OT Doctoral Students Present Research at the Tennessee State Capitol

 Straatmann and Edwards with their research posterThird-year students in Belmont’s Doctoral Program in Occupational Therapy Joseph Straatmann and Emilie Edwards were recently selected to present their research at the Tennessee State Capitol as a part of Graduate Week. Straatmann and Edwards presented their research project to state legislators, Tennessee college deans and the Nashville community. Other colleges represented included UT-Martin, UT-Knoxville, Vanderbilt and Austin Peay.

“The primary focus of this poster presentation was to highlight the work that graduate programs were doing across the state,” said Straatmann. “We met wonderful people from all the local universities and had a chance to talk about our research. Not only did we present our poster, but we were able to network with many individuals in the Nashville community and universities.  We received great feedback and tips for future research projects and how we can improve on what we’ve done.”

Straatmann has been impressed with the opportunities he has received within the School of Occupational Therapy since his arrival at Belmont over two years ago. “As a member of the Belmont occupational therapy program, I have had opportunities to present at numerous conferences here in Tennessee, national conferences in other states and even international conferences that pass through Nashville. Our program, as well as Belmont, does a great job of allowing multiple ways for students to become active members in the community.”

Pharmacy Faculty, Students Represent Belmont at Graduate School Fair

 College of Pharmacy presents at Grad School FairStudent pharmacists Markesha Cook and Caleb Darensbourg recently represented Belmont at a Graduate School Fiar hosted by the Tennessee Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (TLSAMP). Held on Feb. 23, the Fair was conducted in conjunction with the TLSAMP Annual STEM Undergraduate Research Conference.  Drs. Edgar Diaz-Cruz and Marilyn Odom represented the College of Pharmacy faculty.

The Alliance is composed of 10 institutions in Tennessee — Fisk University, LeMoyne-Owen College, Middle Tennessee State University, Nashville State Community College, Southwest Tennessee Community College, Tennessee State University, Tennessee Technological University, University of Memphis, University of Tennessee-Knoxville and Vanderbilt University.

Health Sciences Faculty and Staff Members Make Music to Support Down Syndrome Association

Michals and Christian at Hotel PrestonDr. Natalie Michaels, associate professor in Belmont’s School of Occupational Therapy and Michal Christian, academic support assistant in the School of Nursing, recently began making music together as a hobby. On February 20, the duo took their act to the community and played a small gig at Hotel Preston in Nashville, donating all their tip money to the Down Syndrome Association of Middle Tennessee. According to Michaels, they played “everything from The Girl from Ipanema to Whitney Houston to Lady Gaga,” and had a blast doing so.

Michaels has been writing music recently and has been playing flute and piano since she was ten years old. Christian is both a professional ballet dancer and musician. The two plan to announce a second gig that will be coming up in a few months and encourage anyone interested in hearing them play to “stay tuned.”

School of Occupational Therapy Receives Volunteer Award from HAPI

Members of the College of Occupational Therapy holding their awardBelmont University’s School of Occupational Therapy was recently selected for the 2017 Volunteer Friend Phoenix Award by the Healing Arts Project, Inc. (HAPI) for its commitment to helping strengthen the impact of the organization. The award was presented at the Phoenix Art Gala on February 16 at the Hilton Garden Inn Vanderbilt.

“The students from the Belmont University School of Occupational Therapy who have volunteered with the Healing Arts Projects, Inc. have been exceptionally helpful,” said Lynece Benton-Stewart, chair of the organization. “All the students have engaged fully in the service opportunity and made a real difference in the success of the undertaking.”

HAPI provides an avenue for persons in mental health and addiction recovery to express their creativity through a wide range of artistic endeavors.  In doing this, HAPI raises awareness in the community and helps combat the stigma that surrounds these disorders to promote understanding, acceptance and success.

College of Pharmacy Welcomes Lipscomb Academy High School Students

Libscomb Academy students touring Belmont's pharmacy lab

On February 15, the College of Pharmacy hosted AP Language and AP Biology students from Lipscomb Academy High School. The AP Language class, taught by Mrs. Chasidy Burton, is currently reading “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” and Chair of Belmont’s Department of Pharmaceutical, Social and Administrative Sciences Dr. Marilyn Thompson Odom has a daughter who is enrolled in that class. Odom’s daughter volunteered to show the class the HeLa cells and the invitation was then extended to the AP Biology class, which is taught by Mr. Geoff Musick. With the aid of Dr. Kelley Kiningham, associate dean of the College of Pharmacy, 32 students plus their teachers and principal, Mr. Lanny Witt, were able to tour Belmont’s pharmacy research laboratories and visualize the cells.

The students viewed the cells through three different microscopes and were able to note the differences between each microscope and the ones they use in class. The ability for students to see and discuss the HeLa cells with scientists who use them made the book more relevant. After looking at the cells, the students enjoyed lunch at Belmont’s Harrington Place Dining Hall.

OT Students Selected for Competitive Summer Institute

Can's headshotHerrera's headshotBelmont occupational therapy students Thu Can and Lexi Herrera were recently selected to participate in the 2nd annual Summer Institute for Future Scientists in Occupational Therapy, sponsored by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). The Institute is a 1-day program that aims to match potential student scientists with doctoral and post-doctorate mentors. The selection committee at AOTA received over 80 applications nationwide and selected Can and Herrera to complete a cohort of 30.

Participants of the Institute will meet with leading occupational therapy scientists in June to address topics such as possibilities within OT science, considerations when evaluating potential doctoral programs and career opportunities. Additionally, the students are invited to attend the 6th annual 2-day Occupational Therapy Summit of Scholars at Boston University.

College of Health Sciences and Nursing Receives ACE Grant, Hosts Stakeholder Summit

College of Health Sciences and Nursing hosted a Stakeholder Summit for their recent ACE grant receipt. A packed room began discussions surrounding the grant's use.

Belmont’s College of Health Sciences and Nursing recently hosted a Stakeholder Summit on campus to support the College’s Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) grant. Received from the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services, the grant provides funding for the development of three undergraduate educational modules for nursing, public health and social work students.

The Summit was held to survey area stakeholders on current gaps and recommendations for developing these modules. Speakers included the Deputy Commissioner Dr. Michael Warren from the State Health Department, Chief Medical Officer for HRSA/MCHB Dr. Aaron Lopata and Director of Community Development and Planning at Metro Health Department Tracy Buck.

Attendees discuss material at the ACE Stakeholder SummitIn addition to speakers, the event included opportunities for attendees to identify ACE topics to be included in Belmont’s new Educating Trauma Information Professionals Project. This project addresses the need to improve professional practices and promotes cross-fertilization among professions that touch children and families during sensitive periods of development and beyond. With no standard trauma-information care education model for undergraduates available, Belmont’s program seeks to create programming for health science students and identify and address knowledge and training needs among recent graduates and practicing professionals.

Dean of the College of Health Sciences and Nursing Dr. Cathy Taylor said, “We’re thrilled to receive this funding dedicated to enhancing multidisciplinary professional education and improving the health and well being of Tennessee’s children. Working with such esteemed partners toward achieving this common goal is sure to have long lasting impact.”

Nursing Students Featured in ‘Day in the Life of an Intern’ Story

Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA) wanted to send a message to college students about how their internship program works, so they summoned three of their recent Belmont University interns to help tell the story. Chelsea Carter, Samantha Perkowski and Rachel Sutherland all served as Dialysis Clinic Interns in 2016 as a part of their studies in nursing.

The internship provided hands-on experience in the care of dialysis patients, an area where students don’t often have an opportunity for clinical practice. The FMCNA interviewed the students about some of the rewarding aspects of their internship experiences and had them describe a typical day of work, broken down into morning, mid-day and end-of-day routines. The students touched on the relationships they built with full-time employees and how their experiences at FMCNA contributed to their learning.

Check out the full feature here.

Graduate Nursing Student Awarded Clinical Placement and Financial Incentive through TRP

Glowacka's headshotFull-time Belmont MSN student Martyna Glowacka has been awarded a clinical placement and financial incentive through the Tennessee Rural Partnership (TRP). TRP, a subsidiary of the Tennessee Hospital Association, is a private non-profit organization established in 2006 to address the increasing challenges of providing healthcare in rural and underserved areas across the state. With this award, Glowacka will receive up to $7,500 in living expenses while in school and will be eligible for rural job placement as a family nurse practitioner and a $17,500 incentive after graduation.

“Martyna has benefitted from rural healthcare in her own life and is interested in giving back to her community. The TRP partnership has allowed Martyna the financial flexibility to be able to do that,” said Dr. Erin Shankel, assistant professor of nursing and Family Nurse Practitioner track coordinator.  “We are hopeful that more students will be able to benefit from rural placements in the future through our work with the TRP.”

College of Pharmacy hosts First Annual Middle Tennessee Antimicrobial Stewardship Symposium

ASP Symposium at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. January 27, 2017.Dr. Montgomery Williams, associate professor of pharmacy practice, with the help of Dr. Shaefer Spires, assistant professor with Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, developed and planned the first Middle Tennessee Antimicrobial Stewardship Symposium. This event was held in the Janet Ayers Conference Center on Friday, January 27. The symposium was attended by more than 80 health care workers from multiple disciplines including pharmacists, physicians, nurses and those involved with infection prevention and patient safety and quality.  The symposium theme was “Putting Policy into Practice – Tools for Implementation.”

Antimicrobial stewardship is a growing national focus as concerns of antimicrobial resistance, side effects and Clostridium difficile continue to mount. This symposium brought together key stakeholders and practitioners to learn more about this topic and discuss ways to work together as a medical community to improve appropriate antimicrobial use and mitigate these risks. The symposium featured speakers from across the country, who discussed topics including legislative updates in stewardship, the use of rapid diagnostics, how to use stewardship to reduce C. difficile and changing provider behavior. During the afternoon, participants were divided into workshop sessions led by pharmacists and physicians where  many different topics were discussed, including stewardship program outcome measures, stewardship considerations in the pediatric population (led by Dr. Courtney Curtis Sutton, Belmont College of Pharmacy 2013 graduate) and engaging administration in stewardship. Given the success of the event, the symposium is likely to be an annual event.