Pharmacy Faculty and Students Present at ASHP Meeting

Thirty members of the student pharmacists body and five faculty of the College of Pharmacy attended the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Midyear Clinical Meeting and Exposition.

Presenting a poster at the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting is a noteworthy accomplishment and we commend our students who have prepared a poster and presented it at this international meeting.  Posters presented included (photos below):

  • Comparison of ocular gel forming solutions of gellian and calcium gluconate with and without polyvinyl pyrollidone. (Nate Berger, Caitlin Medley)
  • Metronidazole-induced cerebellar toxicity following prolonged course of therapy. (Kelsie Yates and Angel Johnson)
  • Cholesterol medications and breast cancer: Unraveling the potential value of statins in breast cancer treatment.  (Brittany Hayes)
  • Antiproliferative and chemosensitizing effects of metformin in neuroblastoma cell lines. (Allison Karst and Cassandra Boils)
  • Impact of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) blood culture identification technology on antimicrobial stewardship. (Alexander Kreimer and Charlie Upton)
  • Findings and implementation of the multiplex polymerase chain reaction meningitis/encephalitis panel in a community hospital. (Kathryn Litten)

Student Pharmacists Alex Kreimer and Charlotte Wesley represented Belmont University College of Pharmacy in the international clinical skills competition final rounds, and Dr. Montgomery Williams presented an invited platform presentation titled Antimicrobial Stewardship:  Innovative Practices in Community Hospitals.

Belmont student pharmacists and faculty welcomed alumni at a reception in conjunction with the meeting.  Many of these alumni are completing post graduate year one and post graduate year two residencies throughout the country.

ASHP’s Midyear Clinical Meeting and Exhibition is the largest gathering of pharmacists in the world. With its focus on improving patient care and medication safety, the meeting is attended by more than 20,000 pharmacy professionals from around the globe. For more than 50 years, the Midyear Clinical Meeting has provided pharmacy practitioners with a value-packed event for advancing knowledge, networking with colleagues, enhancing practice skills, and learning about the latest products and innovations.

Johnston Appointed to NashvilleHealth Steering Committee

Johnston's headshotDr. Phil Johnston, dean of Belmont University’s College of Pharmacy, was recently appointed to the NashvilleHealth Steering Committee, set up to guide and advise the organization in its efforts moving forward. The committee consists of 24 business, government and community leaders who carry diverse expertise in health and the factors that impact it. The group will work alongside NashvilleHealth’s Governing Board to align community attention and resources in an effort to address poor health outcomes and health equity issues.

Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader and NashvilleHealth Founder Bill Frist said, “These 24 local leaders are critical champions for NashvilleHealth and Nashville as a whole. We will rely on each of them to provide guidance on our overall community-developed strategic plan, help execute tactical implementation, advise on the development of pilot programs and monitor outcomes of our initiatives.”

NashvilleHealth is an organization dedicated to creating a culture of health and wellbeing in the Nashville area. It aims to open dialogue and build strategic partnerships to help close the gap in health disparities.

College of Pharmacy Partners with Nashville Zoo for Research Project

Over the past two years, Belmont University’s College of Pharmacy has been working closely with the Nashville Zoo’s Veterinary Services to provide an answer to a research question that could help zoos across the globe provide better care for their lorikeets. Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences Dr. Steven Stodghill and several  students have been working with the zoo’s flock of over 80 lorikeets to conduct their research and come up with a reliable conclusion.

The goal of the study is to discover how large a dosage of the drug ponazuril lorikeets need to protect them from Sarcocystosis, a seasonal parasitic disease, without overdosing them. The drug is given to the lorikeets regularly and up until this point, few studies have been conducted to determine the actual amount needed. Once the results are in, findings will be shared in the Exotic Animal Drug Formulary for use by other zoos that keep their lorikeets in an outdoor aviary environment.

“Accuracy of dosing is critical for accurate treatment,” Director of the Nashville Zoo’s Veterinary Services Dr. Heather Robertson said in a post on the Zoo’s blog. “If you overdose, you could cause other unintended health concerns. If you under dose, you are not treating appropriately which isn’t helping the animal improve. The results derived from this research will positively impact institutions housing parrots and lorikeets around the world.”

For more information on this research project, visit the Nashville Zoo’s blog.

Odom Elected to AACP Governance Position

Dr. Odom's headshotDr. Marilyn Thompson Odom, chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical, Social and Administrative Sciences in the Belmont University College of Pharmacy, was recently elected as the secretary of the biological sciences section of the American Association of the Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP). Odom has been a member of the AACP since 2009, previously serving positions that placed her in charge of reviewing the New Investigator Awards, the Student-Led Community Engagement Awards and abstracts for the AACP’s annual meetings. In her new position within the biological sciences section, Dr. Odom will serve as the college’s faculty delegate at the annual AACP meeting.

Dean of Belmont’s College of Pharmacy Dr. Phil Johnston said, “We are so proud of Dr. Odom and all of our pharmacy faculty. This is verification that we are acknowledged as leaders in the profession and in the academy. We celebrate the election of Dr. Odom into this important post.”

Founded in 1900, the AACP is the national organization representing pharmacy education in the United States. The mission of the AACP is to lead and partner with its members in advancing pharmacy education, research, scholarship, practice and service to improve societal health. The AACP is comprised of all accredited colleges and schools with pharmacy degree programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, including more than 6,400 faculty members, 62,500 students enrolled in professional programs and 5,100 individuals pursuing graduate study.

Johnston Attends Global Conference on Pharmaceutical Sciences Education

The group of conference attendees in ChinaDean of Belmont University’s College of Pharmacy Dr. Phil Johnston recently attended a global conference on pharmaceutical sciences education hosted by the International Pharmaceutical Federation in Nanjing, China. The focus of the conference was to explain current and future educational needs in pharmacy on a global scale and to seek agreement and endorsement by delegates from 35 countries of 60 prepared statements that will guide educators in developing a proper curriculum.

Many of the prepared statements were based on data collected by the World Health Organization. Among these statements, there was a strong emphasis on drug shortages around the world, the migration of the world population and the health care needs that emerge from it, the need for inter-professional collaboration, the importance of alliances between industry and education, the need for antibiotic stewardship, the need to document the roles taken to develop with proof of concept, a focus on the health needs of the world in curricular planning and the expansion of the roles of health professionals. 55 of the 60 prepared statements were approved at the meeting.

Johnston discussed the importance that the conference had for the future of health care educators. “In a world where 10-15 percent of all workers are in health care, and where 50 percent of those workers require specialized education, it is imperative that we work collaboratively and build our curriculum to meet the needs of our population.”

Nursing Students Participate in Local Flu Vaccine Event

Students participating at a vaccine clinic in Belmont's neighborhood.Junior and senior Belmont nursing students participated in a flu vaccine event for refugee families at Siloam Family Health Center on Saturday, November 12. The students served 67 individuals with vaccine provided by Walgreens.

Participating students gained valuable clinical experiences while serving neighbors in our area. One student said, “This was a great opportunity. I love working here and would like to come back to volunteer on my own time.”

The group worked alongside faculty members Ms. Jean Blank and Drs. Susan Taplin and Martha Buckner.

Nursing Students Participate in Community Health Fair

20161111_174833Belmont nursing students participated in the bi-annual Mid-Night Spa and Health Fair at the Greater Christ Temple Church on Friday, November 11. This event was provided by the church for members and the community to participate in health screenings and education.

Belmont participants were divided into two areas including a group who completed body mass index and blood pressure screenings. Students provided handouts on both issues as well as Belmont-branded gifts. The second group worked in the Kids’ Zone where they provided two table demonstrations on flu prevention/hand washing and health lifestyle practices, including jump ropes and opportunities to draw healthy foods on a poster board. All participating Belmont students are enrolled in the Health Assessment course.

Assistant Professor of Nursing and course instructor Dr. Tracy Wilson said, “Our students were able to demonstrate the skills they are currently learning by providing a service to a community that may not have access to medical care. We were able to connect with people, not only on a professional level but through the Christian-human experience. I believe this will leave a lasting impression on each of them, as well as me, forever.”

Physical Therapy Students Honor the Memory of Alumna Sara Pigg Walker

The runners begin their race at the Sarah Walker 5K!

Belmont University Doctorate of Physical Therapy students played an important role in honoring a fellow 2003 Belmont DPT alumna, Sara Pigg Walker, on September 25.  Belmont’s current DPT students organized a Kids for Kids Fun Run, a new event added to the annual Sara Walker Run 5K, where kids were encouraged to run for children around the globe.  Belmont’s DPT students teamed up with the Sara Walker Foundation and Lipscomb University to help organize this event in honor of Sara Walker, by spreading her message of hope through Jesus Christ.

The first Sara Walker Run occurred in April 2011, when Sara’s Belmont PT family wanted to raise funds for Sara’s medical expenses after she was diagnosed with cancer. Her 2003 classmates, with the help of the Belmont School of Physical Therapy faculty and STAR Physical Therapy, successfully organized this family-friendly 5K race for hundreds of Sara’s friends, family and blog readers to offer support and encouragement. Due to its success, and in an effort to continue to honor Sara, the annual Sara Walker Run continues today and serves as the Sara Walker Foundation’s main fundraising event. Continue reading

Army Behavioral Health Officer Presents to Social Work Students

img_0787Captain Vandergriff, LCSW, recently presented to seniors in Belmont’s Social Work Crisis Intervention class, a required course for all students in the department focused on the prevention and intervention of crisis. One of Fort Campbell’s Brigade Embedded Behavioral Health Officers, Captain Vandergriff presented about a variety of policies and programs for active duty military directed toward decreasing incidence of PTSD, assisting soldiers in managing trauma symptoms and working with soldiers to process potentially traumatic events.

During his time on campus, Captain Vandergriff shared  stories from his work and students asked questions about the interventions utilized by military social workers. Course Instructor Alison Peak, LCSW, highlighted the importance of these guests speakers saying “These presentations are essential in assisting our students in recognize the variety of populations that social workers interact with. These presentations also educate our students on available programs and systemic interventions so that they are better equipped to assist a multitude of populations in locating and connecting with necessary support services.”

PT Students, Faculty and Alumni Help Coordinate Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Nashville

komen2016aOver 130 doctoral students and alumni from the School of Physical Therapy at Belmont recently helped coordinate logistics for the annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Nashville.   The Belmont contingent helped with course set-up and take-down and served as course marshals managing a crowd of over 20,000 participants and spectators.

Dr. Michael Voight, professor of physical therapy, was co-chair for this year’s race along with Dr. Ashley Campbell who is an adjunct professor in the School and an alumnus of the doctoral program.  Dr. Voight serves on the local Komen organization’s Board of Directors and has facilitated the participation of Belmont students as volunteers for many years.  “Komen Greater Nashville has provided more than $4 million in screening, treatment and educational services to women in middle Tennessee,” said Voight, “and much of that is raised each year with the Race for the Cure in which our students contribute greatly.”  Additional faculty support comes from Dr. Pat Sells who leads the race volunteer program.

Third-year students Jade Manning and Brittany Ryan served as class leaders to train and coordinate their classmates in preparing for the race weeks in advance.  Many worked until dark during the day before the race with course set-up and 120 volunteers began race day at 6:00 a.m. to coordinate last-minute logistics.  “Each year when we volunteer at these charitable events I’m reminded why I wanted to be a physical therapist in the first place,” shared Ryan, “to help promote a healthier and more positive world.”  Added second-year student Sarah Hogan, “I love volunteering for Komen each year because it provides great class bonding while raising money for an important cause.  I have multiple breast cancer survivors in my family and seeing all these people in pink reminds me of the struggle that so many families endure.”

Patty Harman, executive director of the Nashville Komen affiliate, expressed gratitude to the Belmont students for their contributions to the race.  “The race would not have been as successful without our friends from Belmont University School of Physical Therapy,” remarked Harman, adding, “we cancer survivors and co-survivors understand and appreciate the gift they provide each year in this unique way.”

“We had another successful event with more people participating this year than ever before,” said Haden McWhorter, Komen board member and chairman of the event.  “Belmont jumped in to do whatever was needed to make it a wonderful experience for each person.  We can’t thank them enough for all they did.”