Health Sciences at Belmont University

27Mar/150

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.

16Mar/15Off

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.

12Mar/15Off

2015 Mission to Guatemala: Day 4

Two separate teams of health science students are in Guatemala over Spring Break this year.  One team consists of nursing and pharmacy students.  The other includes OT and PT students.  Both  team are writing about their experiences.

TaliaFayedGraceCroninTeam OT/PT
from Grace Cronin & Talia Fayed

“God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called”

Today on March 11th, we spent the morning traveling to the community of Las Conchas on the outskirts of Guatemala City. The houses in this community are a single room with concrete floors, tin roofs and walls, and even blankets serving as dividers. Access to clean water is limited and food is sparse. Upon arrival we split up into 3 teams who each visited with a local family in each sector of the community. 2Guatemala04My group went to visit Nicole’s family. Nicole is a 3 year old little girl who has problems with her spinal alignment and is poorly nourished due to problems with feeding. As we came to learn more about her family we found out that Nicole has had a very hard life so far, but now is in the care of her aunt and grandmother. She is being raised by her aunt and grandmother because her mother abandoned her. These two women stepped up to the plate to do God’s work and take care of this sweet soul that Nicole is. These women were certainly not equipped to take on caring for a toddler with special needs, but God has certainly picked the right women! We loved getting to spend time with these women and Nicole. We enjoyed playing with Nicole, loving on her and her family, and teaching her stretches for her back and strategies to help her eat and communicate more. We can’t wait to hear of Nicole’s progress and the joy that she will bring to her family and her community.

11Mar/15Off

2015 Mission to Guatemala: Day 3

Two separate teams of health science students are in Guatemala over Spring Break this year.  One team consists of nursing and pharmacy students.  The other includes OT and PT students.  Both  team are writing about their experiences.

AllisonRichardsonAlliGroot2Team OT/PT
from Ali Groot & Allison Richardson

“God has created us to do small things with great love.”    Mother Theresa

March 10, team Guasome traveled to Elim, a church in Guatemala City. We were able to visit with four families in order evaluate and give suggestions of activities based on the children’s needs. The families were actively engaged with the sessions and eager to learn how they could encourage and improve the quality of care they give their child. Although every member of the team had their own experience with a different family, both of us worked with one special boy named Jimmy.

Jimmy is a 7-year-old boy with cerebral palsy. We collaborated with his eager to learn family on positioning to increase his strength and participation in exploring his environment. It was very inspiring to see the amount of love and support surrounding this child. After two hours Jimmy was out cold in his gracious Mothers arms. His parents explained that Jimmy is a precious gift from God and that they feel blessed that our team was able to come in and share more ideas with them. His father spoke with so much love and hope about Jimmy’s future and it was a true blessing for us to hear his kind words spoken over us. Hearing him speak so freely about God touched our hearts so deeply.

2Guatemala07After stuffing our faces with Gautemalan fried pollo, we decided to get a little exercise and headed to the Guatemala National Olympic training center where one of our amazing translator’s brothers plays adaptive tennis. Jose and Isa showed us how it’s done, making it look much easier than many of us were soon to find out. We were both able to test our skills (or lack there of) on the tennis court. Turns out maneuvering a wheelchair with one-hand results in going nowhere but circles while watching tennis balls fly past you. After we got schooled, Julio (number 46 in the world-NBD) had us all in awe as he and the coach played a match. We broke into groups again and gave the kids and Julio suggestions for stretching, strengthening, and adaptations to help them succeed and minimize discomfort.

10Mar/15Off

2015 Mission to Guatemala: Day 2

Two separate teams of health science students are in Guatemala over Spring Break this year.  One team consists of nursing and pharmacy students.  The other includes OT and PT students.  Both  team are writing about their experiences.

OliviaKennedyGabbyLaGaceTeam OT/PT
from Gabby LaGace & Olivia Kennedy

Today was full of adventure!! Our first stop was an orphanage named Rosa de Amor in Guatemala City. We were greeted with hugs, warm smiles and words of thanks from the staff.   Here we spent the morning playing with and assessing the needs of the children. We were broken into 4 teams mixed of OT and PT students and we were able to see children ages 12 months to 16 years old all with contagious smiles and enthusiasm. 2Guatemala01Together with the staff of Rosa del Amor, we collaborated to determine appropriate exercises and activities to enhance development of the children.

Next stop was Hope for Tomorrow. This is a home for children founded by two American women who were both adoptive mothers of Guatemalan children. The team split into two groups. The first group brought many children to the local playground while the second group worked with the staff to develop a plan for a future sensory room. They also completed thorough assessments of the children with disabilities.

2Guatemala02The PT's worked with the staff to fit a child for orthotics to correct an abnormal gait. The OT's also worked along side the staff to determine appropriate treatment approaches to further the children's fine motor development and participation.

The staff of Hope for Tomorrow couldn't have been more eager to work with us and problem solve together. Their passion for caring for the children was inspiring. What a great start to our trip and we look forward to our next stop on this journey.

27Feb/15Off

Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame Opens Nominations for Inaugural Class

fountain-2014-105-300x199With a mission to honor men and women who have made significant and lasting contributions to the health and health care industry, The Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame seeks to recognize and honor the pioneers and current leaders who have formed Tennessee’s health and health care community and encourage future generations of health care professionals.

The nominations process began on February 20 and will continue until April 10 at www.tnhealthcarehall.com. Created by Belmont University and the McWhorter Society, The Hall of Fame is supported by the Nashville Health Care Council, a Hall of Fame Founding Partner. The inaugural class will be announced at the McWhorter Society’s May 5 luncheon.

In addition to recognizing Tennessee’s most influential health and health care leaders, The Hall of Fame will serve as an on-going educational resource to document the rich history that has contributed to Tennessee’s position as a leader for national health care initiatives.

26Jan/15Off

Interprofessional Workshop offered for graduate health science programs

interprofessional-orientation-139-300x185At the beginning of the spring semester, first year graduate students in the College of Health Sciences & Nursing had their first experience working and learning together under the guidance of more than 25 volunteer faculty.  Using a case study approach, nursing, occupational therapy and physical therapy graduate students worked together to design the best treatment plan for an elderly patient with complex health problems. The new students then tackled the “Marshmallow Challenge,” a fun and creative exercise designed to encourage teams to experience simple but profound lessons in collaboration, innovation and creativity.

College of Health Sciences & Nursing Dean Dr. Cathy Taylor said, “According to the World Health Organization (2010), ‘interprofessional education (IPE) occurs when two or more professions learn about, from and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes.’ Emerging evidence links interprofessional (IP) teams to better patient outcomes. As we move into the next phase of healthcare reform, licensed professionals must be able to work effectively in teams and communicate vital patient information clearly.”

29Nov/14Off

Belmont Occupational Therapy students collaborate with future Occupational Therapy Assistants

OT-OTA Collaboration

Three students preparing to be occupational therapy assistants at Nashville State Community College join the first year class of doctoral students in Belmont's Occupational Therapy program.

First year doctoral students in Belmont's Occupational Therapy program recently hosted students and faculty from the Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program at Nashville State Community College (NSCC) as part of their preparation for upcoming fieldwork experiences.

Ms. Donna Whitehouse, Associate Professor and Director of NSCC's OTA program, was joined by OTA students, Ashley Collins, Amber Sevier-Hunt  and Chelsey Morton, in sharing information about the OTA curriculum, the roles and responsibilities of an occupational therapy assistant, and supervision guidelines.

The purpose of the class was to familiarize the students with how  occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants collaborate to deliver occupational therapy services.

22Aug/14Off

OT students and faculty begin year with service

2014OrientationAs part of the new student orientation this week, the School of Occupational Therapy had 57 students and faculty members involved in an afternoon of service at six different locations around the Nashville area. Service opportunities included shopping for refugee families with World Relief, sorting and organizing equipment for the Tennessee Disability Coalition, packaging newborn kits and prenatal vitamins at LiveBeyond, doing landscaping at Homeplace, making cards for Meals on Wheels through Fifty Forward and interacting with residents at Morningside Assisted Living Facility.  Through these service experiences, they got to know each other while learning about organizations around the Belmont community and being introduced to service, which is a key value of the University and a central theme in the occupational therapy curriculum design.

25Jun/14Off

OT Professor is presenter at Swiss Conference

PlummerSmallerDr. Teresa Plummer, Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy, was a presenter this spring at the Interdisciplinary Seating and Mobility Conference in Nottwil, Switzerland. The conference was held at the Switzerland Paraplegic Center, a 150 bed facility dedicated to spinal cord injury rehab and research. Dr. Plummer’s presentation was on the Relationship of Vision, Posture and Mobility.