Students and Faculty Attend Nashville Health Care Council’s DC Delegation

Pharmacy studentsFive students and one associate professor from the Belmont University recently attended the Nashville Health Care Council’s Leadership Health Care (LHC) initiative, along with a group of more than 100 health care leaders, on its annual two-day delegation to Washington, D.C. This year’s event provided delegates with an inside look at the state of health care policy under the new administration and predictions about what developments may unfold to impact Nashville’s $78 billion health care industry.

The delegation featured discussions with members of Congress such as U.S. Representative Diane Black (R-TN) and U.S. Representative Jim Cooper (D-TN). The other key health care leaders who participated in discussion panels were Jay Perron the Vice President of America’s Health Insurance Plans, Chip Kahn the President and CEO of the Federation of American Hospitals, and Michael Ramlet, the Founder and CEO of the Morning Consult.

Pictured above:  L to r: Brittani Montgomery, PharmD Student, Bruce Alter, DPT Student, Drew Dudek, DPT Student, Sabrina Salvant, OTD Faculty Member, Kerry Ternes, BSN-DNP Student, and Julie Wofford, OTD Student

Hallmark Elected to INACSL Nominations and Elections Committee

Hallmark's headshotAssistant Professor in Belmont’s School of Nursing and Director of College and Health Sciences Simulation Dr. Beth Hallmark was recently elected to the Nominations and Elections Committee for the International Association of Clinical Simulation Learning (INACSL). The INACSL is a portal for nurses and educators dedicated to advancing the science of health care simulation by developing standards for its practice. Hallmark will join four other committee members for a two-year term of service, beginning in 2017 and continuing through 2019.

In addition to her recent achievement, Hallmark has been serving as an invited contributor for the National League of Nursing’s (NLN) TEQ blog. Sponsored by the NLN Center for Innovation in Simulation and Technology, the blog works to keep nurse educators up-to-date with the latest innovations in simulation, e-learning, telehealth and informatics. Hallmark is on the blog’s editorial advisory board, which oversees content and contributes articles while also interacting with followers. The team is comprised of nurse educators who have been actively involved with the NLN’s technology-related professional development programs and are experts in the field.

Pharmacy Students Install National Electronic Health Record on Campus

Students images with EMRBelmont University College of Pharmacy students Aziz Afzali, Emily Locke and Jae Yi recently installed the Veterans Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA) nationwide information system and Electronic Health Record (EHR) in the Christy Houston Drug Information Center in Belmont University’s College of Pharmacy. VistA was developed by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) and currently operates in over 1200 healthcare sites of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA).

Afzali, Locke and Yi completed the install as part of a class assignment in the Healthcare Informatics concentration of the Belmont University College of Pharmacy Doctoral program. Dr. Anthony Blash, assistant professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical, Social and Administrative Sciences, has created a four-course sequence of classes to prepare Belmont student pharmacists for healthcare informatics and sit for the CAHIMS certification. The college saw its first student certify at the CAHIMS level 18 months ago and expects 20-30 students to certify each year moving forward. Both Afzali and Yi have already certified at the CAHIMS level, and Locke expects to complete her certification within the year.

When asked about the innovative project, Locke stated, “We got the assignment at the beginning of the semester. When I first heard about the assignment, I was excited to get some hands on experience.” Yi said, “When I got the assignment from Dr. Blash, I was scared first because I never had any EHR system experience at all. But at the same time, I thought it would be a great chance to learn how EHR systems work and how to install it.” As with any project, obstacles were encountered. Afzali identified these as “lack of computer programming knowledge and unfamiliarity with the EHR being installed.”

“I had every confidence in the team,” said Blash. “I predict that students in the Healthcare Informatics concentration will soon be able to work with an actual EHR, building clinical decision support modules which make healthcare safer and more cost effective for all. Nashville is considered by many to be home to the U.S. healthcare industry, with nearly 300 companies providing healthcare synergies found in few other places. As a HIMSS Approved Education Partner, Belmont University’s College of Pharmacy becomes the only pharmacy school in the world with a healthcare informatics concentration leading to an internationally recognized certification in healthcare informatics which may be obtained before experiential rotations, residency inquiries and job searches begin.”

Blash Presents at Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society Annual Meeting

Blash with his colleagues.Dr. Anthony Blash, College of Pharmacy, and colleagues presented a session titled “Differentiate Your Skill Sets From Others: Earn a Professional Certification” at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida. The conference and session were attended by Belmont Pharmacy students Jae YI, CAHIMS, Corey O’Nan, Michael Nixon, CAHIMS, and Dominic Paolella.

DNP Students Attend Student Policy Summit in Washington, D.C.

Smith and Porter in front of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C.Belmont University Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) students Carleigh Smith and Jordan Porter recently attended the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Student Policy Summit in Washington, D.C. During the three-day conference, Smith and Porter were immersed in didactic program sessions focused on the federal policy process and nursing’s role in professional advocacy. Additionally, they were able to visit the office of Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander and representatives from the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee. The experience gave Smith and Porter the opportunity to learn more about the influences that policy advocacy has on the country’s health care system.

“As a graduate student in Belmont’s BSN-DNP program, I fiercely believe it is my ethical duty to advocate for the advancement of health in Tennessee and nationwide,” Porter said. “As reforms take place in our healthcare system, nurses at all levels of education must be seated at the table and understand the health policy process to ensure the delivery of safe, high-quality care for all Americans. This opportunity is a testament to Belmont’s commitment to investing in its graduate nursing students as leaders and advocates in our present and future healthcare system.”

“The wonderful opportunity to participate in the AACN Student Policy Summit enabled me to look outside the clinical focus of FNP training and experience the broader, policy-focused influences that shape healthcare in our community,” Smith added. “As a future DNP, I hope to continue to work towards advocating for my community on a policy level. This summit gave me the building blocks to get started.”

College of Health Sciences Scholar in Residence Shares Insight on Social Leadership

Bankston speaking at a faculty lunch on February 22

Belmont’s College of Health Sciences recently welcomed Dr. Karen Bankston, associate dean for clinical practice, partnership and community engagement in the University of Cincinnati’s College of Nursing, to campus as a Scholar in Residence. From February 20-24, Bankston led students and faculty in convocations, lectures, small group discussions and even one-on-one conversations surrounding the role that diversity plays in the health care system. Bankston has been working in the health care industry for over 40 years in areas ranging from trauma care in the emergency room to psychological health. She spent her week at Belmont speaking to students and faculty on topics centered on social leadership in the 21st Century.

At her convocation event on February 22, Bankston discussed the history of health care in the U.S., starting with the conception of the idea that care should be provided to everyone, including those who can’t afford it, which surfaced during the Civil Rights Movement. She focused on how the industry has had to adapt, like everything else, to changes in technology, moving from an industrial society to a technological one and from a national consumer base to a global market. Due to these advancements in the way that society functions, the focus of health care shifted to meeting the needs of an audience that expected fast and immediate attention. The idea no longer seemed to be centered on the patients being served or on the quality of the service, but rather on the money that could be made through providing the quickest gratification.

“There is no health care industry in the United States,” Bankston said. “What we have in the U.S. is an illness care industry.” With the emphasis of care being placed on those who are already sick instead of also working to promote wellness and prevent illness from occurring in the first place, different areas within the industry are straying away from their common goal of providing care. Bankston raised the question, “When is it okay to let one’s rights take a backseat to cost and quality?”

Bankston also discussed the role that social leadership should play in creating change where and when change is needed. She described social leaders as the ones who “bridge the gap between what is and what should be” and encouraged students and faculty to always question why things are done the way they are.

Bankston’s visit gave CHS faculty members the opportunity to open a discussion regarding the role that social contexts play in creating disparities in the health care industry. This information is being considered moving forward as the School of Nursing works to launch a new curriculum this fall.

“Dr. Bankston challenged us with shared experiences and insights into our academic social responsibilities, and we’re especially grateful for her frank contributions to our on-going dialogue about diversity and inclusion.  She is an inspiration for future healthcare professionals,” said Dr. Cathy Taylor, dean of the College of Health Sciences.

“We know that the health care workforce needs to look more like the population we serve,” added Dr. Martha Buckner, associate dean and professor in the School of Nursing. “We lack diversity in our professions and we believe the dialogue generated around [Bankston’s visit] will help move us forward. We also know that health professions faculty need to be more diverse and we hope to inspire a future generation of diversity for academia.”

Physical Therapy Faculty, Alumni and Students Present at American Physical Therapy Association

PT Students present at conference

Belmont University’s School of Physical Therapy had a strong presence at the 2017 Combined Sections Meeting sponsored by the American Physical Therapy Association in February. Physical therapists from around the country gathered in San Antonio, Texas to present research, attend workshops and honor the academic achievements of the past year.

Belmont faculty, alumni and current students were among those attending the conference. The faculty had four presentations and seven posters highlighting their scholarly work including the platform presentation on clinical electrophysiology and wound management by Kathleen Galloway, PT, DSc, ECS.

Several alumni received recognition for specialty certifications including Kristin Story, PT, DPT (’07), the second physical therapist in Tennessee to receive the Cardiovascular and Pulmonary certification. An additional seven alumni were recognized for receiving specialty certifications in sports and orthopaedics.

Additionally, Elise Meade, PT, DPT  (’15) presented research that she completed as part of the Neurologic Residency Program at Vanderbilt Pi Beta Phi Rehabilitation Institute and Belmont. Meade graduated from the residency program in August 2016.

The School of Physical Therapy also had a strong student presence as Jenny Ellison, Abby Lester, Kyla Lydon, Megan Rolfe, Ashely Gowen and Amy Krichau  presented research on a national stage.

College of Pharmacy hosts Fourth Annual Homecoming Continuing Education Program

Presentations during College of Pharmacy's 4th annual Homecoming Continuing Education Event

On Saturday February 25, the College of Pharmacy hosted its annual Homecoming Continuing Education event. Approximately 20 local pharmacists attended the event. Attendees came from across Middle Tennessee and represented a variety of pharmacy practice settings including health system pharmacists and community pharmacists. Presentations included a 2016 New Drug Update, Cyber Risk & Your Pharmacy, Precision Medicine in Pharmacy Practice, Neuropsychiatric Symptoms of Dementia and an Update on the Screening and Treatment of Depression. Belmont faculty Drs. Genevieve Ness, Kate Claussen, Amy Ham and Michael McGuire were among the presenters. Other presenters included Hayden McKaskle of Kroll and Stephanie Walters of Alive Hospice.

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, click here.