ECU Brody School of Medicine professor named emerging leader

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – A hospital says a medical school professor in Eastern Carolina has been named an emerging leader for her work addressing some of the most challenging problems in healthcare delivery.

ECU Health says Yaolin Zhou, MD, associate professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University was named to the 2023 Becker’s Hospital Review “Emerging Leaders: Provider Organization Leaders Under 40″ list.

The Becker’s Hospital Review list recognized the director of Quality and Test Utilization, and head of Molecular Pathology at ECU Health as up-and-coming leaders who is quickly rising through the ranks at their organizations, focusing on development, innovation, and improved outcomes while being under the age of 40.

The hospital says since her arrival in 2020, Dr. Zhou established an innovative molecular consultation service, focused primarily on pre- and post-testing review, to ensure cancer patients get appropriate molecular tests and treatment.

Most recently in 2023 ECU Health says she secured a $250,000 industry-funded quality improvement grant aimed to identify and address healthcare disparities in cancer care, ultimately improving patient outcomes in eastern North Carolina’s rural 29-county region.

“As a cancer survivor myself, I strive to bring quality and equitable cancer care to those I am honored to serve,” said Dr. Zhou. “All patients deserve high-quality and guideline-recommended cancer treatment.”

As the only molecular pathologist in ECU Health’s 29-county service area, she provides expertise that benefits more than 1.4 million individuals in the region.

She was also recognized as an international quality improvement and test utilization expert after she partnered with clinical colleagues to establish a health system-wide initiative to reduce daily repeat lab tests in 2020. ECU Health says she achieved a 15 to 25 percent reduction in unnecessary repeat daily testing throughout the system, earning her and her team the American Society for Clinical Pathology Choosing Wisley Champion Award.