July 2015
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UPDATE – ERHD Graduate Certificate Online Program Starts

Director Dr. Eric Bailey

Director Dr. Eric Bailey

My name is Eric Bailey and I am Director & Professor of the new Ethnic & Rural Health Disparities Graduate Certificate Online Program at East Carolina University. I want to welcome you to this very innovative online certificate program. It is the first of its kind in the entire United States and we officially started on August 21st, 2010.

Update: Please feel free to check out my latest 2014 – 2015 ERHD Welcome Address

Gainful Employment Disclosure

The ERHD Program – A Successful Model for other DE Programs

Here is ERHD Director Dr. Eric Bailey

Here is ERHD Director Dr. Eric Bailey

On June 3rd, I participated in the Department of Public Health’s DE Graduate Certificate brainstorm session focused on Public Health Foundations and Practice – Training and Discussion at East Carolina University. I was asked to discuss the Ethnic and Rural Health Disparities (ERHD) program and how it became so successful of a DE program in just a short period of time.

The all morning session featured other successful programs along with sessions on training faculty with technical tools for teaching DE courses such as mediasite and blackboard. The entire training session for the Department of Public Health was organized by Dr. Greg Kearney since he will be the official Director of the DE Graduate Certificate in Public Health at ECU.

In my talk to the audience as Director of the ERHD Program, I highlighted several key points which has helped the ERHD success. They were: 1. Marketing the ERHD Program, 2. Setting High Standards for the ERHD Program, 3. Finding our particular niche within public health, 4. Setting short-term and long-term goals, 5. Receiving funding support, and 6. Receiving Student feedback to make improvements to the ERHD program.

I received very good response and questions from the audience and hope that I expressed the importance of our ERHD program to the public health field. In fact, the ERHD program is STILL the one and only ONLINE accredited, university program focused on ethnic and rural health disparities! That makes me, our faculty, and hopefully all our current and past ERHD graduates proud (#proudERHDgraduate).

#proudERHDgraduate – Beginning New Tradition for our ERHD Graduates

ERHD Poster - #proudERHDgraduate

ERHD Poster – #proudERHDgraduate

Today, March 23rd, 2015, I want to acknowledge a great ideal that I received from our 2014 ERHD graduate – Crystal Dixon. Last week, Crystal signed her comment on the ERHD Facebook page using #proudERHDgraduate. For one thing, we are very proud to continue to be able to deliver our unique online graduate program focused on ethnic and rural health disparities at East Carolina University and secondly to know that our graduates are PROUD to be associated and graduate from our certificate program. We try each semester to provide the best graduate education for all those interested in our 4 course curriculum and we feel that our graduates are at an advantage in the job market because of this specialized training.

Therefore, I would like for ALL OUR ERHD GRADUATES to spread the word in all types of social media outlets using #proudERHDgraduate when you are discussing your graduate training or issues related to public health, health disparities, cultural competency, future of public health, future of medicine, and future of the U.S. health care system.

Let’s see if we can spread the word of our ERHD program to many other new outlets just using #proudERHDgraduate. Thanks again to Crystal Dixon for this ideal AND I want to thank all of the ERHD students and ERHD graduates for working exceptionally hard in our program and making us feel very proud of your career achievements now and many more years to come!

Presenting the ERHD Program at the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research (APTR) Conference

Dr. Bailey talks to attendees during the poster presentation session.

Dr. Bailey talks to attendees during the poster presentation session.

Dr. Bailey presents paper at the APTR Conference

Dr. Bailey presents paper at the APTR Conference

On March 16, 2015, I presented our ERHD program at the annual Association for Prevention Teaching and Research (APTR) Conference held in Charleston, South Carolina. The title of my paper presentation was, “A New Online Strategy in Teaching Ethnic Health and Health Disparities to Public Health Professionals.” Not only did I give an oral presentation to the audience but I also presented a poster board presentation.

During both presentations, I received a great response from the audience and lots of interest in the total design, structure, delivery, content, and public health professionals who graduated from our ERHD program. From the discussions that I had from all of the interested conference attendees, our Ethnic and Rural Health Disparities (ERHD) program was viewed very favorably and surprised on how successful we have been able to deliver a completely online graduate certificate program that focuses on ethnic and rural health disparities.

Although not surprising, we are still a unique and one-of-a-kind program in which other universities would like to duplicate and/or develop a collaboration with us. This is truly great news!!

In summary, I appreciated the opportunity to present our study of the ERHD program at the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research (APTR) conference. The connection, exposure and networking with key public health professionals at major universities helped to further market our ERHD program to completely new potential audiences. Finally, I feel extremely pleased that our ERHD program and all the graduates from our ERHD program are apart of a special, cutting-edge, and innovative graduate certificate online program that is paving the way for future online graduate education programs in public health and medicine.

Check out a couple of photos from the APTR conference.

ERHD Program adds New Faculty – Dr. Stephanie Jilcott Pitts

The Ethnic and Rural Health Disparities (ERHD) Graduate Certificate Online Program is a unique program located in the Department of Public Health at ECU which focuses specifically on ethnic and rural health disparities. It is still the one and only graduate certificate program in the United States focused specifically on ethnic and rural health disparities. We are also unique because all of our classes are online and we use the extensive online infrastructure of the UNC system to bring this program to university campuses throughout the UNC system and to other states.

It gives me great pleasure to announce that we are finally adding another faculty member to our ERHD program. Co-Director Dr. Justin Moore and I want to welcome Dr. Stephanie Jilcott Pitts. Dr. Jilcott Pitts has been and continues to be a faculty member of ECU’s Department of Public Health for the past seven years. Her research is focused on examining and addressing policy and environmental factors related to obesity, diet, and physical activity. Dr. Jilcott Pitts is also a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a native of Bertie County, eastern North Carolina. In the ERHD program, Dr. Jilcott Pitts will be a part of our ERHD Admissions Committee.

To view the entire ERHD Faculty Bios, please check out the following links:

Director Dr. Eric Bailey

Co-Director – Dr. Justin Moore

ERHD Faculty Dr. Stephanie Jilcott Pitts

Please go to our ERHD Facebook to welcome our new ERHD Faculty member – Dr. Stephanie Jilcott Pitts.

ERHD Program Accepting 2015 Fall Applications – Due March 31st, 2015

As Director of the ERHD Program, I am pleased to announce that the ERHD Graduate Certificate Online Program is accepting applications from qualified students to enroll for the Fall 2015 semester at East Carolina University. To obtain a graduate certificate in ethnic and rural health disparities, completion of 12 credit hours is required.


The ERHD program consists of four online courses:
1. MPH 6005 African American Health
2. MPH 6007 Global Public Health
3. MPH 6008 Ethnic Health and Health Disparities
4. MPH 6009 Capstone Experience in Ethnic Health & Health Disparities


ECU MPH Students Only:
1. Letter of Interest
2. Writing Sample
3. Recommendation Letter

Other Graduate Students:
1. Transcript
2. GRE or MCAT scores
3. Letter of Interest
4. Writing Sample
5. Recommendation Letter


Send all ERHD applications materials to:

Dr. Eric Bailey
ERHD Director
ERHD Admissions Committee
East Carolina University
209 Flanagan Bldg.
Mailstop 568
Greenville, NC 27834-4353

Email materials to: baileye@ecu.edu


ERHD Program – Highlighting 2012 Alumni – Marc Stevens, Jr.

Each year, the ERHD program graduates outstanding students who have shown their remarkable knowledge, interest, passion, and skills associated with ethnic and rural health disparities throughout their year within the ERHD program. As Director of the ERHD Program, I am extremely proud of all of our ERHD students and ERHD graduates who are showing that they are changing the way our public health and medical fields address health disparities in all communities particularly among ethnic and rural health disparity groups.

In this ERHD update, I want to highlight the accomplishment of Marc Stevens, Jr. – an ERHD 2012 graduate. Marc Stevens completed his ERHD certificate and MPH degree from East Carolina University in 2012. Next, he entered the doctorate public health program in epidemiology at East Tennessee State University. During the past couple of years, he has worked continuously on his doctorate public health degree and now completing his dissertation work this spring 2015. He will graduate this spring with a doctorate in Epidemiology from East Tennessee State University (Johnson City, Tennessee).

Marc has also steadily presented his research at major national conferences. Recently, Marc was honored as the Emerging MCH Graduate Student at the Association of Maternal and Child Health Program (AMCHP) conference. Check out his interview right here!

Marc Steven’s Jr. Interview at AMCHP Conference.

Please send your congratulations to Marc Stevens, Jr. at his email address – stevensma@goldmail.etsu.edu
We support all of our ERHD graduates and continue to network with all of them so that more ERHD students can achieve their DREAMS!!

ERHD Program – Recognizing “Gainful Employment Disclosure” status

The Ethnic and Rural Health Disparities Program at ECU wants to officially inform all visitors that our program is on the federal listing as a Title IV eligible certificate program. What this means is that qualified graduate professionals who are accepted into the program NOW have more options to finance their courses. Financing for this program may be available through grants, scholarships, loans (federal and private) and institutional financing plans.

Here is the link to the Gainful Employment Disclosure statement.

If you have any additional inquiry regarding our Gainful Employment Disclosure statement or Title IV eligible certificate program status, please do not hesitate to contact me at: baileye@ecu.edu

ERHD Program – Approved by U.S. Department of Education

Recently, I was notified from ECU administrators that our Ethnic and Rural Health Disparities (ERHD) program was officially approved by the U.S. Department of Education on December 31, 2014 to be listed on the Eligibility and Certification Approval Report (ECAR) for programs in which graduate students can seek student loans to take our courses if needed. This is a major accomplishment for our ERHD program because it not only recognizes our Graduate Certificate Program as an official nationally recognized program but it also provides graduate professionals even more financial opportunity to take our academically approved courses.

We want to give our special THANKS to the ECU Administrators for supporting our ERHD program as well as ECU’s Department of Public Health – MPH Program – for continuing to list our courses within their program.

ERHD New Graduate – Kaniqua Outlaw

Kaniqua Outlaw - ERHD Graduate

Kaniqua Outlaw – ERHD Graduate

The Ethnic and Rural Health Disparities (ERHD) congratulates Kaniqua Outlaw for completing her final ERHD course this fall semester and now becoming one of our outstanding ERHD graduates. Kaniqua completed her three other ERHD courses (MPH 6009, MPH 6008, and MPH 6005) in 2014 and 2013.

Kaniqua Outlaw joins our 20 previous graduates of our program. The significance of our ERHD program and the alumni of our program cannot be understated and overlooked anymore. Each one of our graduates are making tremendous impact in their respective fields and are definitely making changes in the public health and medical fields.

The ERHD program is very proud of Kaniqua Outlaw’s achievement and we wish her well in her future public health career.

ERHD Exhibit at North Carolina Community College System Conference – Raleigh, NC

Dr. Bailey and Jennifer Baysden

Dr. Bailey and Jennifer Baysden

ECU Exhibit Booth

ECU Exhibit Booth

Here is my ERHD Exhibit

Here is my ERHD Exhibit

During October 12 – 14th, the ERHD Program was invited to participate in the North Carolina Community College System Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina. Distance Education Coordinator, Jennifer Baysden, of ECU asked if I wanted to exhibit the ERHD program at this event and was delighted to receive the invitation.

Once I arrived, I set up our ERHD tabletop exhibit in one of the areas of the ECU booth and other departments and schools set up their displays as well. After everyone got situated, the ECU booth was very impressive and in fact we had more visitors to our ECU booth than other university exhibits.

The conference attendees that I spoke to about the ERHD program were ECU graduates who now work at NC Community colleges. They are now instructors, administrators and directors at various community colleges throughout the state. They were also very proud of the achievements at ECU and proud to be a Pirate!

Overall, the ERHD program truly benefited from the marketing of our innovative program at this community college event. Check out a few photos.