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.

Belmont Physical Therapy Students, Faculty Volunteer for Garrett’s Hero Run

Participants from the Fun Run pose with Garrett

Belmont University hosted Garrett’s Hero Run on October 14, the Global Physical Therapy Day of Service, as part of the American Physical Therapy Association’s National Physical Therapy Month. This day provided a perfect opportunity for Belmont’s School of Physical Therapy to join with PTs in the community for a service event that supports a fellow physical therapist and Belmont alumna.

Amber Sapp, a physical therapist and 2005 graduate of Belmont’s program, has an 11-year-old son, Garrett, who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a rare but fatal neuromuscular disorder with no cure. Every year, Amber and her husband, Randy, organize a 5K event as a fundraiser for Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD), the largest nonprofit organization devoted solely to ending Duchenne. The race, Garrett’s Hero Run, encourages participants to dress in their favorite super hero costume to support Garrett. Currently, he is participating in clinical trials to help researchers find a cure so other children don’t have to face the same battles.

At the beginning of each fall semester, Dr. Christi Williams, assistant professor in the School of Physical Therapy, fellow 2005 alumna and former classmate of Sapp’s, shares Garrett’s story with her students.  “I feel strongly that there is something special here at Belmont and we refer to it as the ‘Belmont PT Family,’” she said. “This ‘family’ serves to support you when you need it most.”

At Belmont, the physical therapy program strives to transform the lives of others by serving patients in the clinic and giving back to the community–as evidenced by students’ involvement in countless community service events. “Making a difference in the lives of others is what physical therapy is all about,” Williams said. “Amber is making a difference in the lives of many families and young boys by raising money to support research through PPMD. Her story provides encouragement and inspiration to all future PTs, and since Amber is a part of the Belmont PT family, her mission continues to be supported by her former classmates, fellow alumni and the current DPT students.”

The 2017 Garrett’s Hero Run raised more than $25,000 for PPMD to support research efforts towards a disease cure. Belmont DPT volunteers assisted in these efforts by volunteering on race day, helping with fundraising and providing auction items for the silent auction.

Sapp said, “When I was in Physical Therapy school at Belmont, my classmates became my family. When my son, Garrett, was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy seven years ago, one of the first calls I made was to a fellow alumni. These are the types relationships that are built at Belmont. These relationships are what get you through the ‘stuff of life’. Your classmates are the people who went through the fire with you and held your hand the whole way. These are the people I still want by my side.”

Belmont Occupational Therapy Doctorate Students Volunteer for Nashville Buddy Walk

Participants at the Buddy WalkBelmont’s Occupational Therapy Doctorate students recently attended the Nashville Buddy Walk at the Hermitage. While there, the group helped with activities, passed out t-shirts and made Thanksgiving Day thank-you cards with the kids for their parents and caregivers. This event is sponsored by the Down Syndrome Association of Middle Tennessee.

Participants enjoyed themselves throughout the day as they participated in activities with their siblings, parents and the Belmont student volunteers.

Dr. Beth Hallmark Recognized as March of Dimes Nurse Educator of the Year

Dr. Beth Hallmark, assistant professor and director of simulation in the College of Health Sciences and Nursing, was recently recognized as the March of Dimes Nurse Educator of the Year. The announcement was made at the organization’s annual Nurse of the Year Awards Luncheon held on Wednesday, November 1 at Belmont.

Held to honor nursing excellence and pay tribute to the tireless efforts of nurses throughout the community, the Nurse of the Year Awards recognizes nurses who are nominated by their colleagues, supervisors or the families they have served. The ceremony celebrates the nursing profession and recognizes the most outstanding nurses in several categories including Nurse Educator of the Year.

“I am humbled to have received this award,” Hallmark said. “The mission of the simulation program at Belmont is ‘to improve patient safety and health outcomes by providing high quality, evidence based, experiential education in a safe innovative environment.’  It is a team effort, and I am proud to be a part of this work. I am blessed to work with a wonderful group of interprofessional faculty and staff that support the work we do each day.”