Members of Belmont’s College of Pharmacy Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA) walked in the Oct. 4 HIV/AIDs Walk and 5k benefiting Nashville Cares. For the third year in a row, SNPhA has raised more than $1,500 to benefit Nashville Cares. The entire College of Pharmacy contributed through a bake sale as well as individual fundraising efforts. Nashville Cares is a charitable organization that provides lifesaving services to Middle Tennesseans living with HIV/AIDS as well as offers education, prevention and awareness of HIV/AIDS.
More than 30 walkers participated in this year’s event including undergraduate Belmont students as well as College of Pharmacy students, faculty and administration. In addition to walking, both students and faculty volunteered at the Nashville Cares booth providing free HIV testing and education. More than 100 people were tested for HIV at the event.
This event was part of SNPhA’s Remember the Ribbon initiative to improve HIV/AIDS awareness, education and prevention in minority communities. For years to come, SNPhA and the College of Pharmacy plan to continue to develop its partnership with Nashville Cares in providing quality and compassionate care for those living with HIV.
The Belmont University School of Physical Therapy recently hosted two health professionals from Istituto Prosperius Tiberino, a 75-bed rehabilitation hospital in Umbria, Italy. Since 2012, nine Belmont physical therapy students have completed a clinical affiliation at the hospital and three more students are scheduled for an 8-week clinical affiliation during the spring of 2015.
Istituto Prosperius provides both inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation for patients with neurological and orthopedic disorders and injuries in a team model of care which includes physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech/language pathologists, nurses, art therapists, psychologists and social workers. The Istituto staff conducts ongoing research projects and pilots technological devices for the rehabilitation of neurological patients. The hospital serves as one of leading centers in Italy using robotic therapy to assist in ambulation for patients with spinal cord injuries. The facility also houses two large therapy pools for patients, one equipped with underwater steppers and treadmills.
Visiting Belmont were Dr. Paolo Milia, the Chair of the Department of Neurology and Neuro-rehabilitation Research at Istituto Prosperius, and Mike Arnall, a physical therapist and President of Eduglobal Associates. Dr. Milia completed his medical degree at G. D’Annunzio University in Chieti, Italy has earned a PhD in neurological research from the University of Perugia in Italy. Mr. Arnall founded Eduglobal in 2006 when he began developing clinical education opportunities for American physical therapy students. His company coordinates the selection, placement, orientation and evaluation of the physical therapy students with the numerous Italian clinical instructors on staff. Last year, 41 PT students completed clinical affiliations. Currently, 31 US physical therapy programs have contracts with Eduglobal.
During the visit, Dr. Milia and Mr. Arnall gave a presentation to physical therapy and occupational therapy faculty and students about Istituto Prosperius, his typical caseload and robotic therapy research projects, including videos of patients using the Eksoskeleton. They met with Schools of Occupational Therapy, Nursing and Pharmacy to explore the possibility of students from those programs affiliating at the rehabilitation hospital in the future. Meetings were also scheduled with our community partners to explore expanded roles and partnerships including Pi Beta Phi Rehabilitation Institute at the Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center and Vanderbilt Stallworth Rehabilitation Hospital.
A highlight of the visit was meeting Michael Goldfarb, PhD, Chair of Mechanical Engineering Department at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Goldfarb chaired the design team for the Indego, a new compact and portable robotic device that integrates electrical stimulation to allow patients with spinal cord injury and stroke to walk independently. Dr. Milia is interested in participating in research of the product at Istituto Prosperius when it is available.
Dr. Cathy Ficzere, associate professor and director of drug information services, and Dr. Kinsley Kiningham, College of Pharmacy assistant dean of student affairs, recently completed the 2014 Chairs and Academic Administrators Management Program (CAAMP). The Academy for Academic Leadership (AAL) held the 2014 Chairs and Academic Administrators Management Program (CAAMP) this past summer at the Georgia Tech Conference Center in Atlanta, Georgia. CAAMP is a top-notch leadership and management course designed specifically for department chairs and academic administrators within colleges and schools of the health professions. Since its inception in 2009, over 250 administrative leaders from institutions over the country have participated in CAAMP. Participants developed their leadership abilities through assessments and through peer feedback and individualized, professional coaching. Sessions included learning to lead, managing new tasks and challenges, faculty performance and assessment, strategic planning and budgeting, conflict management, work-life balance, and legal issues in academia.
Sixty-seven second year pharmacy students enrolled in Pharmaceutical Care II course became certified immunizers recently. The course is taught by Dr. Elisa Greene and Dr. Alisa Spinelli. Utilizing the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Pharmacy-Based Immunization Delivery program, students completed 20 hours of self-study, didactic, and skills-based training. Topics included vaccine preventable diseases, the role of pharmacists as vaccine advocates and administrators, legal and regulatory issues, and injection technique. This is the 3rd year that students enrolled in the course have participated in the certification program.
Over 50,000 people die from vaccine preventable illnesses in the United States each year. Immunization-certified pharmacists have expanded community access to protection against vaccine preventable diseases, such as influenza, shingles, and pneumococcal disease. The Institute of Medicine estimates that immunizations, including pharmacist-administered immunizations, have helped to prevent 14 million infections and 33,000 additional deaths from these conditions each year.
Belmont School of Nursing students and faculty were featured in a recent edition of the Freedom’s Promise newsletter for their work during this summer’s study abroad trip to Cambodia. The nursing program has long partnered with Sihanouk Hospital Center of HOPE in Cambodia but is now working more and more with Freedom’s Promise to help with their efforts.
Freedom’s Promise’s mission is to prevent human trafficking and child exploitation in Cambodia through individualized community development programs resulting in trafficking-free safe zones. Through one of their programs, Belmont students interacted with villagers on a daily basis and taught them life-saving hand washing techniques. They also increased the quality of community health by providing education sessions focused on nutrition and disease prevention.
Dr. Susan Taplin, assistant professor of nursing and 2014 DNP graduate, leads the program’s efforts in Cambodia and has traveled there with students for more than 10 years.
“If you don’t take care of the illness first, you’re not going to get anywhere else. Teaching them something as simple as hand washing can increase their life expectancy and quality of life. You and I have always known to wash our hands, and we don’t know what it’s like to not have that education,” Talpin says.
Dr. Jamie Adam, assistant professor of nursing, presented her work on innovative teaching to the Healthcare Educators Networking Conference in Cambridge, United Kingdom, Sept. 2. Her presentation was titled “The flipped classroom approach: Evaluating student and faculty experiences.” The conference provided a unique experience for attendees from various healthcare disciplines to participate in sessions related to educational innovation, clinical practice, interprofessional learning and simulation. Attendees included educators from nursing, OT, PT, allied health, psychology and others representing both inpatient and outpatient settings. Participants remained within their chosen theme for the day to enjoy continuity of discussion and debate among faculty from all over the world. Dr. Martha Buckner, associate dean of nursing, said, “Dr. Adam’s work with the flipped classroom allows her to engage students more actively, encouraging them to clarify and apply knowledge. I am so pleased she is receiving both national and international attention to her work.”
Two Belmont alumnae and one current Belmont student were recently contestants on the game show “Family Feud.” Sarah Morgan is a School of Nursing alumna, and Bethany Thomas graduated from Belmont’s physical therapy program. Lindsey Thomas is currently enrolled in the pharmacy program at Belmont. All three women are also related to Professor of Media Studies Dr. Rich Tiner.
The family auditioned in June at the Hotel Preston in Nashville. The Thomas family episode was taped this summer and aired this past Tuesday.
As part of the new student orientation this week, the School of Occupational Therapy had 57 students and faculty members involved in an afternoon of service at six different locations around the Nashville area. Service opportunities included shopping for refugee families with World Relief, sorting and organizing equipment for the Tennessee Disability Coalition, packaging newborn kits and prenatal vitamins at LiveBeyond, doing landscaping at Homeplace, making cards for Meals on Wheels through Fifty Forward and interacting with residents at Morningside Assisted Living Facility. Through these service experiences, they got to know each other while learning about organizations around the Belmont community and being introduced to service, which is a key value of the University and a central theme in the occupational therapy curriculum design.
Dr. Pat Sells, Associate Professor of Physical Therapy, lent his expertise to a recent story posted in Nashville Medical News about a new Tennessee law designed to reduce youth sports concussions. The story, Identifying & Preventing Concussions Now a Statewide Effort, written by Melanie Kilgore-Hill is linked here. Dr. Sells' comments from the story are included below.
While the law is a step in the right direction, Belmont University professor and exercise physiologist Patrick Sells, DA, said getting athletes to actually fess up to possible injury is the toughest part.
“Kids are hesitant to tell you if they took a blow to head because they know what the ramifications are and how long they could be out of the game,” Sells said. “I’ve seen kids go head-to-head or head-to-ground with no headache reported and find out later on they were afraid of the repercussions. That’s the competitive spirit of an athlete – they don’t want to quit because of injury … so as a parent, coach or doctor, you have to take measures to get kids to buy into this.”
Sells said it’s essential to educate athletes on the importance of telling an adult when something isn’t right. He stresses to students, parents and coaches the importance of being able to identify key symptoms including headache, confusion, difficulty remembering or paying attention, balance problems or dizziness, loss of consciousness, feeling sluggish, nausea or vomiting, or blurry vision. He also encourages parents to understand the qualification of the league and the system children are playing under and to take the time to verify the coaches understand risks and Tennessee’s newest sports concussion law.
Identifying and preventing concussions is of special interest to Sells, who has performed baseline tests on local youth football leagues pre- and post-season to determine changes in memory recall. He said several area schools are wising up and offering similar testing to athletes as a standard practice. Another tool used to gauge players’ health is a specially designed football helmet that measures the G-force behind each hit.
“It’s ultimately the responsibility of the school, athletic league and state organization to ensure coaches are knowledgeable about designing safer practices, hydration, and concussion signs and symptoms,” Sells said. “Coaches especially need to be well versed in a multitude of assessments in order to make that decision as there’s not one certain way to tell if a player might be in trouble.”
Ashley Barrett is the 2014-15 recipient of the David G. Greathouse Physical Therapy Scholarship. The award is designated for a rising third-year PT student who demonstrates leadership, scholarship and exemplary clinical performance within the program and who has a minimum grade point average of 3.7.
From 1996-2005, Dr. Greathouse served as the founding chair and associate dean of the Belmont University School of Physical Therapy. Currently, he serves as Director of Clinical Electrophysiology Services at Texas Physical Therapy Specialists in New Braunfels, TX.
Barrett joins four previous recipients of the Greathouse Scholarship: Ashley Campbell in 2010-11, Megan Tisdale in 2011-12, Stacey Lindsley in 2012-13 and Jordan Floyd in 2013-14. She was featured earlier this year in a story (linked here) about building a ramp for a PT patient