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.”

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.”

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.

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.

Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame Announces Call for Nominations

The stage and audience at the Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame's 2016 Induction Ceremony

The Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame, an initiative to honor Tennessee’s finest health care leaders, is accepting nominations for its 2017 class via the organization’s website, www.tnhealthcarehall.com. Submissions will be accepted until March 10.

With a mission to honor men and women who have made significant and lasting contributions to the health care industry, the Hall of Fame seeks to recognize the pioneers who have formed Tennessee’s health care community and encourage future generations of innovators and leaders.

Created by Belmont University and The McWhorter Society and supported by the Nashville Health Care Council, a Hall of Fame Founding Partner, the Hall of Fame inducted its six-member 2016 class at a luncheon last year. Inductees included:

  • Jack O. Bovender, Jr.: Retired Chairman and CEO of Hospital Corporation of America, member of the National Health Care Hall of Fame, credited with the rescue of patients in an HCA hospital during Hurricane Katrina
  • Stanley Cohen, Ph.D.: Recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, Faculty Member at Washington University and Professor of Biochemistry at Vanderbilt, completed research on epidermal growth factors that contributed to discoveries for individual cancer and immune system dysfunction therapies
  • Henry W. Foster, Jr., M.D., FACOG: Professor Emeritus and Former Dean of Meharry College’s School of Medicine, Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Vanderbilt University, President Clinton’s Senior Advisor on Teen Pregnancy Reduction and Youth Issues
  • Frank S. Groner, LL.D.: President Emeritus of Memphis’s Baptist Memorial Hospital, Commissioner of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals, Health Consultant to the federal government
  • Paul E. Stanton, Jr., M.D.: President Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of Surgery of East Tennessee State University, served as a member of the Governor’s TennCare Roundtable, assisted in conducting the first review and recommendation of changes to Tennessee’s Medicaid program
  • Colleen Conway Welch, Ph.D., CNM, FAAN, FACNM: Dean Emerita of Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, past Nashvillian of the Year, served on President Reagan’s Commission on HIV Epidemic

Submitted nominees will be evaluated by the Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee, comprised of health care leaders across the state.

Potential inductees must have:

  • Been born, lived or have worked in Tennessee
  • Made a significant impact and lasting contribution to health care at the local, state, national or international level
  • Exhibit the highest ethical and professional character
  • Serve as an outstanding role model in their community

More information, as well as all previous Hall of Fame inductees, can be found here.

Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame Inducts Six Health Care Legends

Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame Inductees and their families members pose for a picture

The Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame inducted its six member, 2016 class at a luncheon and ceremony in Belmont’s Curb Event Center on Monday, October 10. Hosted by President and Chief Executive Officer of the Network for Excellence in Health Innovation Susan Dentzer, the 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.

Created by Belmont University and Belmont’s McWhorter Society with the support of the Nashville Health Care Council, a Founding Partner, the event honored the Hall of Fame’s inductees including:

Jack O. Bovender, Jr.: Retired Chairman and CEO of Hospital Corporation of America, Member of the National Health Care Hall of Fame, Credited with the rescue of patients in an HCA hospital during Hurricane Katrina

Stanley Cohen, Ph.D.: Recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, Faculty Member at Washington University and Professor of Biochemistry at Vanderbilt, Completed research on epidermal growth factors that contributed to discoveries for individual cancer and immune system dysfunction therapies

Henry W. Foster, Jr., M.D., FACOG: Professor Emeritus and Former Dean of Meharry College’s School of Medicine, Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Vanderbilt University, President Clinton’s Senior Advisor on Teen Pregnancy Reduction and Youth Issues

Frank S. Groner, LL.D.: President Emeritus of Memphis’s Baptist Memorial Hospital, Commissioner of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals, Health Consultant to the federal government

Paul E. Stanton, Jr., M.D.: President Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of Surgery of East Tennessee State University, Served as a member of the Governor’s TennCare Roundtable, Assisted in conducting the first review and recommendation of changes to Tennessee’s Medicaid program

Colleen Conway Welch, Ph.D., CNM, FAAN, FACNM: Dean Emerita of Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, Past Nashvillian of the Year, Served on President Reagan’s Commission on HIV Epidemic

Evelyn Kisayke speaks at the induction ceremony.

Evelyn Kisakye speaks at the induction ceremony.

In addition to recognizing the state’s greatest health care legends, the Hall of Fame also exists to raise funds for students interested in pursuing careers in health care. Evelyn Kisakye, a pharmacy student at Belmont and recipient of a McWhorter Society scholarship addressed the crowd. Growing up in Uganda and working alongside her mother, an AIDS nurse, Kisakye said she knew from an early age she was interested in working with overlooked populations. “As a future pharmacist, I want to increase health care access to underserved populations, address healthcare disparities and social determinants in the communities and bridge the gap between developing and developed cities and countries,” she said. “Through this experience, I hope to make difference in the community and walk across this stage again as a Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame.”

The induction ceremony featured acceptance speeches from a number of inductees, both in person or by video.

Health Sciences Students Provide Health Care in Guatemala

Student taking blood pressure of Guatemalan childDuring Belmont’s spring break last March, students and faculty from the nursing, pharmacy, physical therapy and social work programs traveled to Guatemala to provide health screenings, patient teaching programs and medications and vitamins to citizens in Antigua. The trip was made possible through the university’s partnership with a Guatemalan coffee company, Kafes Guatemala, through its CoffeeMed Program. The students and faculty served over 350 people.

Belmont’s College of Health Sciences and Nursing has been involved with the CoffeeMed Program for the last three years, serving more than 800 patients. The program aims to provide basic needs to workers on Guatemalan coffee plantations who don’t always work under ideal conditions. In addition, the program takes students on a hands-on tour of plantations, hoping they will realize the importance of their involvement. Students who participate in the program are expected to fund the trip themselves by selling coffee from Kafes Guatemala in their communities.

In addition to current students and faculty, 2015 nursing graduate Claire Zetak served as a team leader on the trip. Zetak noted the importance of student engagement in an interview conducted recently with Roast Magazine. “In the health care profession, interdisciplinary works are always taking place,” said Zetak. “Nurses are working with doctors or physical therapists or pharmacists, so this is an example of what they’ll be doing in their future careers.”

Founder and President of Kafes Guatemala Pablo Castaneda realizes the value of the help Belmont students bring to Guatemala and expressed his gratitude for their work. “Thank you, Belmont students, for your love for others,” Castaneda said. “Never forget you can change lives for good. Your love for others is impacting so many lives, and it goes beyond medical attention to proving you are serving a living God.”

College of Health Sciences and Nursing Hosts Health Care Academy

Belmont’s College of Health Sciences and Nursing recently hosted a one-day session for high school students interested in pursuing careers in health care through the 2016 Maury Academy for Students in Health (MASH).

A two-week summer camp for local students, MASH included individual sessions designed to expose participants to diverse areas of medicine and health care. Students interacted with health care expects including physicians, registered nurses, medical & radiologic technologists, respiratory therapists and pharmacists to learn about physical assessment, casting, suturing, medical terminology and more.

In a post-survey of their experiences at Belmont, one student commented on the University’s use of technology throughout its curriculum saying, “I enjoyed working with the mannequins. They were super cool! I did not know that our world had that advanced of technology. It is quite amazing.”

Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame Announces 2016 Inductees

Hall of Fame’s second class represents Tennessee’s greatest health and health care pioneers

The Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame announced the six health care professionals selected as the Hall of Fame’s second class of inductees at a luncheon held on Belmont University’s campus Tuesday. With a mission to honor men and women who have made significant and lasting contributions to the health and health care industries, the Hall of Fame was created by Belmont University and the McWhorter Society and is supported by the Nashville Health Care Council, a Hall of Fame Founding Partner.

Chair of the McWhorter Society and Chairman of Medcare Investment Funds Dr. Harry Jacobson said, “This group of six individuals embodies some of the greatest talent our state has ever seen. With representatives from all corners of Tennessee who have made a significant impact on their communities through their work as leaders, practitioners, executives and scientists, the Hall of Fame is honored to name such a deserving group of health care legends as inductees.”

The nomination process began in January and was open to practitioners, executives, entrepreneurs, mentors, teachers, scientists, researchers, innovators or any person with a connection to the health or health care field. Nominees must have:

  • Been born, lived or have worked in Tennessee
  • Made a significant impact and lasting contribution to health care at the local, state, national or international level
  • Exhibit the highest ethical and professional character
  • Serve as an outstanding role model in their community

Among the more than 35 highly qualified candidates nominated, the inductees were reviewed by a Selection Committee made up of health and health care leaders from across the state. Selected inductees represent some of Tennessee’s greatest health and health care pioneers, leaders and innovators.

Inducted individuals include:

  • Jack Bovender: Retired Chairman and CEO of Hospital Corporation of America, Member of the National Health Care Hall of Fame, Credited with the rescue of patients in an HCA hospital during Hurricane Katrina
  • Dr. Stanley Cohen: Recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in medicine and physiology, Faculty Member at Washington University and Professor of Biochemistry at Vanderbilt, Completed research on epidermal growth factors that contributed to discoveries for individual cancer and immune system dysfunction therapiesDr. Colleen Conway-Welch: Dean Emerita of Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, Past Nashvillian of the Year, Served on President Reagan’s Commission on HIV Epidemic and the National Bipartisan Commissions of the Future of Medicare, Founder of Friends of the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Nursing Research
  • Dr. Henry Foster: Professor Emeritus and Former Dean of Meharry College’s School of Medicine, Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Vanderbilt University, President Clinton’s Senior Advisor on Teen Pregnancy Reduction and youth Issues, Pioneered a national model for regionalized perinatal health care systems
  • Dr. Frank Groner: President Emeritus of Memphis’s Baptist Memorial Hospital, Commissioner of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals, Health Consultant to the federal government
  • Dr. Paul Stanton: President Emeriti and Professor Emeriti of Surgery of East Tennessee State University, Served as a member of the Governor’s TennCare Roundtable, Assisted in conducting the first review and recommendation of changes to Tennessee’s Medicaid program

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.

Belmont’s President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “It is widely recognized that Tennessee is a central hub for health care in the United States, and with Nashville at the helm, our community has seen many individuals and organizations take significant strides to shape and advance the industry. Meanwhile, Belmont University has taken a significant role in undergraduate, graduate and executive health care education. The induction of these members into the Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame will help us inspire the next generation of health care leaders, while further promoting Tennessee’s booming success as the nation’s premiere health care hub.”

Created in 2015, the Hall of Fame inducted eight inaugural members last year including Dr. Thomas Frist, Jr., Dr. Thomas Frist, Sr., Dr. Ernest Goodpasture, Jack C. Massey, R. Clayton McWhorter, Dr. David Satcher, Dr. Mildred Stahlman and Danny Thomas.