OT and PT students serve community’s wheelchair users

WashRoll2013Occupational and physical therapy students took their classroom learning outside during a community service project on Tuesday. During Wash and Roll, dozens of wheelchair users had their power chairs cleaned and serviced free-of-charge by students and faculty from Belmont’s Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy programs and local equipment dealers.

“This collaboration of physical therapy and occupational therapy was to get students involved in community service with an underserved population. Because once they get a wheelchair from insurance, they can get serviced once a year, but it is difficult to find place to get it done,” said Occupational Therapy Assistant Professor Teresa Plummer. “No one just cleans and services chairs, so families of people with medical disability have to do it on their own.”

The service is so rare that Barbara Pierce drove her husband, Marion, 90 miles from Winchester, Tenn. to Belmont’s campus to have his five-year-old wheelchair evaluated and cleaned.

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OT and PT to host Wash & Roll for Wheelchair Users

Wash&RollBelmont University will host a “Wash & Roll” event for wheelchair users on Tuesday, October 22, 2014 from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.   Attendees can bring their wheelchairs to be cleaned and serviced free-of-charge by students and faculty from Belmont’s doctoral programs in physical therapy and occupational therapy, and local equipment dealers.  In addition, there will be opportunity to use a power wheelchair test track, listen to live music, and enjoy offerings from local food trucks.  The event will occur on the courtyard between Belmont’s McWhorter Hall and the Curb Events Center.

Wash & Roll is sponsored by two leading providers of wheelchairs and mobility devices, Permobil and Numotion, as well as the Tennessee Chapter of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association and the Schools of Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy at Belmont University.

Ms. Wheelchair America 2014 to speak at Belmont

JenniferAdams“I’m going to show the world that having a disability is cool!”

Those are the words of Jennifer Adams, Ms. Wheelchair America 2014, who will speak on the “Inclusion Revolution” at Belmont University on Tuesday, October 8, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. in McWhorter Hall Room 110.  The event is sponsored by the Belmont Student Occupational Therapy Association (BSOTA) and is open and free to the public, with convocation credit available to Belmont students.

Ms. Adams is a successful 33-year-old businesswoman from Tacoma, Washington.  She was born with partial limbs and has used a wheelchair her whole life.  She grew up in a family of eight children after being adopted along with five of her siblings, all who had either down syndrome or cerebral palsy.  “I believe that really set me up to grow up into the world with a view of diversity and to accept people from the inside first,” Adams said. “I attribute a lot to my parents.”  Her adopted mother, Jeanne, is a family doctor in Chehalis, Washington.

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OT Faculty and students help produce educational video for Council on Aging

COA Video Picture

A scene from the educational video that faculty and students at Belmont University School of Occupational Therapy helped produce.

Faculty and students from the School of Occupational Therapy recently joined with Resolve TV to produce an educational video for the Council on Aging (COA) of Greater Nashville to demonstrate how family and friends can help safely transport older adults.

The Council on Aging aims to address the needs of older adults and caregivers through information, advocacy and education, acting as a catalyst for comprehensive solutions.  COA identified the need to assist individuals in the Nashville community who help older adults get to and from appointments with doctors, attend church services, run errands and visit family and friends.  While willing to help, these individuals were often unsure of how to safely assist seniors with transfers and mobility with devices such as walkers and wheelchairs.  The Council connected with Belmont University School of Occupational Therapy to create a solution for the problem.

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Health Sciences faculty receive promotions

Congratulations to the following faculty members in the College of Health Sciences who received promotions this summer.

School of Nursing
Martha Buckner from Associate Professor to Professor
Angela Lane from Full-time Adjunct to Assistant Professor
Erin Shankel from Full-time Adjunct to Assistant Professor

School of Occupational Therapy
Shelley Hix from Instructor to Assistant Professor
Tamara Garvey from Full-time Adjunct to Assistant Professor
Camille Turner from Full-time Adjunct to Instructor
Emmy Dagnan from Full-time Adjunct to Instructor

School of Physical Therapy
Renee Brown from Professor to Professor & Chairman

Social Work Department
Jennifer Crowell from Full-time Adjunct to Assistant Professor

Martha Buckner

Martha Buckner


Erin Shankel

Shelley Hix

Shelley Hix


Tamara Garvey


Camille Turner


Renee Brown


Jennifer Crowell


OT professor presents at conference of association fighting Batten Disease

PlummerSmallerDr. Teresa Plummer, Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy, recently presented at the annual conference of the Batten Disease Support and Research Association (BDSRA) held this year in Nashville.   Dr. Plummer shared her expertise in a presentation on handling and positioning children with Batten disease and assistive technology products for children with the disease.

Batten disease affects children from birth and causes mental impairment, worsening seizures, and progressive loss of sight and motor skills over time.  Eventually, the child becomes blind, bedridden and unable to communicate, and the disease is always fatal.  Although Batten disease and related disorders are considered rare, they often strike more than one person in families that carry the defective gene.

BDSRA was formed in 1987 by a family who had three children with the disease.  The association provides technical assistance and support to families who battle the disease while promoting research and education.

Recent Publications of Faculty in the College of Health Sciences

BucknerSmall3Dr. Martha Buckner
Professor of Nursin
Buckner, M. M., Dietrich, M. S., Merriman, C., & Keeley, J. P. (2013). Identifying at-risk nursing students using a midcurricular examina-tion. CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing, 31(4). Retrieved from 10,1097/NXN.0b013e31828a0dda.


DunlapSmall2Dr. Ruby Dunlap
Professor of Nursing
Dunlap, R. K. (2013). Nursing theory and the clinical gaze: Discovery in teaching theory across a cultural divide. Nursing Science Quarterly, 26(2), 176-180.

Dr. John Halle
Professor of Physical Therapy

Halle JS. The Neuromuscular Scan Exam (Chapter Four), in Voight, Hoogenboom, and Prentice (ed), Musculoskletal Interventions: Techniques for Therapeutic Exercise, McGraw-Hill Medical, New York (Scheduled for 2013 publication).


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Residency Project takes OT student on mission to Peru

LongResidency4smallfrom Mary Beth Long
2013 Belmont Graduate with
Occupational Therapy Doctorate

As part of my residency project for the Belmont University’s Occupational Therapy Doctorate Program this year, I worked with Eleanore’s Project, a non-profit organization focused on ergonomically appropriate wheelchair provision and education for families and clinicians in Peru.  This spring, I traveled to Lima, Arequipa and Cusco to participate in the Eleanore’s Project wheelchair clinics. We provided education and 95 properly fitted wheelchairs for children and families throughout Peru.

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OT Professor presents at Seating Symposium in Buenos Aires, Argentina

PlummerLatinAmericaDr. Teresa Plummer, Assistant Professor in the School of Occupational Therapy at Belmont, was a featured presenter at the 2nd annual Latin American Seating Symposium in Buenos Aires, Argentina earlier this month. The conference aims to educate, train and update health professionals with the latest technology to provide solutions of sitting for people with lifelong disabilities and conditions such as neuromuscular disorders, injuries and diseases of the spinal cord, orthopedic problems, systemic diseases, obesity and polytrauma. Over 250 therapists and medical doctors from 14 South and Central American countries attended.

Dr. Plummer was one of four invited international speakers for the event. She presented on the relationship between vision, posture and mobility, and the kinesiological principles of seating and positioning.  She also served on an expert panel to evaluate children with neurological injuries. Dr. Plummer has over 30 years of experience in occupational therapy and has conducted workshops nationally and internationally in the areas of rehabilitation and assistive technology.

McWhorter Giving Society Established to Support Health Sciences

Clayton McWhorter (left) and Dr. Richard Treadway (right) presented the first McWhorter Society Distinguished Service Award to Barbara Massey Rogers (center).

Belmont University’s Office of Advancement recently established the Clayton McWhorter Society, a giving society intended to further the work of Belmont’s health science programs. The new group, which held its inaugural membership lunch on May 2, is named in honor of long-time Belmont supporter Clayton McWhorter and will directly benefit the College of Health Sciences & Nursing, the College of Pharmacy and the new MBA for Healthcare Professionals.

Clayton McWhorter’s leadership and role in the development of healthcare industry giants HealthTrust, Inc. and HCA have made a strong impression in the field of healthcare. In 1996, Clayton, his son Stuart, and a close business friend created the venture capital firm Clayton Associates, which quickly evolved into a hub of strategic business development activities related to new firms in healthcare, technology and diversified services. Continue reading