Greenville, N.C. – ECU Health, the premier health system serving eastern North Carolina, experienced a transformational year highlighted by the introduction of a new brand, announcement of a new behavioral health hospital, recognition of multiple team members on the state and national levels and realization of clinical achievements and innovations that enhance the care for the 1.4 million people the organization proudly serves.
“As we reflect on the historic year that was and celebrate our achievements, I want to take a moment to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the team members who make ECU Health what it is: a premier rural academic health system dedicated to serving the people who call eastern North Carolina home,” said Dr. Michael Waldrum, ECU Health CEO and Dean of the Brody School of Medicine. “As one year comes to a close and another begins, I know the next chapter of our shared story will be just as important. Our efforts in 2022 helped position us to navigate the complex challenges we face moving forward by bringing clinical, education and research innovations, but we still have work to do in the upcoming year and beyond to ensure our communities have access to the high-quality care they deserve.”
The following highlights are only a few of the many achievements across ECU Health in 2022. For a more comprehensive review of the year, please visit: ECUHealth.org/YearinReview2022
Evolving to ECU Health
The re-brand to ECU Health is a visual reminder of how transformative the year has been. The ECU Health logo is a symbol of the commitment to transforming and elevating health care for millions, training the providers of tomorrow, collaborating with community partners to solve complex issues and bringing clinical innovations that improve the lives of those who call this region home.
The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University and the health system began a joint operating agreement on Jan. 1, 2022. In April, the two organizations hosted a press conference and shared the new logo for ECU Health and announced the brand launch that would begin in May.
In the months since, there have been visual changes across the health system from signage around hospitals and clinics to websites and social media channels. More importantly, the creation of ECU Health has opened the door for the system to improve access to care across eastern North Carolina while training health care professionals through Brody.
Expanding access to behavioral health care in eastern North Carolina
Access to behavioral health care is crucial across the country, but especially in rural areas like eastern North Carolina. In June, ECU Health and Acadia Healthcare announced plans to build a state-of-the-art, 144-bed behavioral health hospital in the medical district of Greenville, less than a mile from ECU Health Medical Center.
Slated to open in spring 2025, the hospital will operate through a joint venture between ECU Health and Acadia, the largest standalone provider of behavioral health care services across the United States. Together, the organizations will invest approximately $65 million in expanding behavioral health resources in eastern North Carolina.
The hospital will include 24 inpatient beds specifically for children and adolescents with mental health needs. These beds will be the first of their kind in ECU Health’s 29-county service area and the only child and adolescent beds within 75 miles of Greenville, North Carolina.
Twenty-two ECU Health nurses recognized among Great 100 Nurses of North Carolina
This year, 22 ECU Health nurses were selected to the 2022 NC Great 100. This is the largest number of ECU Health nurses to receive this recognition. The honorees were celebrated at a gala hosted by The North Carolina Great 100, Inc. in Greenville in October.
Since 1989, The North Carolina Great 100, Inc. has recognized and honored nurses around the state for their commitment to excellence and to promote a positive image of the nursing profession. Out of thousands of nominations that are submitted annually, 100 recipients are selected based on their outstanding professional abilities and contributions made to improving health care services to their communities.
ECU Health Beaufort Hospital designated as primary stroke center by The Joint Commission
In July, ECU Health Beaufort Hospital – a campus of ECU Health Medical Center was designated as a primary stroke center by The Joint Commission and the American Heart/Stroke Association, recognizing the hospital’s preparedness and expertise to care for stroke patients. Stroke is one of the leading causes of death in the state, resulting in more serious long-term disabilities than any other disease.
With ECU Health Beaufort’s designation, all ECU Health’s hospitals are stroke certified by The Joint Commission.