November is awareness month for Lung Cancer, the leading cancer killer in both men and women in the United States. Doctors at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville are betting on new technologies to reverse that trend. Sarah Finch has more on a new lung biopsy device and how it’s changing healthcare options in eastern North Carolina.

Turkeys: they’re the centerpiece for your Thanksgiving feast.  And a source of renewable energy.  This week on the Down East Journal, we talk to the Vice President of Prestage AgEnergy about their plant under construction in Sampson County that will convert turkey waste into steam for electricity. And, a local hospital is the first in the world to use new biopsy tool.  The Down East Journal airs Friday at noon on all of the PRE stations.  And Saturday at noon on News and Ideas.  

Photo by Gretchen Baugh, ECU

Is 120 the new 140? According to initial results from a nationwide blood pressure study, conducted in part by East Carolina University, it may be for some. 

One third of all Americans are hypertensive, but that rate is higher here in eastern North Carolina.  Division Chief of General Internal Medicine at ECU Brody School of Medicine, Dr. James Powell,

“Despite a lot of effort to try help a lot of folks, and we’ve helped a lot of folks through the years, Eastern North Carolina still has a very high penetration of people with high blood pressure.”

High blood pressure affects nearly a third of the U.S. population and in eastern North Carolina that number is higher.  This week on the Down East Journal, how new research carried out in part at ECU in Greenville sheds new light on the ideal blood pressure for heart and kidney health.  And, New Bern High was selected as one of four schools in the state to participate in a solar panel pilot program.  The Down East Journal airs Friday at noon on all of the PRE stations.  And Saturday at noon on News and Ideas.  

Photo by Richard Muldez - Provided by Albemarle Health

Twenty eight counties across the state do not have a psychiatrist, leaving many to seek treatment in local hospital emergency rooms.  But the Statewide Telepsychiatry program, which started in January, is designed to address a shortage of psychologists, especially in rural areas.  The program is helping patients get the help they need using video and audio streaming videoconferencing technology similar to Skype or Facetime.     East Carolina University’s E-Behavioral Health Telepsychiatry Center is providing the consultations and so far, the program is showing positive results.  A recent st

  This week on the Down East Journal, State Chief Information Officer Chris Estes tells us about the future of drone technology in North Carolina and how drones could be used by law enforcement, in hurricane recovery and agriculture.  And, a former reporter for the Jacksonville Daily News steps into the world of crime fiction with book one in a series featuring a Naval Criminal Investigative Service agent based at Camp Lejeune.  More on that story, Friday at noon on all of the PRE stations, and Saturday at noon on News and Ideas.

Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune is using futuristic simulation technology to train corpsman and give experienced physicians a place to refine their skills.  We speak with experts about the new simulation lab and explain how it works.

Photo by Richard Muldez - Provided by Albemarle Health

This week, we speak with acting State Health Director Dr. Robin Cummings about the new, statewide telepsychiatry program starting in January, and how East Carolina University will be involved with the program.

Last week, we heard an in-depth conversation about the future of telemedicine in eastern North Carolina and how new technology could be used to provide access to specialized healthcare for people living in rural  and underserved areas of the state, such as Bertie, Beaufort, Duplin, and Edgecombe.

NC Ferry Division

We speak with crew members of the motor vessel Croatoan who received an honorary award for saving their captain’s life when he unexpectedly collapsed while the voyage was underway.

For more information on how to respond if you find yourself in an emergency situation, go to:

This week on the Down East Journal, the 40 year old Beaufort County jail is the center of a debate.  Some say the facility is in adequate shape and needs little repair.  Others say the jail is unsafe for staff and inmates and a new one needs to be built.  More on the controversy, Friday at noon on all of the PRE stations.  And Saturday at noon on PRE, Public Radio East, News and Ideas.


This week, we focus on a study that found a third of migrant farmworker camps in eastern North Carolina had contaminated drinking water.