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.”

Tennessee’s Deputy Commissioner for Population Health to Speak at Belmont

Dr. Michael Warren, Deputy Commissioner for Population Health with the Tennessee Department of Health, will speak at Belmont this Friday, October 27, at 10:00 a.m. during the convocation hour.  His presentation will provide an introduction to public health/population health, discuss their importance, and take a look at public health in Tennessee.  The event will be held in McWhorter Hall, Room 102.  Students and the public are invited.

Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame Inducts Six Health Care Legends at Luncheon and Ceremony

Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame

For images from this year’s event, click here

The Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame inducted six health care legends from across the state at a luncheon and ceremony held in Belmont University’s Curb Event Center today, Tuesday, October 17. Hosted by Senior Counsel at Finn Partners John Seigenthaler, the Hall of Fame’s Ceremony recognizes and honors 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 Belmont’s McWhorter Society with the support of the Nashville Health Care Council, a Founding Partner, the Hall of Fame’s 2017 class includes:

  • Dorothy Lavinia Brown: First African American female surgeon in the south, TN House of Representative and General Assembly Member, longtime educator and Chief of Surgery at Riverside Hospital and Clinical Professor of Surgery at Meharry, advocate for women’s health, rights and education
  • William H. Frist: Former U.S. Senator and Majority Leader, Vanderbilt Transplant Center founder, first heart and lung transplant surgeon at Vanderbilt, Founder of Hope Through Healing Hands and NashvilleHealth, Senior Fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center
  • Joel C. Gordon: 47-year health care veteran who introduced physician ownership/joint ventures as a business structure, Founder of GeneralCare and Surgical Care Affiliates, Co-Founder of HealthWise of America, Owner of Gordon Group Investment Management
  • Harry R. Jacobson: Physician, entrepreneur and investor who founded/co-founded eight companies, Past Chair of the Nashville Health Care Council Board of Directors, Executive-in-Residence at Belmont University’s Jack C. Massey College of Business, Past Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs at Vanderbilt University and former CEO of Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • Stanford Moore:  Received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1972 for his work with proteins and their composition which led to the first understanding of the complete chemical structure of protein and ultimately informed decades of scientific work surrounding disease and drug discovery; graduate of the University School of Nashville and Vanderbilt University
  • Donald P. Pinkel: First Director and CEO of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital; received the Lasker Award for Medical Research, Kettering Prize for Cancer Research and Pollin Prize for Pediatric Research; led the development of the first treatment for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia, increasing the cure rate from 4 to 50%

This year’s Hall of Fame inductees join an impressive list of health care legends honored in the last two years. These include Jack O. Bovender, Jr., Stanley Cohen, Dr. Henry W. Foster, Dr. Thomas Frist, Jr., Dr. Thomas Frist Sr., Dr. Ernest William Goodpasture, Frank S. Groner, Jack C. Massey, Clayton McWhorter, Dr. David Satcher, Dr. Mildred Stahlman, Dr. Paul Stanton, Danny Thomas and Dr. Colleen Conway Welch.

For more information on the Hall of Fame, click here.

CHS Dean Taylor Featured on HealthStream’s “Second Opinions” Podcast

Dr. Cathy Taylor Head ShotDean of the College of Health Sciences and Nursing Dr. Cathy Taylor was recently featured on HealthStream’s “Second Opinions” Podcast. Taylor’s interview, “Rewiring Nurse Education to Match Industry Demands and Millennial Strengths,” details the ways in which nursing education programs are evolving based on the ever-changing health care workforce.

Taylor details training curricula and how it must change to match the needs of the “connected, digital millennial workforce.” She also explains the importance of setting realistic expectations regarding workforce rigor early in a student’s educational experience. Finally, she highlights the ways Belmont has adapted–namely through her team’s use of concept-based learning aimed at “producing flexible, curious, engaged graduates” who are prepared for their health care careers.

To listen to the interview, click here.

Physical Therapy Students Honor the Memory of Alumna Sara Pigg Walker

Students pose for a picture before the Fun Run began.

Belmont University Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) students volunteered at the annual Sara Walker Run on September 24, held in honor of 2003 Belmont DPT alumna Sara Pigg Walker. The Sara Walker Run is a fundraising event to raise money for missions supported through the Sara Walker Foundation that are intended to help spread Sara’s message of hope to others through Jesus Christ.

Sara’s Story

Sara was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer on her 33rd birthday in January 2011. After 16 rounds of chemotherapy and three clinical research trials, Sara’s earthly struggle with cancer ended in August of 2012, at the age of 34.

During her life, Sara had two great loves: writing and bringing souls to Jesus. From her diagnosis until her final breath, she sought to use her writing to provide encouragement to those with their own challenges, always pointing her readers to Jesus. She candidly wrote of her physical, emotional and spiritual battles, praying she could provide encouragement to her more than 700,000 readers worldwide. What resonated most with her audience was the concept of “savoring”–the opportunity to enjoy the little things life has to offer and see each moment as a gift from God.

Because of her great outreach to the lost and hurting, Sara’s family and close friends established the Sara Walker Foundation in 2012 to continue to provide hope to others in her honor. Because of Him, her story continues today.

Sara Walker Foundation and Belmont University

Kids who participated in the event run towards their activities. The first Sara Walker Run was held in April 2011, when Sara’s ‘Belmont DPT family’ sought to help raise funds for Sara’s medical expenses after her diagnosis. Due to its huge success, and in an effort to continue to honor Sara, the annual Sara Walker Run continues today and serves as the Sara Walker Foundation’s main fundraising event.

This year, Belmont University and the Sara Walker Foundation provided two current DPT students with scholarships in Sara’s honor. Scholarship recipients were 3rd year students Drew Dudek and Susan Keim.

Christi Williams, 2005 alumna and assistant professor in the School of Physical Therapy and Jennifer LaRocca, 2003 alumna and close friend and classmate of Sara’s, serve on the Sara Walker Foundation Board with a focus of sharing Sara’s story and keeping Sara’s spirit alive in the hearts of Belmont DPT alumni and current students. Williams shares Sara’s story with all incoming Belmont DPT students.

Williams said, “When I share Sara’s story and the mission of the Sara Walker Foundation, the students quickly begin to understand that there is something uniquely special about our ‘Belmont PT family,’ and they are excited to be a part of Sara’s story by helping with this event and spreading her message to others.”

Kids For Kids Fun Run

Sara’s sister and fellow Belmont DPT alumna (2006) Dinah Hall, with the help of Williams, LaRocca and 3rd year student leaders Susan Keim and Erin St. Pierre, successfully organized the 2nd annual Kids for Kids Fun Run which included fun activities and obstacles designed by the Belmont DPT students. The kids were divided into three age groups – a “Team Green”, “Team Yellow” and “Team Red” – and given matching wristband.  Each team was led by a group of three DPT students who designed a series of warm-up activities, led the kids through the course and provided cool-down activities and games afterwards.

Belmont PT faculty member Suzanne Greenwalt said, “The Belmont students were so interactive, silly and engaging with the young children at the race. What great role models! My children were so won over by them that all they can talk about is how they want to be just like them when they grow up.” Keim said, “What a special experience it was to run along with the kids. There was so much positive energy that flowed from the race all the way into the worship service. “

This year, the Sara Walker Run included nearly 700 participants, and the event raised $70,000 of which 100% will go toward missions supported by the Sara Walker Foundation.

St. Pierre summarized the day and said, “The Sara Walker Run is a perfect example of how everyone who is a part of Belmont PT becomes your family and how that family continues to support you long after graduation. Years after Sara’s passing, the new students still come together on this day to support the cause of one of our own, and that is a such a beautiful thing. “

New This Year:

A Belmont DPT student runs alongside children who are participating in the Fun Run.

An exciting addition to the Sara Walker Run this year was a “Battle of the Boulevard” competition between Belmont and Lipscomb students.  Sara attended Lipscomb as an undergraduate student and Belmont as a graduate student, and she loved the annual Battle of the Boulevard event between the two schools. This year when students registered for the race, they indicated “Team Belmont” or “Team Lipscomb.” The trophy was awarded to Team Lipscomb this year. The competition will continue next year, and the trophy will be passed between the schools, going to whomever has the most registered runners.

Also new this year, was the announcement of the new book that shares Sara’s story, “The Light Shines Through – A Story of Hope in the Midst of Suffering.”  In this book, Sara’s story offers compelling lessons on how to live in the present and see God’s presence and abundant love in every moment – even those that are painful. The book will be released in January 2018. To preorder your copy and take advantage of the early release date of December 15, click here.

Children’s Worship Service

The children’s worship service, led by Sara Walker’s Father Jody Pigg (known as Papa Pigg) was also a success. Belmont DPT students played an integral role in engaging the children with high-fives, big hug, and reciting Papa Pigg’s phrases with enthusiasm. The children patted each other on the back saying, “I love you, I love you, I love you” coming to the front of the group to give the biggest “high-five” to student Drew Dudek and giving the “biggest hug” to student Susan Keim. Dudek stated, “The children’s worship service was awesome! It was incredible seeing how Papa Pigg had the kids so involved and how he made it clear that God loves them. “

Papa Pigg taught the kids about the importance of “doing what’s right.” This was no ordinary worship service–it was filled with excitement as Papa Pigg used short phrases and asked the children to repeat after him in loud voices. He led the children in repeating the phrase, “When God loves me, I want to do what’s right, go to heaven and help other people.” Belmont students were interspersed throughout the crowd, helping energize the children and keep them engaged in the activities.

He continued and explained that by participating in the Fun Run, the children helped provide medicine to sick children in Africa and that their involvement sent helpers to the children. Most importantly, Papa Pigg made sure that the children understood that by helping, “We will  be able to tell those children we love them.” Keim stated, “You could feel how in tune the kids were with Papa Pigg’s worship message, which tied together the purpose of the Kids for Kids Fun Run beautifully.”

To learn more about Sara’s story and the mission of the Sara Walker Foundation, click here.

To view a video of the event, click here.

College of Pharmacy Represents Belmont University in Nashville AIDS Walk for Sixth Year

Students participate in the AIDS Walk in nashville with their professor, Dr. Edgar Diaz-Cruz

Belmont University College of Pharmacy raised $2,527 for the Nashville AIDS Walk and participated for the sixth consecutive year, sponsored by Nashville Cares on September 23. Team Captain Associate Professor, Pharmaceutical, Social and Administrative Sciences Dr. Edgar S. Diaz-Cruz led faculty and students who joined hundreds of community participants to benefit families impacted by HIV/AIDS in Middle Tennessee. Diaz-Cruz celebrated the outstanding efforts of his team noting that Belmont University Pharmacy was recognized for raising the third largest overall team donation. Diaz-Cruz said, “This type of event provides a real-world experience for our students to be an active part of the community for an important health cause. I am proud of our students!”

In addition to teaching biochemistry and pharmacology, Diaz-Cruz teaches an elective course in HIV prevention and treatment that provides students with in-depth awareness of the role that pharmacists can play in ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic. An added benefit to the completion of this course is a certificate in “HIV Testing and Counseling” from the Tennessee Department of Health.

Recent Accomplishments by faculty in the School of Nursing

Several faculty within the School of Nursing have recently been recognized for their contributions to the field. Below is a list of their accomplishments.

Dr. Angela Lane (Assistant Professor of Nursing) and Dr. Ruby Dunlap (Associate Professor of Nursing) will present a poster entitled “Start with What They Know: Student Perception of Self-efficacy in Community Health Nursing” at the Sigma Theta Tau International Research Conference in Washington, DC in April 2018.

Dr. Mona Ivey Soto (Assistant Professor of Education), Dr. Sabrina Sullenberger (Associate Professor in Social Work) and Dr. Angela Lane will give a podium presentation entitled “Empowering Trauma-Informed Undergraduates: Educating and Equipping the Next Cadre of Leaders from Diverse Helping Professions” at the Southeastern Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) conference in Asheville, NC in October 2017.

Ms. Jennifer Hicks, Dr. Robin Cobb (Assistant Professor of Nursing) and Dr. Betsy Kennedy had a poster entitled “A Narrative Approach to the Delivery of Perinatal Loss Care Course Content in an Undergraduate Obstetric Nursing Course” presented at the International Stillbirth Alliance conference at University College Cork, Cork Ireland in September 2017.

Dr. Erin Shankel (Assistant Professor of Nursing) gave a podium presentation at the 2017 TNA conference entitled Preventing Your own Compassion Fatigue: An Ethical Imperative.

Dr. Ruby Dunlap and Ms. Emily Morse have a newly published chapter in the edited text Culturally engaging service-learning with diverse communities (2017) published by IGI Global. Their chapter is entitled “Refugee Families and Undergraduate Nursing Service-Learning: Thinking Globally, Acting Locally.”

Dr. Ashley Scism and Dr. Robin Cobb have a manuscript entitled “Integrative Review of Factors and Interventions that Influence Early Father-Infant Bonding” in the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing.

Dr. Angela Lane completed Trust Based Relational Intervention Practitioner Training in Fort Worth, Texas last month.

Dr. Donna Copenhaver (Assistant Professor of Nursing) was re-elected as Tennessee Nurses Association (TNA) Secretary and Dr. Loretta Bond (Assistant Professor of Nursing) was elected as TNA Director, Government Affairs.

College of Pharmacy Hosts Psychiatric Pharmacotherapy Update

Belmont’s College of Pharmacy recently hosted a Psychiatric Pharmacotherapy Update. The purpose of this Continuing Education event was to educate pharmacists on important topics related to psychiatric pharmacy. Dr. Marshall Cates, professor of pharmacy practice at Samford University, spoke on the pharmacists role in suicide prevention. Dr. Wes Geminn from the TN Department of Mental Health spoke on the opioid pandemic currently affecting Tennessee, as well as nearly every corner of the United States. Dr. Katie Liveoak, clinical pharmacy specialist in psychiatry at Centennial Parthenon Pavilion, spoke on “Me-Too” drugs in psychiatry and Dr. Michael McGuire, assistant professor of pharmacy practice at spoke on the effects of marijuana in psychiatric conditions.

The event welcomed 30 attendees including 8 current College of Pharmacy students. Participants came from community pharmacies as well as health systems. The College of Pharmacy Continuing Education program hopes to make this an annual event.

Belmont University College of Pharmacy is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) as a provider of continuing pharmacy education. For more information on upcoming Continuing Education opportunities, visit the Continuing Education website: http://belmont.edu/pharmacy/alumni/ce/index.html

Physical Therapy Students, Faculty Volunteer at Music City Skate Jam

Students from the Belmont University School of Physical Therapy recently volunteered at the inaugural Music City Skate Jam. Multi-platinum singer/songwriter Kip Moore combined his love for music and skateboarding when he teamed up with international skateboarding champion Tony Hawk in downtown Nashville for the charity event.

The day began early in the morning as the students, along with faculty members Drs. Pat Sells and Mike Voight from the School of Physical Therapy, turned Nashville’s Hall of Fame Park into a music venue with an enormous half pipe for the celebrity skate board performers. The free concert and skating exposition, held at Music City Walk of Fame Park, served as a fundraiser to aid hurricane relief. It also brought awareness to both both Moore’s and Hawk’s foundations, which aim to build skate parks for kids in inner cities. Fans who donated were treated to a day of fun-filled events including performances by Jordan Davis, Dee Jay Silver and Moore himself, along with a thrilling skate demo by Tony Hawk.