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ECU responds to Vidant Medical Board controversy

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ECU’s interim chancellor has weighed in on a fight between the state and Vidant Health over appointments to Vidant’s board. East Carolina University released a letter signed by interim chancellor Dan Gerlach and Brody School of Medicine Dean Dr. Mark Stacy about the controversy. The Pitt County Board of Commissioners in May approved action that would end the UNC system’s nine appointments to the 20 member Vidant Health Medical Board. The state reacted, with the UNC system filing a lawsuit and a proposed state budget that would lower Medicaid reimbursement rates to the hospital. The letter from Gerlach and Stacy says “this is a fight that ECU did not know about, start, invite or need.” It also said the county’s actions came “behind closed doors” and that no one at ECU or the Brody School of Medicine was consulted about the change. The letter pointed to court-directed mediation as “the best way to handle concerns.”

George Olsen is a 1977 Havelock High School graduate. He received his B.A. in Broadcast Journalism from the University of South Carolina in 1982 where he got his first taste of non-commercial radio working for their student station WUSC. After graduation he worked about five years in commercial radio before coming to work at Public Radio East where he has remained since outside of a nearly 3-year stint as jazz and operations coordinator at WUAL in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in the early 1990s. On his return to eastern North Carolina he hosted classical music for Public Radio East before moving into the Morning Edition host position and now can be heard on All Things Considered. He also hosts and produces The Sound, five hours of Americana, Roots Rock and Contemporary Folk weekday evenings on PRE Public Radio East News & Ideas, and is a news and feature producer for Public Radio East.