Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Dr. Anthony Blash was recently selected as one of 13 professionals featured in the 2014 publication of Careers in Health Information Technology, a health information technology (HIT) textbook by Brian T. Malec.
The text describes the depth and breadth of job opportunities and careers currently available in HIT and helps readers enter and advance within the expanding field. Blash is featured in the chapter, “HIT Careers in the Education and Training Sector.”
Dr. Eric Hobson, professor in Belmont’s College of Pharmacy, was the featured scholar at the “Colόquio Internacional: Matto Grosso Expedition (1931)” recently held in Cáceres, Brazil by the Universidade do Estado de Mato Grosso (UNEMAT).
His seminar, “Why Descalvados? Mato Grosso Expeditions Between the Wars,” helped to fill gaps in the Brazilian historical record about non-Brazilian scientific exploration activity along Brazil’s western frontier in the early twentieth century.
Dr. Hobson joined UNEMAT history faculty and graduate students on a two-day research trip down the Paraguay River to Fazenda Descalvados — the largest ranch in the western hemisphere during the early 1900s — which served as base camp for many exploration/scientific teams from the United States, including the Theodore Roosevelt/Colonel Rondon Expedition of 1914.
Professor and Dean of the College of Pharmacy Phil Johnston was recently named as one of Nashville Health Council’s 2015 Fellows, the third class of its kind. The class is made up of leaders from all aspects of Nashville’s health care field including bankers, lawmakers, health care providers and management professionals.
One of the class’s 36 participants, Johnston will be part of the Council’s largest class to date. In 2013, the inaugural class graduated 33 participants and in 2014, the class graduated 32 participants.
“The 2015 Fellows include some of the industry’s best and brightest leaders with experience and industry focus spanning all sectors of health care,” said U.S. Senate Majority Bill Frist, who co-directs the initiative with Larry Van Horn, a leading expert in health care management and economics, and professor at Vanderbilt University. “These individuals have a challenging task ahead, and I look forward to the meaningful discussion and debate on our nation’s health care that will come from our rigorous curriculum.”
For more information on this program and the Nashville Health Care Council, click here.
Throughout the fall, fourth year pharmacy students led educational classes at Room In The Inn (RITI), a community of participants, guests, volunteers and staff who work together to offer hope to Nashville’s homeless population. RITI serves more than 4,000 individuals each year – some for only a day, while others for months to years.
Dr. Ashton Beggs, faculty member in the College of Pharmacy, teaches fourth year students at United Neighborhood Health Services (UNHS) Mission Clinic. This clinic provides interdisciplinary primary care services to the homeless population of Nashville. Many of the UNHS clinic patients utilize RITI’s programming for a sense of community and as a ladder to get back on their feet.
RITI offers over 3,000 classes annually, covering a wide range of subjects including health, spirituality, GED preparation and art. Dr. Beggs’s fourth year students teach a weekly class focusing on primary care topics, such as Vaccine Jeopardy and Diabetes Bingo. Participants earn points for taking classes and can use them to purchase socks, gloves and bus passes.
Pharmacy students Tim Furfaro and Mary Martin Johnson led Vaccine Jeopardy in September. Furfaro said, “It was a great experience to teach these patients about vaccines while having fun at the same time. I think it’s important not just to educate people, but to give them a chance to ask their own questions as well.” Johnson said, “I’m confident we clarified common myths about vaccines and hopefully motivated people to ask their health care provider about receiving vaccines they needed.”
In October, Ashley Stovall and Jessica Brinkley taught Vaccine Bingo. Brinkley said, “By the last class we had so many people show up that we ran out of chairs, bingo cards and game pieces. I would say that Vaccine Bingo was a success, and hopefully we helped to prevent many diseases with our educational efforts!”
In November, students Samantha Wheeler and Christie Saldana facilitated Diabetes Bingo. “It’s interesting to hear how patients have learned about diabetes through the experiences they have had either with family members or friends. Even though we taught people with varying degrees of knowledge, everyone commented on how they learned from our class,” said Wheeler.
Dr. Beggs said, “This is a wonderful opportunity for our pharmacy students to learn about providing health education to patients with low health literacy. The feedback from the participants has been consistently positive- remarking about how they are learning about their health and having fun at the same time.”
Belmont’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) was recently granted full accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education’s (CCNE) Board of Commissioners. The University began its Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) to DNP program in the fall of 2012 with 5 students. In the fall of 2013, the Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) to DNP program was launched. In the fall of 2014, the programs together totaled 28 enrolled students.
With the first graduating class in May 2014, Belmont has seen great success with both DNP tracks. 75 percent of these graduates were invited to present their scholarly project, a required portion of their degree track, at a national meeting of nurse practitioners.
“This is yet another notable benchmark for nursing at Belmont. I am grateful for the University’s leadership and encouragement for establishing the DNP program and also want to recognize the hard work of Drs. Buckner, Wofford and Higgins and the graduate nursing faculty and staff. This accreditation award is a direct reflection of their steadfast commitment to professional excellence,” said Dean of the Health Science and Nursing College, Dr. Cathy Taylor.
The School of Nursing aims to produce nursing professionals that can assist in transforming our nation’s health care industry, said Dr. Martha Buckner, associate dean of nursing. With a focus on a collaborative educational environment, the School is committed to identifying needs within the industry and producing additional tracks that meet those needs.
Belmont’s Provost, Dr. Thomas Burns said, “The full accreditation of the DNP program at Belmont brings to fruition the full suite of holistic nurse training programs at Belmont. With this final piece in place, our nursing program now provides compassionate, patient-centered education to nurses across the full spectrum of practice-based nursing education and provides our students and our community with the best comprehensive nursing training program possible.”
With this granting of this accreditation, all Belmont nursing programs are fully accredited by the CCNE.
New program equips graduates for rapid career success, advancement
Starting in fall 2015, prospective pharmacists can pursue the only dual PharmD/MBA degree available in Middle Tennessee at Belmont University in Nashville, the nation’s healthcare capital. Unlike similar programs around the country that require a minimum of five years’ study or offer MBA courses primarily online, Belmont PharmD/MBA students can complete all the requirements for both degrees within four years and will enjoy Belmont’s signature personal interaction from experienced, highly regarded faculty. Moreover, students can complete the degree at a reduced tuition from doing the programs separately.
“The modern practice of pharmacy is constantly evolving, and now—more than ever before—it’s imperative that new PharmD graduates also enter the workforce with a strong business acumen,” said Dr. Phil Johnston, dean of Belmont’s College of Pharmacy. “Regardless of whether a graduate works in a retail, institutional or research site, they must possess robust entrepreneurial skills in business forecasting, employee management, corporate finance and more. A PharmD/MBA dual degree is a timely addition to Belmont’s offerings.”
Dr. Joe Alexander, associate dean of Belmont’s Massey Graduate School of Business, added, “This is a logical extension of our mission to provide business education and thoughtful leadership to the working professionals of Nashville and the Middle Tennessee region. Due to our flexible week-night and summer course schedule, students can complete their MBAs in the same four years as their PharmD while also participating in the internship, study abroad and clinical practice experiences each program requires. Belmont PharmD/MBA graduates will be uniquely prepared for rapid career development.”
According to a 2008 report published in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, the average total first-year compensation for a PharmD/MBA dual degree graduate was 15 percent greater than that of a PharmD graduate. Interestingly, despite the rigor of both programs, students taking the dual-degree route in the study performed better academically, indicated a higher level of program satisfaction and reported increased career opportunities.
Dr. Mollie Allen, manager of professional and college relations for CVS Health, said, “In our latest CVS Health survey of the recent PharmD grads we’ve hired in the past four years, we asked them to rate a number of necessary areas of responsibility they encounter in their daily work. General business knowledge and management skills ranked as one of the top three areas they felt needed the most growth and additional training. Belmont’s new dual PharmD/MBA program will certainly play a key role in filling an important gap today’s pharmacists are perceiving in themselves as they enter the marketplace and better prepare new graduates to quickly succeed.”
Prospective PharmD/MBA students would also be hard-pressed to find a better program. Belmont Pharmacy boasts a 95.33 percent three-year average first attempt pass rate on the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) in addition to 30 full-time terminally-degreed faculty and a low 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio. Meanwhile, Belmont’s MBA program is consistently lauded by both Princeton Review and BusinessWeek, the latter of which ranks Belmont’s Part-Time MBA as the top program in the state. In fact, in its recent report BusinessWeek noted that Belmont’s “faculty experts, innovative courses and small class sizes, as well as dynamic internship, service and study abroad opportunities combine to provide an exceptional learning experience.” Combine those accolades with the location in Nashville—where the health care industry contributes more than 200,000 jobs to the local economy annually—and it’s difficult to imagine a better fit.
Applicants to the dual PharmD/MBA degree must meet the requirements for both the Pharmacy and MBA programs. Prospective PharmD/MBA students should visit the dual-degree program’s information web page for specific application instructions, curriculum information and admissions representative contact information. Email inquiries may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. The PharmD/MBA application deadline is March 1, 2015 for Fall 2015 admission—this is a competitive program so early applications are recommended.
First year doctoral students in Belmont's Occupational Therapy program recently hosted students and faculty from the Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program at Nashville State Community College (NSCC) as part of their preparation for upcoming fieldwork experiences.
Ms. Donna Whitehouse, Associate Professor and Director of NSCC's OTA program, was joined by OTA students, Ashley Collins, Amber Sevier-Hunt and Chelsey Morton, in sharing information about the OTA curriculum, the roles and responsibilities of an occupational therapy assistant, and supervision guidelines.
The purpose of the class was to familiarize the students with how occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants collaborate to deliver occupational therapy services.
Dr. Mike Voight, Professor of Physical Therapy, was recently a keynote presenter at the World Golf Fitness Summit in Carlsbad, California and at a meeting of the Japanese Athletic Trainer and Physiotherapy Association in Tokyo, Japan.
The World Golf Fitness Summit brings together over 30 of the world’s thought leaders in athletic performance to discuss the latest research and practical applications. Dr. Voight is noted as one of the leading authorities in the rehabilitation of orthopedic and sports injuries. At the Summit, he joined with Dr. Tom Byrd, an orthopaedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine and arthroscopic surgery, to present a session about hip injuries in the golfer.
Earlier in the month, Dr. Voight co-presented a session to the Japanese medical community on the evaluation of movement disorders and the impact that poor movement has on the hip. Seventy-five Japanese physicians and physical therapist were in attendance.
Belmont University School of Nursing was well represented in a new slate of officers elected recently by the Tennessee Nurses Association (TNA) at their annual assembly. Dr. Sandy Murabito, Assistant Professor of Nursing, was selected as the President-elect for organization's governing body. In addition, Tracy Wilson, Instructor of Nursing, was elected to the nominating committee and senior nursing major Daniel Maison was elected president of the Middle Tennessee Association of Student Nurses.
“This is wonderful recognition for nursing at Belmont," said Dr. Cathy Taylor, Dean of the Gordon E. Inman College of Health Sciences & Nursing. "I have no doubt Ms. Wilson and Mr. Maison will excel in their new roles, and Dr. Murabito will provide the strong leadership the TNA presidency demands. She is an experienced advocate and will prove to be a worthy champion for Tennessee nurses.”
“This year’s meeting ushered in a new strategic direction for the Association,” claimed TNA President Frances Sills. “Each of these members bring experience and passion for the nursing profession and I am confident they will guide this organization to new levels of excellence.”
Dr. Murabito will serve as President-elect until next year's assembly in October and then serve as President for 2015-2016.