8th Annual Unified Quality Improvement Symposium

8th Annual ECU Health Quality Improvement Symposium

January 31, 2024

Eastern AHEC and Virtual

Award Winners Announced



The eighth annual Quality Improvement Symposium was held in a hybrid format on January 31 at Eastern AHEC and virtually. The symposium featured 43 projects related to quality improvement, patient safety, population health and interprofessional practice from ECU Health.

178 participants attended the hybrid symposium, during which academic and community physicians, health professionals, health care teams, residents, fellows, and students had the opportunity to present their work in systems improvement and practice redesign to an audience of peers and health system leaders.

Accepted presentations were divided into four categories: podium, quick shot podium, poster, and works-in-progress poster presentations. The symposium’s award for outstanding podium presentation was awarded to Erin Atwood, MD, for her presentation “Increasing Counseling about the Risk of Hypoglycemia associated with Alcohol Consumption and Insulin Use for Adolescent Patients with Diabetes at the ECU Health Pediatric Diabetes Clinic.” Honorable mention podium went to Jennifer Stahl, MD, for her project “Right Care at the Right Location: Tele ICU Project.” A second honorable mention podium presentation was awarded to Benjamin Copeland, MD, for his presentation “Improving Mental Health Access for Children in Foster Care in Eastern North Carolina.”

The award for outstanding quick shot podium presentation was awarded to Juan Guillen-Hernandez, MD, for his presentation “Reducing Unplanned Extubations in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.” Three honorable mentions were awarded in the quick shot podium category, they are: Jennifer Mitchell, “Improving Efficiency and Staff Satisfaction in the Operating Room Through a Revised Block Scheduling Framework at a Rural Community Hospital,” Titilola Babatunde, M4, LINC Scholar, “Improving Documentation of a Pediatric Early Warning Score in the Electronic Health Record,” and Katie Knowles, RN, “Back to the Basics: Hand Hygiene.”

First place in the poster category was awarded to John “JC” Rowe, for his project “Optimizing Outcomes for Patients with First Trimester Bleeding.” Second place was awarded to Gabriella Boccia, for her work “Improving Sick Visit Clinic Assess at ECU Health Physicians Adult and Pediatric Health Care.” Third place was awarded to Stephanie Smith, RN, for her project “Improving Fall Risk Identification in Pediatric Patients.”

The symposium offered two concurrent education sessions:

  • “Patient Safety, Reliability Science, and Root Cause Analysis Application”— Susan Ingram, MSN, RN, CPHQ, Director of Patient Safety, ECU Health, led participants in an interactive workshop discussing high reliability science principles and application of a proven method for Root Cause Analysis (RCA) through a case-based activity.
  • “Healing for the Healers: Cultivating a Culture of Resiliency” — Randy Cobb, DSL, ACC, CPCC, Director or Organization and Leadership Development, ECU Health engaged attendees in a discussion about psychological safety as a building block of high reliability organizations. Participants in this session identified behaviors and built personal action plans relative to the four stages of building psychological safety.

ECU Health News Services article covering the event.