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
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.”