Soaring Towards Destination Health


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UNCW MSAT Students Assist in Local Medical Emergency

March 2023 - Laney High School Athletic Trainer Kristen Thacker '05 was working at the 4A East Regional Wrestling Tournament at the school on Saturday, February 11 when she was called over for an emergency in the stands. A spectator was experiencing a medical emergency. When Thacker approached the man, she found he was not breathing and did not have a pulse. She determined that he was going into cardiac arrest.

Robin Bachkosky (left) and Matt Bendixen (right) are students in UNC Wilmington’s the Master of Science in Athletic Training program and are interning with the athletics department Laney High School. They assisted Thacker in resuscitating the man. More...

Laurie Webb

UNCW Master of Social Work Student Appointed to National Association of Social Workers Board

February 2023 - Laurie Webb, a Master of Social Work (MSW) student in the School of Social Work has been appointed the MSW student representative to the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Board of Directors. Founded in 1955, the NASW is the largest membership organization of professional social workers in the world. NASW works to enhance the professional growth and development of its members, to create and maintain professional standards, and to advance sound social policies. More...

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District C Model Implemented Within School of Social Work

February 2023 - District C Model Training, led in the School of Social Work by Assistant Professor Alicia Sellon, is an innovative community-engaged pedagogy model that is being implemented within the School of Social Work.

District C Model Training provides a model for engaging students in solving real world problems. The model relies on expert coaching and diverse teams of students to solve real problems for real businesses and organizations. More...

Kalyn Groncki

New Hanover hospital team saved college student’s life. Now she wants to join them.

January 31, 2023 - A couple of months into her freshman year, Kalyn Groncki's near-fatal case of COVID-19 also gave her what she now calls a new sense of purpose. While studying alone one October night, Groncki dismissed her throbbing head as a migraine, though she’d never had one. “I just knew something wasn’t right,” she remembered. After passing out in the shower more than once, Groncki pulled her hair back, crawled into bed and dialed 911. She could barely breathe. Groncki was purple and in cardiac arrest when she arrived at Novant Health New Hanover Regional Medical Center. No one knew exactly what was wrong with her.

Dr. Hector Sanchez suspected a pulmonary embolism — a blood clot lodged in Groncki’s lungs — had choked off the oxygen to her blood. Her condition left only one option: life support. Groncki spent 23 days in the hospital. Among her care team were respiratory therapists Veronica Pittman and Cody Powell. Pittman and Powell not only helped her heal, they changed her life. After reading an article in UNCW Magazine that promoted the university’s new respiratory therapy program at the School of Health and Applied Human Sciences, Groncki immediately ripped out the page and taped it to the wall. “This is my goal,” she told herself. “This is what I want to do.” Read more about Groncki's story in this Novant Health NHRMC article.