Health Sciences at Belmont University


Belmont Nurses Christian Fellowship Joins Passion Partners to Collect Sanitary Towels

Achievers.SweetCeCesThe Belmont Nurses Christian Fellowship (NCF) has joined forces with Passion Partners, a nonprofit missions organization, to launch their annual Pad Project campaign that collects feminine hygiene products for Ugandan and Kenyan girls who would otherwise be unable to attend school. The donations are wrapped as gifts and distributed at monthly Purity Project meetings at high schools in Wakiso and Kampala, Uganda, where girls are taught about health, self-worth and the Bible.

NCF is currently in the donation stage, after having launched the campaign at an event at Sweet CeCes in March. Further monetary donations are still being collected. Beyond fundraising, the organization is hoping to surpass the 7,800 pads collected last year with a goal of 10,000 pads.

Donations can be dropped off in collection boxes located in the Beaman Women’s locker room and lobby, Inman restrooms, McWhorter Pharmacy, Heron and Wright, the Bruin Hills Club House and the women’s restrooms in the Library and first floor of the Wedgewood Academic Center, near the food court. On April 28, all pads will be collected, packaged and prepared for shipment.

Click here to watch a video on the project.


PT faculty member receives award and students present research projects at statewide meeting

BurschLikens3Gail Bursch, Associate Professor of Physical Therapy, received the 2015 Carol Likens Award (CLA) presented by the Tennessee Physical Therapy Association (TPTA) at their annual meeting recently. The award is given annually to a TPTA member who has provided exceptional service to the profession of physical therapy.  Bursch served as Chair of the Nashville District of TPTA for 11 years, was Vice President of the Tennessee Chapter for 5 years and most recently chaired the TPTA Nominating Committee for 4 years.  The Likens award is named for its first recipient who served the chapter as president from 1985 to 1995 and whose vision, leadership and commitment to the profession brought the TPTA through one of its greatest periods of growth and service to members.

The TPTA meeting also provided Belmont’s School of Physical Therapy with the opportunity to present student research projects.   One group, mentored by Dr. Cathy Hinton, Professor of Physical Therapy, presented a poster entitled “A Comparison of the Effects of Superficial Heat and Thermal Ultrasound on Hamstring Extensibility”.  The group consisted of students Danielle Wisse, Jennifer Braswell, Morgan McBride, Chelsea Taylor and Katie Wood.

Another poster was presented by a group mentored by Dr. Renee Brown, Professor of Physical Therapy, and adjunct professor, Penny Powers.  The research measured the “Effects of Educational Intervention on use of Tilt-in-Space, Functional Mobility, and Pain in Full-time Wheelchair Users”.  Student researchers included Ashley Barrett, Leigha Cuellar, Meagan Heney and Martha Schumpert.

A third student research group, also mentored by Dr. Brown, was awarded a TPTA grant for their study, “Exploring the Effects of Kinesiotaping on the Gait and Level of Pain in Individuals with Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease”.   The team of grant recipients included Kelly Weaver, Casie House and Lisa Farrar.


Dean Taylor Contributes to Maternal and Child Health Navigator

TaylorSmallDean of the College of Health Sciences Cathy Taylor was part of the original design team of national experts, supported by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), who worked to develop and launch the MCH Navigator beginning in 2010.

The MCH Navigator is an online portal and clearinghouse for maternal and child health professionals, students and others working to improve the health of women, children, adolescents and families for training on key MCH and leadership topics. The project contains in-depth training portals on specific issues of importance to public health professionals and highlights learning opportunities focused on MCH topics.

The team worked on the project for several years, and after development and testing, the Navigator is housed and maintained at Georgetown University with permanent support by a grant from the MCH Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Click here to learn more about the project.

The team’s paper, “The MCH Navigator: Tools for MCH Workforce Development and Lifelong Learning,” describes the Navigator and the development process and was published last month in the MCH Journal. Click here for the abstract and full text.


DNP students attend National Policy Summit in Washington DC

Pictured are DNP students Jennifer Jaramillo, Kathryn Dambrino, Danielle Voss, and Kristen Allen as they wait for a meeting in Senator Bob Corker's office.

Pictured are DNP students Jennifer Jaramillo, Kathryn Dambrino, Danielle Voss, and Kristen Allen as they wait for a meeting in Senator Bob Corker's office.

Four doctor of nursing practice (DNP) students attended the AACN Student Policy Summit held in Washington, DC earlier this week. The students were immersed in program sessions focused on the federal policy process and nursing’s role in professional advocacy. Aspart of the summit they made visits to capitol hill with Associate Dean of Nursing Dr. Martha Buckner, meeting with legislative staff of the senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension committee. Student Jennifer Jaramillo said, "The policy summit was such an amazing opportunity to advocate for nurses in Tennessee and across the nation. Building a network with other nursing leaders was an invaluable experience that will enrich our future practices. Advocacy and policy play a major role in our nursing practice and the future of our profession."


Occupational Therapy Students Participate in Day on the Hill

2015DayontheHill1More than 50 Belmont Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) students recently attended the Tennessee Occupational Therapy Association’s (TNOTA) Day on the Hill.

The students joined a group of 120 other students and practitioners from across the state, forming the largest organized representation to date for TNOTA Day on the Hill.

The group was led by Belmont Professor of Occupational Therapy Dr. Hachtel and John Williams, TNOTA’s state lobbyist who provided an orientation regarding pertinent bills potentially affecting the profession on the state legislature’s docket this session.

2015DayontheHill2After the orientation, the students met with Health Committee members to discuss the role of occupational therapy and how specific bills affect services provided to the legislator’s constituents. Additionally, Belmont OTD students helped staff TNOTA’s booth at Legislative Plaza to promote the profession to all state government officials.


Belmont MSN graduates achieve 100% first-time pass rate for 11th straight year

2014MSNGradsSince 2004, all graduates of Belmont’s Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) program for Family Nurse Practitioners (FNP), totaling 150 students, have passed the nursing certification exam on their first attempt. The most recent class of 28 graduates passed the exam this spring.

Dean of the College of Health Sciences Cathy Taylor said, “This is marvelous recognition for our outstanding students and a testimonial to the passionate dedication of an expert graduate nursing faculty team led by Dr. Leslie Higgins. We are so proud of this remarkable accomplishment.”

The School of Nursing began offering its MSN degree 20 years ago and with the creation of the Doctorate of Nursing, the graduate programs have grown to a record enrollment of 87 students in the fall of 2014. Prepared to practice in a variety of settings, FNPs provide primary health care to families and individuals of all ages. Graduates from Belmont’s program have gone on to practice in pediatrics, genetics, family practice and public health, among others.

Lucille Turmel, a 2012 Belmont graduate, found Belmont’s post-master’s certification program directly fit her needs and prepared her for a career as an FNP. Currently working in a private practice in Washington, Turmel said she enjoys working with all ages of patients and has recently developed a passion for teenagers and young adults.

While at Belmont, Turmel said the best part of her education was the “personal attention and guidance from Dr. Higgins and the faculty and staff…I felt very well prepared and was employed two months after leaving Belmont.”

The advanced practice nursing examination for FNPs is administered by the American Credential Center (ANCC) and validates nursing skills, knowledge and abilities. Since 1990, more than a quarter million nurses have been certified by ANCC and over 80,000 advanced practice nurses are currently certified by the ANCC. The certification is accepted by governing boards throughout the U.S. as well as insurers and the military.


Nursing student completes military training programs

We missed this post several months ago, but the accomplishment is worth recognizing even a bit late.

As posted by Nashoba Publishing in Ayer, Massachusetts

ElizabethLochiattoElizabeth M. Lochiatto, an Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps cadet at Belmont University, Nashville, Tenn., has graduated from the Leader Development and Assessment Course at Fort Knox, Ky.

The 29 days of training provide the best possible professional training and evaluation for all cadets in the aspects of military life, administration and logistical support. Although continued military training and leadership development is included in the curriculum, the primary focus of the course is to develop and evaluate each cadet's officer potential by exercising the cadet's intelligence, common sense, ingenuity and physical stamina. The cadet command assesses each cadet's performance and progress in officer traits, qualities and professionalism while attending the course.

Cadets usually attend LDAC between their junior and senior years of college, and they must complete the course to qualify for commissioning. Upon successful completion of the course, the ROTC program, and graduation from college, cadets are commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army, Army National Guard or Army Reserve.

Lochiatto has also completed the Nurse Summer Training Program.

This program assigns cadets who are nursing majors to Army medical facilities throughout the continental United States as well as in Germany, where they develop and practice leadership skills in a clinical environment. The cadets work side-by-side with an Army Nurse Corps officer preceptor.

Read more:

PT professor honored by Komen as Pink Tie Guy

SellsSmall2Dr. Pat Sells, Professor of Physical Therapy, was recently honored by the Greater Nashville affiliate of Susan G Komen as part of the 2015 class of Pink Tie Guys. Dr. Sells was among nine individuals from middle Tennessee who were recognized this year.

The Pink Tie Program honors  influential leaders who help mobilize, energize and engage audiences in the breast cancer movement through their role within the community, within their organizations, and through their personal involvement. The Pink Tie Guys are leaders who bring a male voice to the urgency of finding the cure.

It was Dr. Sells’ interest in service that first led him to get involved with Susan G. Komen and the Race for the Cure.  His interest in the Komen events was heightened following the passing of his grandmother, who happened to be a 20 plus year survivor of breast cancer.  After her passing, Pat spent a great deal of time contemplating the courage, strength, determination and faith required of someone facing breast cancer, a strong motivational influence to help find a cure.

Dr. Sells, along with 2014 Pink Tie Guy and fellow Belmont professor, Dr. Mike Voight, coordinate over 100 student volunteers from the School of Physical Therapy prior to and during the Race for the Cure event each year.  The students were recognized in 2013 by Komen International as the Outstanding Volunteer Group of the Year.


Belmont’s MSN program Included on U.S. News’ 2016 Graduate School Rankings

Belmont University’s Gordan E. Inman College of Health Sciences and Nursing was lauded last week when U.S. News and World Report released its 2016 rankings of Best Graduate Schools, a tool to help prospective graduate students better understand the graduate school landscape and identify potential programs. Belmont’s Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) ranked at No. 115, up from No. 234 in the 2011 rankings.

The MSN ranking is based on average peer assessment score, average undergraduate GPA, acceptance rate, faculty resources, student-faculty ratio and research activities, among others.  In addition to its recent U.S. News ranking, Belmont’s MSN program has seen great success through the first time pass rate of graduates. For the 11th consecutive year, graduates of the MSN program for Family Nurse Practitioners have achieved a 100 percent first time pass rate on the nursing certification exam totaling 150 student graduates since 2004.


OT and PT students, faculty and alumni present at International Seating Symposium

ISS 2015 Go Baby Go 2

Belmont OT student, Jayme Mills and BU PT alumnus, Marna Jane Bevill watch as a child test drives her new “ride.”

Six doctoral students from the School of Occupational Therapy recently joined with Dr. Teresa Plummer, Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy, Dr. Nancy Darr, Professor of Physical Therapy, and several graduates of both programs to teach a Go Baby Go preconference workshop at the annual International Seating Symposium (ISS) held in Nashville this year.  The ISS is the lead educational and scientific conference in the field of wheelchair seating & mobility and related technologies.

The student presenters included Elizabeth Davis, Gabrielle LaGrace, Emily McClearran, Jayme Mills, Kelly Phipps and Betsy Philo, all second year OTD students.  OTD alumnus Cassie Swinehart and DPT alumnus Marna Jane Bevill assisted in the presentation which was coordinated with Go Baby Go Music City and the Center for Independent Living.

Workshop participants were instructed in how to modify commercially available ride on toys for young children with disabilities.  Several children with physical disabilities participated in the workshop and received ride on cars modified by participants with assistance from the instructors and Go Baby Go Music City volunteers.   Modified ride on cars enable children with physical disabilities to interact and play with peers thus improving communication, vision, cognition and motivation to move.