Duke University Medical Center and completed her residency at Carolinas Medical Center in 2008. In 2016, she completed a fellowship in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona under Dr. Andrew Weil — world-renowned leader and pioneer in the field of Integrative Medicine.

Press Releases | Wellness

A provider listens to the heart and lungs of a patient.

Roanoke Rapids, N.C. – February 10, 2022 Vidant North Hospital is pleased to announce its Heart & Vascular Care will move into a newly renovated, expanded clinic location near the hospital on Feb. 14, 2022. The upgraded facility allows Vidant Heart & Vascular Care to provide multiple advanced clinical services, including thoracic surgery, vascular surgery, cardiac electrophysiology and pediatric cardiology, to Roanoke Rapids at one convenient location.

“The opening of our renovated clinic aligns with National Heart Month, and a very symbolic day we associate with matters of the heart, Valentine’s Day,” said Dr. Kenneth Robert, regional medical director of ambulatory services, Vidant North Hospital. ”Vidant Heart & Vascular Care will help support a focus on raising awareness for heart disease, screenings, education and promotion of access of care close to home through a connected system of care.”

A provider listens to the heart and lungs of a patient.

The addition of new clinical providers expands the ability for more patients to be examined quickly in the event of cardiovascular needs. A local team including a cardiologist, interventional cardiologist and an adult nurse practitioner will be on-site, and a team of outreach providers will be available through specific scheduled times. This outreach team includes an electrophysiologist, scheduled once a week and typically scheduled by referral, a thoracic surgeon, scheduled once a week by referral and a pediatric cardiologist, scheduled once a month by appointment.

“This opportunity allows cardiac providers to better serve the community in a meaningful way and to build upon the relationships with patients and their loved ones,” said Dr. Brian Cabarrus, Vidant cardiologist. “This upgrade in clinical space and greater access to cardiac and peripheral diagnostics helps enhance the patient and team member experiences.”

The services and accessibility of quality care offered by Vidant Heart & Vascular Care – Roanoke Rapids ties directly into Vidant and the future Vidant Health’s commitment to improve health outcomes in communities across eastern North Carolina.

“This is an important day for Vidant North Hospital and the communities it serves,” said Jason Harrell, president, Vidant North. “Providing high-quality, comprehensive heart and vascular 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.”

Vidant Heart & Vascular Care – Roanoke Rapids will be open weekdays, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. The clinic will offer care for patients that do not have a primary care provider and will connect them with one after their initial visit.

The new location for Vidant Heart & Vascular Care – Roanoke Rapids is 220 Smith Church Road, Roanoke Rapids, NC, 27870. For medical referrals, appointments and consultations, call 252-537-9268.

Health News | Heart and Vascular | Press Releases

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

Greenville, N.C. – Jan. 3, 2022 The joint operating agreement between East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine and Vidant Health is now officially underway, enabling the organizations to create Vidant Health and work together to improve health care delivery to the 1.4 million residents of eastern North Carolina.

Under the joint operating agreement, the Brody School of Medicine and Vidant Health will remain separate legal entities, but will  integrate under a new, shared brand known as Vidant Health. The Vidant Health logo will be revealed in the spring and the rebranding process for most Vidant entities and ECU Physicians practices will begin shortly after. Rebranding is expected to take months to complete.

“The new year marks an important and exciting chapter for health care in eastern North Carolina,” said Dr. Michael Waldrum, CEO of Vidant Health and dean of the Brody School of Medicine. “2022 will be a year of transformation for Vidant and Brody as we create Vidant Health and position ourselves as the national academic model for providing rural health care. Together as one, Vidant Health will have profoundly positive impacts on the health and well-being of those we serve.”

The two organizations are working 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.

The joint operating agreement received board approvals in November and became official on Jan. 1, 2022. The agreement provides a structure that allows 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.

“The close partnership between Brody and Vidant created a strong foundation upon which to build Vidant Health,” said Dr. Jason Higginson, executive dean of Brody. “The ability to combine academic excellence with high-quality, state-of-the-art health care delivery will elevate care, research and education opportunities available to the people of eastern North Carolina. We look forward to continuing to work together and introduce Vidant Health to the community later this year.”

Press Releases

A team member administers COVID-19 tests.

Greenville, NC – Dec. 30, 2021 – As Vidant Health continues to respond to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and the increasing spread of the Omicron variant, we are taking steps to ensure the safety of all. Vidant remains focused on efforts to offer COVID-19 testing to the community. The following are the special operating hours for the Greenville COVID testing site. Please note, wait times may be longer than usual due to high demand for COVID-19 tests.

Greenville COVID Testing Site Hours of Operation for New Year’s Weekend:

Friday, Dec. 31 — Open 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022 — Closed
Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022 — Closed

The Greenville COVID Testing Site, located at the corner of Stantonsburg Road and Wellness Center Drive, offers preregistration as well. Those who have preregistered will have access to a separate lane at the testing site, with much of the required paperwork completed in advance.

To preregister, login or sign up for MyChart at mychart.vidanthealth.com, and follow the prompts to register. You must complete eCheck-In to finish scheduling your COVID-19 testing preregistration. Once you have completed eCheck-In, you will receive a barcode which you will need to have when you arrive at the testing site to be directed to the preregistration line. Appointments are available for up to one day in advance and you can only preregister yourself.

In addition to the Greenville COVID Testing Site, there are 13 Vidant locations across the East offering COVID-19 tests by preregistration. For a full list of these sites, visit vidanthealth.com and the link: https://www.ecuhealth.org/covid-19/covid-19-testing-sites/#regional-testing-sites

 

Media contact:

Stan Cleiland, Vidant Public Relations, 252-351-5602 or stanley.cleiland[email protected]

COVID-19 testing is covered through the CARES Act and currently there are no out-of-pocket costs to the public. Insurance is not needed for a COVID-19 test at the Greenville site, however, health care organizations must collect and submit insurance information for patients that have it, per the CARES Act.

About Vidant Health
Vidant Health is a mission-driven, 1,708-bed academic health system that annually serves 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, eight hospitals, home health, hospice, wellness centers, and ECU Health Physicians, 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 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.

Covid-19 | Press Releases

Greenville, NC – Dec. 29, 2021 – As Vidant Health continues to respond to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and the increasing spread of the Omicron variant, we are taking steps to ensure the safety of all. In consultation with infectious disease experts and based on current trends, Vidant is proactively updating visitor guidelines for the health system and adjusting the reopening of the Wellness Center – Greenville.

Vidant continues to strongly encourage masking, vaccinations and boosters, as we all work together to combat COVID-19.

Visitor Guidelines
Effective 8 a.m., Thursday, Dec. 30, Vidant will update its visitor guidelines across the system, including restricted visitation and a new requirement that all visitors wear a hospital-issued mask. Cloth masks will no longer be permitted. Visitors should also be mindful of Vidant’s new screening process and are encouraged to visit VidantHealth.com/checkin to register prior to their visit.

This is an evolving situation and Vidant continues to monitor the spread and examine local data, including COVID-19 cases in our region and in hospitals, and will adjust visitation restrictions accordingly.

For the latest information on Vidant’s visitor restrictions, please visit VidantHealth.com/VisitingVidant.

Wellness Center – Greenville
Originally scheduled to fully reopen on Jan. 1, the Greenville Wellness Center will open with limited services only starting on Jan. 1, such as personal training, private lessons, fitness orientations and tours. The fitness center, indoor track and pool will remain closed for general membership for the time being. Community members signed up to become members of the Greenville Wellness Center will receive additional details directly from the Wellness Center.

Vidant leadership, with guidance from our infectious disease experts, will continue to review the COVID data and spread throughout the coming weeks to determine a date for a full reopening.

The Wellness Centers in Ahoskie and Washington will continue their current operations.

All Vidant Wellness facilities will follow stringent COVID protocols for the safety of all including required masking for all members, visitors and staff, effective Dec. 29.

For more information, please visit https://www.ecuhealth.org/services/wellness-prevention/vidant-wellness-centers/#covid-19-update

Covid-19 | Press Releases

A woman is checked into the hospital as a visitor.

Greenville, N.C. – Dec. 3, 2021 – Vidant Health has implemented a new screening process for visitors at Vidant Health hospitals to ensure enhanced safety for all patients, visitors and team members. In partnership with care.ai, a health care Artificial Intelligence (AI) innovator, the new technology allows visitors to complete a convenient contact-free visitor safety screenings before visiting loved ones.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the safety of patients, visitors and team members has remained a top priority,” said Lou Montana-Rhodes, Vice President, Office of Experience, Vidant Health. “This unprecedented time requires thoughtful innovations that help protect those we love and serve. The new Smart Entry™ screening solution developed by care.ai will allow us to work more efficiently and effectively at creating the safest environment possible at all Vidant hospitals.”

A woman is checked into the hospital as a visitor.

Visitors will complete their symptom screenings at VidantHealth.com/checkin, which will provide a QR code on their smart phone device. care.ai’s Smart Entry™ sensors will scan the QR code upon arrival and capture temperature readings in real-time. care.ai’s command center alerts team members to abnormal events as they occur to prevent visitors that may be positive for potential infection from entering.

Once the visitor is cleared for entry, a single day visitor pass is generated. Visitors must complete this process each day they visit. This provides a safe and efficient way to support visitor and patient access, while ensuring everyone entering the facility has been properly screened.

Team members will be on-site to assist visitors with the new screening process. Any visitors that may not have a smartphone to complete the screening process before entering will be able to with the support of team members upon arrival.

“We’re committed to making sure the patients and clients we serve have the information they need to keep them as safe as possible,” said Chakri Toleti, founder and CEO of care.ai. “We’re grateful of our partnership with Vidant Health and have such admiration for the role they play in triaging and controlling this pandemic and are proud to team up with them in this shared fight against COVID-19.”

Press Releases

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 Vidant 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 Vidant 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 Vidant Health.”

Most Vidant Health locations, ECU Health Physicians and ECU Physicians will rebrand to Vidant 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 Vidant 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 Vidant 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 Vidant 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, ECU Health 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, ECU Health Physicians and ECU Physicians will rebrand to Vidant 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 Vidant 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 Vidant 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 Vidant 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, Vidant 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 ECU Health Physicians, 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.

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