Pharmacy Faculty, Students Attend Summer Institute on Health Policy


A session during the Summer Institute of Health PolicyA group of eight Belmont Pharmacy faculty and students, the largest to-date, is participating this week in the Summer Institute on Health Policy, a yearly interdisciplinary educational event held at Meharry Medical College. The focus of the course is social epidemiology, and attendees are discussing underlying reasons and potential solutions to disparities in health care access and outcomes.

This year’s course is being taught by Dr. Amani Nuru-Jeter from the University of California Berkeley with assistance from Dr. Derek Griffith from Vanderbilt University.

Mission to Cambodia: Empowering Pharmacists at Hope Hospital

by Jade Readus Williams, Pharmacy Team

Illiteracy, especially health illiteracy, is a significant problem for many of the people in Cambodia. A few days ago, the Pharmacy team got the opportunity to teach the pharmacists at Hope Hospital how to communicate with patients with low health illiteracy. Throughout the presentation, we discussed how to use pictograms, body language, and verbal communication to educate patients about their medications. Afterwards, we asked the pharmacists to give examples of how they would explain certain medications to illiterate patients. The Hope Hospital pharmacists were eager to present their examples.  It was inspiring to see the pharmacists apply what we had taught them. It emphasized the fact that we can really make a change through teaching and empowering the people of Cambodia. I am so grateful to be a part of the awesome work that is happening here.

Simulation Lab Named in Honor of Memorial Foundation’s Founding President, J.D. Elliott

D. J. Elliott Simulation Lab presentation to the family at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. February 15, 2017.

In a ceremony held last semester, Belmont’s College of Health Sciences and Nursing named its pediatric/obstetric simulation lab in honor of one of the college’s benefactors, the late J.D. Elliott. Elliott served as the founding president of the Memorial Foundation, which has donated more than $2 million to Belmont University over the past 20 years, almost all of which has gone to support health science and nursing education. In 2013, the Foundation granted Belmont $217,000 to renovate the lab space, purchase a new simulation Sim Mom manikin and update the lab’s simulation equipment.

Dr. Perry Moulds, Belmont’s vice president for development and external relations, said, “J.D. Elliott was a legend in this town not simply due to his role leading the Memorial Foundation nor for the countless boards and nonprofits where he donated his time and energy. Rather, his reputation centered on how he did everything he did—with compassion, humility and heart. We are proud to name this lab in his honor and hope that generations of health science practitioners to come will be inspired be his legacy.”

Mr. Elliott’s wife Anita, along with his daughter and son-in-law, Juanita and Jeff Stewart, attended the naming ceremony which included a reception and brief demonstration of the lab. Several guests from The Memorial Foundation also attended the event, including Foundation President Scott Perry and Foundation Board Member Drew Maddux, who also serves on the Belmont University Board of Trustees.

Perry said, “Throughout his long, successful career in healthcare, Mr. Elliott was always a strong proponent of quality education for the next generation of health care providers. He believed it was critically important in helping to promote increased access to quality health care services for all people. He was particularly impressed with the advanced technology for instruction such as this simulation lab that provides the opportunity for hands-on, experiential learning and that bridges the gap between theory and practice in a safe environment. Although Mr. Elliott was a humble man, I believe he would be happy to see this new Simulation Lab and would be humbled to have it named in his honor.”

At the time of his death in 2015, Nashville Mayor Karl Dean noted, “J.D. was a great member of our community. He gave back in countless ways and touched many lives throughout Nashville and Middle Tennessee through his leadership of The Memorial Foundation and its charitable efforts.”

The Memorial Foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of life for people through support to nonprofit organizations. The Memorial Foundation responds to diverse community needs, assisting agencies that focus on: Access to Quality Health Care Services, Human & Social Services, Education, Senior Citizen Enrichment Services, Youth and Childhood Development, Substance Abuse Programs, and Community Services.

Mission to Cambodia: What I’ve Learned

by: Candida Damian

As our trip in Cambodia is coming to the final week, I have been looking back to everything that I have learned on this trip. Wow. What an amazing time I have had abroad in Cambodia. The experiences I have had here are unforgettable, and I can’t wait to bring stories back home to my family and friends.

Today, I had the opportunity of shadowing in the emergency department at CMH in Phnom Penh. The staff and nursing students were so open and nice to me while I was there. It is such an amazing privilege to be able to do what I love in another country. It makes me extremely proud to be a nurse in the near future. Nursing is needed everywhere in the world, and it is reassuring when nurses do things here similar to how we do things in the States. Nursing is so universal and it is vital in every place in the world.

Emergency departments have always interested me, so I was excited when I was able to shadow in the ED. It is very busy, but it can also be calm. The staff took great care of each and every patient, and it was nice to see when a patient could get up from the bed and walk away from the ED feeling better. I enjoyed comparing and contrasting the ED here in Phnom Penh to ED’s in the U.S. Even though certain things are different, at the end, they still both perform the same exact tasks. A nurse asked me if I wanted to perform an EKG on a patient. When I went up to the EKG machine, I noticed that it looked different from the EKG machines used in the States. The nurse then taught me how to use this machine. It is cool to see that even though they looked completely different exteriorly, it functioned the same way.

At the end of the day, we went to one of my favorite places for dinner. It is called ‘Friends’, and we all got tapas. The reason why I love this place so much is because we all share our food. I love sharing and I love food, so putting it together is great. The food is so good, and I left with a satisfied belly. Some of us ended the night with a massage. I really enjoy getting massages here because it is cheap, and the masseuse was extremely nice. In all, today was great and I’m looking forward to our final days here in this beautiful country.

Mission to Cambodia: Our Last Clinic

By Courtney Bell, Undergrad Nursing Student
Today our entire team traveled to our last clinic at a school called the Light of Future School. As we pulled into the large field outside of the village where the school was, we could see tiny specks of the school children in their uniforms coming together to greet us. The moment we stepped out of our vans, the kids were saying “Hello” simultaneously, and waving at us with excited smiles. I instantly received a hug that lasted a couple minutes from a young girl who I had never met before. Her sweet embrace and the bright eyes of the other school children was enough to wake us up from our sleepiness.
After stepping over a large pile of trash into the entrance of the village area, we walked down a narrow passageway leading to the living room sized area where we would be setting up the clinic. We passed an assortment of rooms on our left with a brick wall on our right separating us from the field outside. Every once in a while, a moto would pass through the narrow passageway, and the children would move their friends out of the way.
After having had several clinics beforehand, we felt like pro’s setting up the stations. Per usual, the stations included “gatekeeper” (who got everyone’s height and weight and monitored who was seen next), triage and vitals, eye exams and musculoskeletal tests, assessments and prescriptions from the nurse practitioner students, finishing with the pharmacy/ prayer station.
Although the majority of the patients were children in today’s clinic, there were a handful of adults who came through. The children waited patiently outside the fence with their backpacks and chairs, and we called in patients one by one. We had the chance to play games with the kids, teach them songs, learn Khmer from them, and get a bunch of hugs and giggles.
One of my favorite moments in the clinic was watching Candida, a nursing student, do a chicken walk with the children to test their musculoskeletal systems while balking like a chicken. The kids laughed and giggled with big smiles, as it was a fun innovation to our clinic.
We also had some interesting encounters with the squatty-potty today, as it was pitch black and flooded on the floor. Some individuals faced the unfortunate consequences of stepping in the puddle and soaking their feet, but this was not a trial too much worse from some of our other situations on this trip. As Dr. Taplin always quotes, “T.I.C.B.- This is Cambodia, Baby.”
We had a full clinic day with lots of sweat, some dehydration, laughter,  and a lovely applause after our very last patient. This was a bittersweet moment for us knowing that we were finished with clinics, but also recognizing our efforts and accomplishments through all the clinics we had on this trip.
Tonight we enjoyed dinner at Khmer Surin Restaurant, or as we know it, the place with the really pretty elephant plates and yummy mango sticky rice, and said farewell to our beloved nurse practitioner students, Kim and Paige, as they headed to the airport to make it home in time for classes.

Mission to Cambodia: Siem Reap to Phenom Penh

Today we traveled from Siem Reap back to Phenom Penh. Our time in Siem Reap on Friday night and Saturday was a relaxing break from the busy three days at clinic. On Sunday morning, we ate breakfast at the hotel and then all loaded onto our bus for the trip back to our Cambodian home, the Golden Gate Hotel. We started our bus ride with a devotion, as we do most days. Dr. Taplin quoted Mother Teresa about giving ourselves and our time to individuals and organizations rather than just giving only money – although both are so important! This was impactful because it related to our trip in that we have been giving our time and our hearts to the people of Cambodia, even if we sometimes feel that our efforts aren’t making much of a difference.

Many of us, including myself have struggled with feeling we aren’t making an impact. With the vast amount of help we can’t provide and the presence of bad, it can be difficult to reframe how we view things, and focus on the good. The positive we have experienced is that in only three days, we were able to work together to serve over two hundred people at clinics. That was hopefully impactful for each of the people who were able to come and was all due to God. His hand was evident in partnering with organizations here and bringing people to the clinics. On the other hand, I feel as if we aren’t able to do a lot for many of these people. Many come dehydrated. While we provide oral rehydration solution and teaching about clean water, the fact remains that clean water can be difficult to come by. Our translators are incredible, but it can still be difficult to communicate medication and teaching, so at that point we simply have to trust that God is in control. All this to say, this devotion was encouraging that we were making a difference – however big or small – on the people we interact with daily.

Since it was Sunday, we worshipped together after the devotion. We began with a song led by Dr. Taplin and then continued to worship for another hour. It was a really meaningful time for many of us, even though it wasn’t your traditional worship service. We just sang with our voices as we drove through the small provinces and looked out the windows, which was a unique experience. After a time of seeing much heartache and little time to process, this was an encouraging time to be reminded that God is in control and has His hand on each of the people of Cambodia.

Daily we do highs and lows, which is a really growing aspect of our group. Even though we spend the majority of each day together, we each have different experiences and perspectives. Since the last few days had been busy, we hadn’t had an opportunity to gather and share. Hearing about everyone’s experiences with our last clinic, visit to the temple, and all the in between moments was so insightful. By the time we had finished our devotion, worship, and highs and lows, it was already time to stop for lunch! After a long lunch – serving twenty people always seems to take a bit of time – we were back on the road.

A few hours later, we stopped at a market from the recommendation of our bus driver. As you can see from the pictures, it wasn’t your traditional market and had assorted bugs. Four of us brave souls ate a fried tarantula. This moment was one we had both looked forward to and dreaded for months coming up to the trip. Some also enjoyed fried crickets and rice filled bamboo. Others stuck to the comfort and coolness of ice cream. Each experience has been unique, and this market was no exception! The delicious treats aside, we were back on the road! We arrived back in Phenom Penh and had a relatively uneventful evening back at the Golden Gate. We enjoyed being welcomed back by Heim and the fellow staff and had dinner at the Blue Pumpkin. We feel rested from the weekend and are ready for this next week in Phenom Penh – the last for many of us!

Mission to Cambodia: First Day Back in Phnom Penh!

Today was a much needed recuperation day for us undergrads! We’re all so thankful to be back in Phnom Penh, because it’s really started to feel like home.

We began the morning with our familiar breakfast here at the Golden Gate Hotel (lots of mangoes for me!) and then had our daily devotional. We then broke into our individual pairs and prepped some for our teaching day later this week. We have the opportunity to teach some students at the hospitals, so we whipped our power points into shape and went over what we would say and do with our students. We had some free time this afternoon (a rare and beautiful thing) so a couple of us went to a local coffee shop to catch up on neglected school work. The shop we went to felt very much like home: modern, air-conditioned, and with good wifi. It’s cool to think about those shared experiences we have with the students here of going to trendy coffee shops to desperately try to study or write an assignment. It was also a huge relief to feel like I’m caught up with school and not let it distract me from all the amazing things we’re doing here. 

For lunch we ate at one of our favorite restaurants! It’s a favorite mostly because they serve amazing western food, including milkshakes. I know I left happy, and it looked like the rest of the table was pleased with their meals too. It’s hard to dine with so many people sometimes because Cambodians just bring out the food whenever it’s done, so by the time the last person gets their food half the table is usually finished. This bothered me a little when we first arrived because it felt rude to not wait for everyone but I think we’ve all learned that if we waited everything would get cold. It’s a small difference between here and the US, but it’s really noticeable with a group of 20 dining at a small establishment. 

The afternoon was free for us as well, so a group of us went to the central market! We’ve been to several markets before but I think this one was by far the largest. It was open air, though, and partially indoors in a spacious building, so it didn’t feel as suffocating as the Russian market feels. I proudly walked out without spending a penny, but several of us left with multiple sey, a small toy that you use to play a game similar to hacky sack. It’s our favorite game to play down in the lobby during the evenings, so I expect quite a few of you family members and friends will be introduced to it when we all get home. After the market, a large group decided to make their way back to a coffee shop to work. I, feeling that I had accomplished enough that morning, made the executive decision to take a nap instead. It was very much needed after our long days of travel and temples and clinics. 

Dinner was another lovely meal at our most frequent stop, Anise. They have such a good variety, so everyone leaves with something they liked. I know a few of us were feeling a little ill, but the group stayed positive and we had a great dinner regardless. There was plenty of lime soda all around!

To top off a very good day, a few of us played sey before heading off for a massage. This was my first massage experience here in Cambodia, and while it was fun I don’t think I’ll be joining the ranks of the massage enthusiasts. I am far too ticklish to have a stranger touch my feet, but I’m glad I finally experienced what all the hype was about! It was a peaceful way to wind down and de-stress a little on an absolute whirlwind of a trip.

Mission to Cambodia: Third Clinic in Poipet and Traveling to Siem Reap

My roommate and I woke up this morning convinced that the world was ending. Music and yelling from the streets outside our hotel was so loud that we could feel the entire building shaking. Turns out it was just a parade because of the upcoming election that was casually going on at 6:20 AM. Cambodians are early risers, that’s for sure. Once we were assured that the world would in fact go on, we got up and got ready for the day. After a breakfast of noodle soup and iced coffee with sweet milk, we were off to our third clinic around Poipet.

On the bus in the morning, Dr. Massie led a devotional and prayer. She spoke about how we are all broken in our own ways, but that God uses our brokenness and our differences for the good of his Kingdom if we come to Him as we are and allow Him to work through us. If you are interested in the story that she shared with us this morning, google “Indian cracked pot story”. Unfortunately, the parades for the election caused a lot of traffic buildup and we were a bit late showing up to the Vision of Hope Center, a small Christian school that opened its doors for us to set up our clinic. Our lovely translators and other friends from Freedom’s Promise met us there. The building was small but we made it work as usual. Today was a short day due to both showing up later than planned and also because we had a three-hour bus ride from Poipet to Siem Reap, where we will be staying until Sunday morning. Despite only lasting a little over three hours, we were able to see a good number of patients. The nursing students switched roles a little bit so that we were all able to have multiple experiences over the three days. Kim and Paige soldiered on assessing and diagnosing, and the pharmacy team did an amazing job working together and working with what they had to provide the best care that we could for these people.

Last clinic in Poipet with all of the wonderful missionaries and translators who partnered with us to make these clinics possible!

I had the opportunity to be at the education and prayer station, which was the last table that the patients would go to before leaving. This was a difficult but really great experience for me both as a nursing students and as a Christian. A huge part of nursing is patient education, but I have not had many opportunities in nursing school so far to put that into practice. I found myself drawing from things I have learned in nursing school so far and being so thankful to Belmont and the wonderful education that I am so blessed to receive there. I spoke to patients about things like how and why to take the medications that they were given, different diet and lifestyle changes for things like diabetes or hypertension, living with asthma, relaxation techniques for anxiety, proper hydration and nutrition, and more. My heart went out to each individual that I spoke with, especially when it was clear that they were in need of the kind of medical care or

Getting fruit off the trees outside the school

education that we simply could not provide them with. After asking if they had any more questions, I would ask if it was okay if I prayed for them. Almost all of them said yes, and this was a special time to call on the Lord and ask for healing and safety for these people who we have grown to love so dearly in our short time here. Many of the people who I prayed over today were most likely Buddhists, but I was amazed at their reverence while praying and the kindness that they showed to me during our brief but hopefully meaningful interactions.

Around 1 PM, we packed everything up and ate a lunch of peanut butter sandwiches and some delicious fresh mango from right off the trees outside the school. The translators and everyone from Freedom’s Promise showed us so much love and kindness during our three days here, and they gave each of us a gift of a beautiful Cambodian scarf. After a prayer, lots of photos and hugs goodbye, our group of 20 piled into our bus and headed to SIem Reap.

Views from our hotel in Siem Reap

The bus ride was about three hours long and the other undergraduate nursing students and I we passed the time telling gross and funny stories from our experiences in nursing school. We were stuck in traffic once again in Siem Reap because of the election. Once we arrived to the hotel we were greeted with cool towels and tea. We ate dinner at a rooftop restaurant on the top floor of our hotel. The hotel here in Siem Reap is very nice and we are all so excited to have a break from working hard in the clinics and for the opportunity to tour the temples around Siem Reap tomorrow! Everyone is going to bed early because tomorrow we leave at 4 AM to catch the sunrise at Angkor Wat!

 

 

 

 

 

Mission to Cambodia: Second Poipet Clinic Day

One of our translators Sarah!

Today, we held our second day of clinics in Poipet. We started off the day with leftover, cold pizza for breakfast because we needed a pick me up from yesterday’s breakfast. Our group had ventured out and we were served Khmer porridge with chicken liver and some were adventurous than others. A woman from the community opened up her home so we could use it as the clinic. It was a smaller space with an open patio and curtains to block out the sun (we greatly appericiated this). It was amazing this woman who didn’t know us would offer up her home so we could run the clinic in her village. We didn’t know where we were going to set up clinic, but we trusted God would provide and He did. We saw around 70 people that day of varying ages. We saw several babies and children and it was sad to see what they were going through, especially the malnourished children and scabies wounds.

One of our practitioners, Kim, assessing this sweet baby!

This is such a huge problem in all third world countries, but it never gets easier to see children suffering from it. The children are still so joyful and want you to play with them despite them not feeling their best, which is very inspiring. Our translators from Freedom’s Promise were outstanding. There was no way we could do our job without them! We all worked with the same translator for the 3 days of clinics so we got to know them really well and enjoyed spending time with them.

From the outside looking into the clinic, it looked like mass, unorganized, chaos, but on the inside everyone had a place and job. We had nurse practitioners, undergrad nursing, and pharmacy all working together to make the clinic run smoothly. We functioned extremely

Some of the sweet children we were able to take care of

well together, especially since it was our second day understanding how the flow of the clinic should be. The most incredible part of the day was watching our entire team work together and really see all of the nursing & pharmacy skills we have learned put into practice. It was like it finally clicked with us how much we truly knew and have learned. This was a neat experience because we all had different moments when we realized this. Several of us shared stories that night during our highs and lows about those moments. Highs and lows are something we do (attempt) every night where we can share moments or stories from the day with the whole group. Even though we were together all day, we all had different experiences and enjoy hearing our different views. IMG_7055.MOV (click on link to see video)

Later tonight, we went to dinner and then came back for praise and worship with Freedom’s Promise. We sang and worshiped together and it was truly amazing to see just how powerful God’s love is. His love is not just in our Bible belt of the South, but across the entire world. It is very powerful to watch Him work in everyone’s lives and see how much impact God has had in Cambodia and in our lives the short time we’ve been in Cambodia. After we worshiped, Freedom’s Promise brought out handmade bags, wallets, and other little items for purchasing. Our group swarmed at them because apparently we can’t pass up a good Cambodian deal. Dr. Massie was the first one there and just about everyone in our group bought something! We had a great day and tomorrow we are doing another clinic in Poipet before we head to Siem Rep for temples and being tourists!

 

 

CHS Faculty and Staff Perform to Raise Money for Charity

CHSN faculty and staff group perform for charityDr. Natalie Michaels, associate professor in the College of Health Sciences and Michal Christian, program assistant in the School of Nursing, continue to make music together in an effort to raise money for the Down Syndrome Association of Middle Tennessee. With the addition of Dr. Mark Christian, adjunct professor in the College of Theology and Christian Ministry, the group played everything from “Misty” to “I Will Always Love You.”

Michaels has been singing and writing music since she was 10 years old. She also plays piano and the flute. Michal Christian is a classically trained ballet dancer and musician, and Dr. Mark Christian is a professional guitarist.