Dr. Leigh Ann Bynum and Dr. Angela Hagan were co-presenters for a session entitled “Curricular Approaches to Active Learning”, which demonstrated different ways in which active learning techniques have been incorporated into pharmacy curricula. Dr. Bynum and Dr. Hagan focused on the use of patient simulation technology in the classroom. Dr. Scott Weston moderated the session which included presentations from two other pharmacy schools. Dr. Weston is the incoming Chair of the AACP Curriculum special interest group and was recently appointed to the Editorial Review Board for the AACP Center for the Advancement of Pharmacy Education (CAPE).
Dr. Hagan also joined with Dr. Hope Campbell to speak at a session on “Reviving the Meaning and Perceptions of Being a Minority Faculty Member”. In addition, Drs. Hagan and Campbell presented a poster entitled “Where's the Minority Representation? State of Affairs in Academic Pharmacy”. Dr. Campbell is the incoming Chair of the AACP Minority Faculty special interest group.
Dr. Ashton Beggs presented a poster titled “Student Perceptions of Inter-Professional Collaboration through Geriatric Case Training”. This poster was a report prepared by Dr. Beggs, who worked with faculty in the Meharry Consortium Geriatric Education Center, to produce a day long training session for students in nursing, social work, physical therapy, dietetics, medicine and pharmacy. Dr. Beggs also made a poster presentation with Dr. Alisa Spinelli on “Student Preference for Traditional vs. Non-Traditional Presentation Modalities”.
NurseJournal.org has ranked Belmont University No. 12 among the Top 50 Most Social Media Friendly Nursing Schools of 2014.
For its ranking methodology, NurseJournal.org evaluated hundreds of nursing schools to see which have the strongest presence among social media platforms. The formula was weighted to put more emphasis on the social media platforms that are most popular with nursing schools. The highest possible score is 100, with 32 points for Facebook, 15 for Nurses Lounge, 14 for Twitter, 12 for YouTube, 12 for LinkedIn, 6 for Google, 4 for Pinterest, 4 for Flickr, and 1 for Instagram. Belmont scored a 65.4 on the ranking scale.
According to NurseJournal.org, “Social media is constantly changing, so schools must reevaluate their strategies regularly and decide which platforms to maintain a presence on and how much interaction to engage in with their followers.” Belmont’s School of Nursing is active on social media through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google Plus, and Nurse’s Lounge, as well as the Health Sciences news site.
NurseJournal.org, a social community for new and existing nurses, provides a comprehensive resource for the career and education aspects of nursing.
Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, M.D., founder of Hope Through Healing Hands, and Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, led a community conversation Monday in Belmont’s Maddox Grand Atrium on “The Mother & Child Project: Simple Steps to Saving Lives in the Developing World.” This was the first public event held by the Faith-Based Coalition for Healthy Mothers and Children Worldwide, a joint partnership of Hope Through Healing Hands (HTHH), a Nashville-based global health organization, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
More than 250 individuals representing the faith community, global health NGO and higher-education sectors throughout greater Nashville attended the discussion, hosted by Belmont University. In addition to opening the event, Belmont Provost Dr. Thomas Burns and Hope Through Healing Hands (HTHH) Executive Director Dr. Jenny Eaton Dyer also announced that this fall they would award the first Frist Global Health Fellowship to enable a Belmont graduate student to be immersed for a semester in a global health experience.
U.S. Olympic figure skating champion Scott Hamilton, who with his wife Tracie is an active global health advocate, moderated the event, posing questions to Frist and Gates about their experiences.
“As I began to talk with women around the world, it became very clear to me the spacing and timing of pregnancies we take for granted in the U.S. is a matter of life and death for them,” said Gates. “So I got very involved in contraceptives, because it truly starts the cycle of life, where they can feed their children, get their children in school, and honestly, not die themselves.”
Sen. Frist agreed, saying, “Contraception is a pro-life cause.” He went on to explain that, “…if you delay first pregnancy to 18 years old, you can increase survival in countries where one in 39 women die in childbirth, and cut the chance of children dying by 30 percent, enabling them to stay in school and become productive members of families.”
“Second, if you can push out the interval between pregnancies to three year period, the child is twice as likely to survive the newborn stage.”
Today, more than 200 million women in developing countries want the ability to plan if and when they become pregnant, but lack access to information about planning their families. Increasing access to a range of contraceptive options, and providing women with the ability to time and space their births, is critical to improving the health of mothers and children.
At the event, Gates reflected on her upbringing in Dallas, Texas, where she attended Catholic parochial school from grades K-12, and confirmed she remains a practicing member of the Catholic Church. While Gates recognizes the tension between her work and the Church’s position on contraceptives, she has found common ground on healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies, even though organizations embrace different tools to achieve it.
Sen. Frist expressed his support for Gates’s efforts, explaining that the Faith-based Coalition for Healthy Mothers and Children Worldwide has a critical role to play in engaging members of the faith community to help disseminate this simple message.
He likened this initiative to a similar movement of Americans in 2002 that shared a vision with houses of worship across all faiths, which lead to the support and eventual funding of PEPFAR, the largest health initiative in history that turned the tide on the HIV/AIDS.
“The millions of people dying of HIV/AIDS worldwide led to a major U.S. tax-payer led movement to save lives, resulting in more than what is now 12.9 million individuals currently on anti-retroviral medicine,” he said, noting the Coalition’s efforts could save over 287,000 women’s lives each year.
The Faith Based Coalition on Healthy Mothers and Children Worldwide’s mission is to galvanize support among faith leaders across the U.S. on the issues of maternal, newborn and child health in developing countries. The coalition will place a particular emphasis on the benefits of healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies, including access to a range of contraceptive options, in alignment with its members’ unifying values and religious beliefs.
Several faith leaders already involved in this issue also participated in the program by echoing their support of this new initiative. “The best way to see change in Africa is to change the lives of African mothers,” said Steve Taylor, recording artist and filmmaker.
Jena Lee Nardella, co-founder with Jars of Clay of Blood:Water Mission, shared their experience in the global fight against HIV/AIDS. “We were inspired not by the statistics, but by the compelling stories. As a Church, let’s not forget to tell the story, but make it personal.”
Mike Glenn, pastor of Brentwood Baptist Church, added, “The Evangelical church is often accused of loving the child and not the mother; but in doing so, we lose God’s mosaic. We believe in ‘Imago Dei,’ the dignity of every human being.”
“It all comes down to the mother and child nexus and the healthy timing and spacing of births,” Sen. Frist concluded.
Suzanne Greenwalt, an instructor in the School of Physical Therapy, recently received certification as a Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Specialist from the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS). ABPTS is the national governing body for certification of clinical specialists in physical therapy. Less than 200 physical therapists are certified in this particular specialty and Professor Greenwalt is the first PT in the state of Tennessee to gain this credential.
“It’s quite an accomplishment,” said Dr. Renee Brown, the Chair of Belmont’s School of Physical Therapy, “and it’s great for our program. The knowledge and experience she has gained will enhance her teaching and benefit our students. We congratulate her.”
Cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapy provides treatment for individuals who suffer from cardiovascular and pulmonary conditions, such as heart attacks, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pulmonary fibrosis, to increase endurance and improve functional independence. To gain certification, Professor Greenwalt was required to provide 2000 hours of direct care of patients with conditions involving the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems in both acute and rehabilitation settings.
This is Professor Greenwalt’s second specialty certification in physical therapy. Previously, she was certified as a Geriatrics Specialist.
Dr. Edgar Diaz-Cruz, assistant professor of Pharmacy, was recently published in the journal. Frontiers in Oncology, for research he and his colleagues conducted on human pancreatic cancer. The study, entitled Human pancreatic cancer-associated stellate cells remain activated after in vivo chemoradiation, showed that human tumor-derived pancreatic stellate cells survive both in vivo chemo- and radiotherapy. The data supports the idea that stellate cells play an essential role in supporting and promoting pancreatic cancer and may lead to new treatments targeting the pancreatic tumor microenvironment. The team included researchers from the National Cancer Informatics Program, the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University, the University of Texas, the German Research Center for Environmental Health, and ETH Zurich in Switzerland.
Students and faculty from Belmont University’s College of Pharmacy recently completed a year-long project to create an inventory system at the Moore Pediatric Surgery Center in Guatemala City, Guatemala. The project started last July and included four separate mission trips from the College with a total of 23 students and faculty contributing. The most recent team finished the expansive project to catalog the contents of the surgery center which includes three operating rooms and 21 beds. The inventory system was built from scratch, tested, launched and, during this last visit, turned over to the surgery center’s local management.
The team was led by Dr. Eric Hobson, professor of Pharmacy, who was joined on this most recent trip by his family, including his son, Garrett, who will enter Belmont as a freshman this fall. Dr. Hobson has directed all four of the teams that have contributed to this project. The students on the most recent team included Candice Beam, Kyla Cunico, Alex Ernst, Meredith Ervin, Chelsey Manire and Kandice Squires, all third-year PharmD students, and Kristen Conrad, a second-year student. “I had to go back to Guatemala,” said Squires, who has also been part of previous project teams. “I claimed `dibs’ on bringing order to the hospital’s third-floor ‘black hole’ storage room. And, we did it!”
Allison Bender, Executive Director of The Shalom Foundation, the Franklin, Tennessee not-for-profit that built the Moore Pediatric Surgery Center, called the Belmont teams’ service to the organization, “a true blessing.” She added, “Now, the Moore Center staff can be more efficient, and be better stewards of donated resources. Most important, the inventory system that our Belmont friends have built helps us provide the hundreds of Guatemalan children entrusted to our medical care each year an even safer, better experience. God’s work requires many skill sets, and The Shalom Foundation knows that Belmont University community is home to varied talents and a commitment to service.”
For the past seven weeks 18 Belmont senior-level nursing students participated in a summer internship program called Vanderbilt Experience: Student Nurse Internship Program (VESNIP) at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) along with students from four other regional nursing programs. Three Belmont nursing students were awarded the highest honors at the culminating awards ceremony held Wednesday, June 25th, in the Waddington Conference Room at Monroe-Carroll Children’s Hospital. A total of seven awards were given; three went to Belmont students. VUMC credo behaviors identify those individuals that aspire to excellence and expert performance. Jennifer Bognar received the Credo Award for Psychiatric/Mental Health Track, Gabrielle Pappas received the Credo Award for the Perioperative Track, and Sarah Steele received the Credo Award for the Women’s Health Track. Dr. Leslie A. Folds, who coordinates this program for Belmont School of Nursing, states that, “It is clear that our students continue to incorporate the mission, vision, and values of Belmont University in their interactions with patients, families, and the entire healthcare team. Our students consistently pursue excellence.”
This is the tenth year of the VESNIP program. The program began as a partnership between Belmont School of Nursing and Vanderbilt University Medical Center. It has now expanded to a total of 62 students and includes five Tennessee and Kentucky nursing schools. The VESNIP positions are very competitive and are considered elite opportunities for students from around the region. Claire Zetak, Belmont nursing student, in the Critical Care Track, stated that, “Overall the VESNIP experience allowed me to see myself as a nurse. Through multiple opportunities to practice nursing skills and employ critical thinking, my knowledge base as a nurse has begun to strengthen and grow outside of the school setting. I feel comfortable working in a hospital setting now, and I have a clearer view of my roles and responsibilities as a future nurse.” Betsy Sanders, Belmont nursing student, who participated in the Perioperative Track, also commented, “Nursing students fortunate enough to participate in VESNIP experience a level of nursing not attainable by simply fulfilling clinical requirements. I am leaving this seven week program with enhanced nursing skills, a better understanding of the all-encompassing responsibilities of being a nurse, and a true appreciation for the multidisciplinary teamwork necessary in providing patients with safe, efficacious, and patient-centered healthcare.”
Dr. Condit Steil, professor of Pharmacy, Dr. Mark Chirico, a former faculty member in the College of Pharmacy, and Dr. Richard Thompson from Lipscomb University have co-authored a manuscript accepted for print publication in August by Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning. The article describes the implementation and first two years of follow-up of a novel interprofessional program which includes the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing at Vanderbilt University, the Social Work Department at Tennessee State University, the College of Pharmacy at Lipscomb University, and the College of Pharmacy at Belmont University. The study suggests positive benefits, as well as some areas for improvement, of interprofessional students working together in experiential settings and provides a format for other institutions to follow. The article is available electronically by clicking here.
This past weekend, Belmont College of Pharmacy students teamed up with Walgreens and Nashville Cares to administer free HIV tests at Walgreens locations around Middle Tennessee. The free testing was part of the Greater Than AIDS campaign and was in honor of National HIV Testing Day. The students participating in the event were members of the Belmont chapter of the Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA) who had completed HIV testing and counseling training with Nashville Cares and become certified in the Spring. SNPhA plans to offer the training to its other members during the upcoming school year. SNPhA hopes to maintain their partnership with Nashville Cares so that they can continue to serve their community through HIV education and early detection.
Dr. Teresa Plummer, Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy, was a presenter this spring at the Interdisciplinary Seating and Mobility Conference in Nottwil, Switzerland. The conference was held at the Switzerland Paraplegic Center, a 150 bed facility dedicated to spinal cord injury rehab and research. Dr. Plummer’s presentation was on the Relationship of Vision, Posture and Mobility.