Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame Opens Nominations for 2018 Class

With a mission to honor men and women who have made significant and lasting contributions to the health and health care industry, The Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame seeks to recognize and honor the pioneers and current leaders who have formed Tennessee’s health and health care community and encourage future generations of health care professionals. Created by Belmont University and the McWhorter Society, The Hall of Fame is supported by the Nashville Health Care Council, a Hall of Fame Founding Partner.

This year’s nomination process opened after the 2017 class was inducted at a ceremony held on Belmont University’s campus in October. The nominations process will remain open until February 15 and can be accessed at www.tnhealthcarehall.com. The 2018 inductee class will be announced at the McWhorter Society’s May luncheon.

Nominees can be practitioners, executives, entrepreneurs, mentors, teachers, scientists, researchers, innovators or any person with a connection to the health or health care field. Potential inductees must have:

  • Been born, lived or have worked in Tennessee
  • Made a significant impact and lasting contribution to health care at the local, state, national or international level
  • Exhibit the highest ethical and professional character
  • Serve as an outstanding role model in their community

To date, the Hall of Fame’s three inductee classes have included health care leaders from across the state including Jack Bovender, Dr. Dorothy Lavinia Brown, Dr. Stanley Cohen, Dr. Colleen Conway-Welch, Dr. Thomas Frist, Jr., Dr. Thomas Frist, Sr., Dr. William H. Frist, Dr. Henry Foster, Dr. Ernest Goodpasture, Joel Gordon, Dr. Frank Groner, Dr. Harry Jacobson, Jack C. Massey, R. Clayton McWhorter, Dr. Stanford Moore, Dr. Donald Pinkel, Dr. David Satcher, Dr. Mildred Stahlman, Dr. Paul Stanton and Danny Thomas.

A Selection Committee, comprised of health and health care leaders from across the state, will evaluate nominees for The Hall of Fame.

Belmont’s Health Sciences Simulation Program Earns Full Accreditation

A nursing student works along a simulator on Belmont's' campus.

The University’s program is the first in the state to earn the designation

Belmont University’s Simulation Program recently received full accreditation in the Teaching/Education Area from the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSIH) and the Council for Accreditation of Healthcare Simulation Programs. The status was granted for a five year period and is valid through December 2022.

The University’s robust Simulation Program exists to improve patient safety and health outcomes by providing high quality, evidence-based, experiential education in a safe innovative environment. With many labs offering a variety of experiences, students in many programs throughout the College of Health Sciences and Nursing (CSHN) have the opportunity to participate in a simulation during their time on campus.

In its report, the SSHC noted many program strengths including:

  • Strong integration of student support in paid positions
  • Tremendous faculty support of the program
  • Continued expansion of faculty and staff skills
  • A recognition of simulation value from learners
  • Significant support from upper administration regarding the Simulation Program and its merits

Additionally, the Simulation Program’s material recycling program was acknowledged as one of Belmont’s best practices, and a recommendation that other programs adopt the initiative was mentioned. This innovative program saves the University more than $40,000 per year.

Director of the Simulation Program and Assistant Professor Dr. Beth Hallmark said students in the College will have many meaningful opportunities to participate in simulation, beginning as soon as their first semester. “Simulation is a safe place to participate in patient care,” Hallmark said. “It enhances patient safety and improves patient outcomes by increasing confidence and improving clinical reasoning. We also are able to expose our student to interprofessional training.”

Belmont’s Simulation Program is the first in the state to receive accreditation.

Dean of the College of Health Sciences and Nursing Dr. Cathy Taylor said, “Reflecting years of dedicated work, this achievement is truly a shining achievement for nursing and health sciences at Belmont.  I’m so proud of our Simulation team and excited for the benefits it will offer future students and faculty.”

Pharmacy Students Attend, Present at Pharmacists Midyear Clinical Meeting

Students who attended the Pharmacy event pose for a photo together.A group of 25 Belmont College of Pharmacy students attended the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Midyear Clinical Meeting this month. This is the largest gathering of pharmacists and longest running clinical meeting in the world. Former First Lady Michelle Obama was the Keynote Speaker.

The conference serves to update pharmacists and pharmacy students on their knowledge, provide networking opportunities and offer information about the latest products and innovations. Additionally, students can attend the Residency Showcase to meet with representatives from hundreds of pharmacy residency programs around the country.

Belmont hosted a reception for students, alumni, faculty, and friends of the college. Additionally, seven posters submitted by Belmont students were accepted and presented at the meeting including:

  • Enhancement of in situ gel in glaucoma medications (Amy Li)
  • Evaluation of pump association and smart pump compliance rates at an academic medical center (Carli Smith)
  • Evaluation of a fixed-dose opiate detoxification protocol (Keri Putulowski)
  • Updated GOLD guidelines and our COPD patients: Are we meeting the gold standard for treatment? (Brittany Collins)
  • Factors that impact treatment completion of teriparatide (Emily Singleton)
  • Changes to Antiretroviral Therapy regimens in co-infected Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Hepatitis C Virus patients (Andrew Douglas)
  • Antimicrobial Stewardship: Finding Effective Methods to Educate Belmont University Undergraduates (Kevin Nofi)

OT Students, Faculty Sing to Benefit Down Syndrome Association of Middle Tennessee

students singing next to a poster for the benefit concertOccupational therapy graduate students Roya Rezadoost and Madeleine Ruff sang a Spice Girls song at a recent benefit concert for the Down Syndrome Association of Middle Tennessee. The concert was hosted by Dr. Natalie Michaels, associate professor of occupational therapy. She also partook in the festivities by performing original songs as well as hits from Whitney Houston and Pat Benatar.

Other musicians present included Jim Martin who sang some soft country, including Glen Campbell and songs he’d written, and Rick Michaels, who sang a song by Billy Currington.

Dr. Folds Receives Grant for Behavioral Health Internship Program

Leslie Folds HeadshotAssociate Professor in the School of Nursing Dr. Leslie Folds recently received funding from the Tennessee Hospital Association and the National Student Nurses’ Association for a grant she submitted. The $16,000 grant will fund a Behavioral Health Internship Program for undergraduate nursing students next summer.

The project will aim to address current shortages of behavioral health nurses by exposing students to behavioral health settings with various patient populations and units. In partnership with Belmont’s colleagues at TriStar Health, students will complete 248 hours of hands-on, dynamic clinical rotations among multiple areas of mental health care at TriStar Centennial Medical Center-Parthenon Pavilion and TriStar Skyline Madison.

Folds will begin planning recruitment and enrollment with students beginning the program summer 2018.

College of Pharmacy Names Dr. David Gregory as New Dean

David Gregory Head Shot

Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications

Dr. David Gregory, current associate dean of academic affairs at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy, has been named as the new dean of Belmont University’s College of Pharmacy. Gregory will succeed founding dean Dr. Phil Johnston, who was recently promoted to a new position as Belmont’s vice provost for academic affairs. Gregory, a native of Nashville, will begin his new position on Belmont’s campus Feb. 1.

Belmont Provost Dr. Thomas Burns said, “As the founding dean of Belmont Pharmacy, Dr. Phil Johnston brought tremendous success and professionalism to the college throughout his decade-long service, and I am grateful that his new position enables all academic areas of the University to benefit from his experience and approach. Securing his replacement required a thorough national search of top candidates, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with the appointment of Dr. David Gregory. His familiarity with Nashville’s healthcare community and his extensive credentials as a practicing pharmacist and educator make him a perfect and seamless fit for our program. Moreover, his commitment to developing compassionate caregivers who will excel at pharmacy practice gives me immense confidence in the future of Belmont Pharmacy.”

Gregory added, “I am honored to be joining the team at Belmont to continue to advance the profession of pharmacy in an ever changing healthcare marketplace. Belmont’s focus on faith and service aligns well with my personal mission to develop pharmacists that are highly knowledgeable and have a transcendent cause in the care of their patients.”

As the chief academic and executive officer for Belmont’s College of Pharmacy, Gregory will be responsible for the programmatic leadership, financial management, personnel administration and planning and development for the approximately 300 students and 29 faculty who make up the college.

In his current role as an associate dean at Ole Miss, Gregory’s responsibilities include leadership of approximately 800 students in both the pre-professional and professional degree programs of the School of Pharmacy along with strategic and visionary planning in the ongoing development of policies, programs, curriculum and clinical practice that align with the educational mission of the School. He oversees daily operations regarding key infrastructure components related to human resources, purchasing, financial management and student support services, and he creates an academic environment of excellence that fosters student growth both professionally and personally while increasing the visibility, advancement and recognition of the School of Pharmacy.

Gregory earned a bachelor’s of science and a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Mississippi. Prior to joining Ole Miss in 2013, Gregory spent a significant portion of his career in Nashville with positions of increasing responsibility with Vanderbilt University Medical Center. From 2008-2013, he served as VUMC’s director of pharmacy for education, drug policy, research and clinical pharmacy services within the Department of Pharmaceutical Services. During his time in Nashville, Dr. Gregory also contributed time to the Belmont College of Pharmacy External Advisory Committee.

In addition to his professional duties, he also currently serves as an accreditation surveyor for the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and is a member of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Workforce and Education Council. He received the 2009 University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy’s Distinguished Alumnus Award, the 2011 Belmont University College of Pharmacy Professional Stewardship Award and the 1997 Vanderbilt Hospital Pharmacist of the Year Award, among other accolades.

About the Belmont College of Pharmacy
Situated in the health care capital of the world, Belmont University’s College of Pharmacy is dedicated to rigorous and purposeful teaching, scholarship, service and leadership. The College develops pharmacists prepared to meet the demands of an evolving and contemporary practice as 95 percent of spring 2017 graduates recently passed the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination. With five areas of specialized concentration including pharmacotherapy, information management, pharmacy management, pharmacy missions/public health and a PharmD/MBA program, students have the opportunity to tailor their education to their unique passions. Faculty dedicated to student success, state-of-the-art classrooms, laboratories, simulation rooms, drug information center and a student-run, working pharmacy combine to create a collaborative educational space where students can learn skills while further developing their pharmacy interests.

College of Pharmacy Healthcare Informatics Students Create Artificial Intelligence Software for Amazon Alexa

Belmont University College of Pharmacy third-year students Dominic Paolella, David Luong, Abdul Mohammed Jonathan Ashton and Aziz Afzali recently undertook the challenge of developing a new and exciting telepharmacy access point for patients on the mend, understanding the importance of patients recovering in their own homes. In recent years, a growing body of scientific evidence suggests that patient recovery is more successful when they transition from dedicated healthcare facilities like hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities into their own homes. But many patients require help to facilitate the change.

Amazon Alexa is a new artificially intelligent platform for accessing information and interacting with objects in the home including lights, music and medical devices. As part of the Introduction to Healthcare Informatics III and Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiential (APPE) classes in the Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum at Belmont University, each student developed a voice activated application, or “skill” for the Alexa platform. The skills can be downloaded and activated on demand, answering drug information questions with accurate medical information.

While enrolled in the College of Pharmacy, students discuss diseases states and the appropriate medication regimens for each. They are also trained to apply and communicate that knowledge to other healthcare providers and their patients. “As student pharmacists, we are trained to be experts in medication and disease state management.” said Paolella. “The Alexa platform offered us an opportunity to extend our patient care mission.”

Alexa’s artificial intelligence allows counseling to be taken out of the pharmacy and into the patient’s living room. This is especially beneficial when a home care nurse is not available. “In these cases, it would be convenient to have a small, inexpensive device at home which could be a conduit for patients to access answers to their healthcare questions at home and on-demand,” said Ashton.

Belmont’s sponsor of the Amazon Alexa Developer Initiative is Assistant Professor of Healthcare Informatics and Analytics Dr. Anthony Blash. To prepare student pharmacists in the healthcare informatics concentration to become future leaders in healthcare informatics, Blash has created a four-course sequence and one month intensive experiential rotations. “Through our partnership with Amazon, we are exploring new ways to provide telepharmacy services in innovative and inexpensive ways to large segments of the population,” Blash said.

Student pharmacists’ skills include:

  • Paolella, who was the first to receive Amazon certification with his skill “Lisinopril”
  • Luong, who created a skill called “Cephalexin”
  • Mohammed, who created a skill called “Fluconazole”
  • Ashton, who developed a skill called “DrugInfo3”
  • Afzail, who developed “Asthma Device Helper”

DrugInfo3 allows the user to ask about generic names of antibiotics to gather pertinent information for more than 35 antibiotics including ciprofloxacin, erythromycin and isoniazid. Asthma Device Helper provides step-by-step patient counseling on proper use of many common asthma inhalers.

“For me, the project was a proof of concept. While our project was limited to drug information, the technology could be applied to many aspects of care. There are lots of possibilities for future development with this artificial intelligence platform, and a lot of opportunities to help our patients in new and exciting ways.” said Mohammed.

For Afzali, the opportunity to focus on informatics has sparked an interest in post-graduation experiences devoted to the topic.“The Informatics Concentration allows me to combine my interests in information technology and pharmacy for the safety of patients worldwide,” he said. “I hope to continue to pursue my passion in a post-graduate informatics residency and career in Healthcare Informatics upon graduation.”

While none of these skills should replace a consultation with licensed healthcare professionals, the free skills can be accessed via the Amazon Skills store or through the Alexa app, available for Amazon Fire, Apple and Android devices. To download these skills onto Alexa, choose “Skills” from the Alexa app menu and search for the skill by name.

School of Nursing Celebrates 45 Years

Dean Taylor and two other faculty members pose with the School of Nursing photo frame at the School's 45th anniversary celebration.

Alumni return to campus for 45th anniversary celebration on Saturday, November 11

Belmont’s School of Nursing (SON) recently celebrated its 45th year with a continuing educating presentation featuring Dr. Alisa Haushalter, Belmont alumna and current director of the Memphis-Shelby County Health Department and luncheon for faculty, staff and alumni. The event, organized by Associate Dean for Nursing Dr. Martha Buckner, welcomed alumni from every decade of the School’s history as participants reconnected with peers and faculty and looked through memorabilia. The event also included several former faculty members and administrative leaders including former Dean and Emeritus Professor Dr. Debra Wollaber, former Associate Dean Dr. Chris Algren and former Undergraduate Director Ms. Kathy Jordan.

Memorabilia from past yearsThe School also announced a few updates to the program with the celebration of its 45th year including the implementation of a new concept-based curriculum specially designed by SON faculty to promote critical thinking, compassionate care and essential skills needed in the workplace of the future. This curriculum change points to the School’s consistent commitment to remaining relevant and competitive in an ever-evolving world.

“With keen attention to emerging science and program quality, and gratitude for strong administrative support, our degree offerings have steadily advanced to meet dynamic healthcare marketplace needs,” Taylor said. “From initial Associate and Baccalaureate degrees, to the addition of the Master’s of Science in Nursing track and more recent addition of the Doctor of Nursing Practice and joint Doctor of Nursing Practice-Master of Business Administration options, Belmont nursing has consistently been recognized for innovation and excellence.”

Looking to the future, Taylor said the School of Nursing will continue to accommodate best practices driven by new technologies. “Future graduates will be equipped with advanced processing and communication skills needed to manage these technologies, and while cutting edge technical skills will remain an expected baseline for Belmont nurses, future graduates will still be known for high ethical standards and care that is marked with a compassionate, human touch,” she said.

The room was full for the luncheon!

Despite the countless accolades the School boasts–including high licensure and certification exam pass rates, impressive job placement rates, school-wide mission trips, consistent accreditation and more–it’s the people who make up the School of Nursing that Taylor points to as the greatest achievement. “The foundation for every milestone lives in the extraordinary expertise and commitment of our faculty, staff and students and their willingness to engage in new thinking and new models of teaching and learning,” she said. “Belmont nurses will continue to honor our longstanding tradition of excellence. We will make increasingly important contributions to the evidence base for nursing and to the policies and practices that promote the health and wellbeing of families and communities around the world.”

Dr. Voight Published in Journal of Sports Physical Therapy

 Professor of physical therapy Michael Voight recently published two articles in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy. The first, titled “The Relationship Between Segmental Rolling Ability and Lumbar Multifidus Activation Time,” was a graduate student research project completed by Nicole Clark, Sherry Pierce, Ryan Cook, Clint Henley and Lindsey Schiller, who graduated in 2017. Voight, Ashley Campbell and Pat Sells served as the faculty research advisers.

The second manuscript, titled “Introduction to the Movement System as the Foundation for the Physical Therapist Practice Education and Research,” written by Voight and Lisa Saladin, vice president of the American Physical Therapy Association, focuses on the transition of the field of physical therapy toward a movement-based approach.

The International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy is a fully indexed medical journal with over 30,000 subscribers worldwide.