Dr. Alisa Spinelli, Assistant Professor of Pharmacy, had a manuscript published earlier this year entitled, “Assessing the Value of a Pharmacy Student First Aid Volunteer Experience at a Large Venue Sporting Event”. The article was written with co-authors, Dr. Randell Doty and Dr. Melonie Stanton from the University of Florida. Their research assessed the perceived value to pharmacy students in volunteering at first aid stations during University of Florida home football games. The study concluded that the volunteer opportunity significantly improved the confidence of pharmacy student participants in providing patient care activities and recognizing patients who were experiencing a medical emergency.
In November, Dr. Tracy Frame, Assistant Professor of Pharmacy, published an article entitled, “Student perceptions of a Self-Care course taught exclusively by team-based learning and utilizing Twitter”, which was co-written with Dr. Kelly Wright and Dr. Melody Hartzler from Cedarville University in Ohio. The objective of their research was to assess student perceptions of the use of team-based learning (TBL) and Twitter in an Introduction to Self-Care course. Overall, their study revealed TBL use in the course as favorable, but course improvements were needed, such as increasing the course to three credit hours and reshaping the use of social media to better engage students in discussion beyond the classroom.
Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Dr. Anthony Blash was recently selected as one of 13 professionals featured in the 2014 publication of Careers in Health Information Technology, a health information technology (HIT) textbook by Brian T. Malec.
The text describes the depth and breadth of job opportunities and careers currently available in HIT and helps readers enter and advance within the expanding field. Blash is featured in the chapter, “HIT Careers in the Education and Training Sector.”
Dr. Eric Hobson, professor in Belmont’s College of Pharmacy, was the featured scholar at the “Colόquio Internacional: Matto Grosso Expedition (1931)” recently held in Cáceres, Brazil by the Universidade do Estado de Mato Grosso (UNEMAT).
His seminar, “Why Descalvados? Mato Grosso Expeditions Between the Wars,” helped to fill gaps in the Brazilian historical record about non-Brazilian scientific exploration activity along Brazil’s western frontier in the early twentieth century.
Dr. Hobson joined UNEMAT history faculty and graduate students on a two-day research trip down the Paraguay River to Fazenda Descalvados — the largest ranch in the western hemisphere during the early 1900s — which served as base camp for many exploration/scientific teams from the United States, including the Theodore Roosevelt/Colonel Rondon Expedition of 1914.
Professor and Dean of the College of Pharmacy Phil Johnston was recently named as one of Nashville Health Council’s 2015 Fellows, the third class of its kind. The class is made up of leaders from all aspects of Nashville’s health care field including bankers, lawmakers, health care providers and management professionals.
One of the class’s 36 participants, Johnston will be part of the Council’s largest class to date. In 2013, the inaugural class graduated 33 participants and in 2014, the class graduated 32 participants.
“The 2015 Fellows include some of the industry’s best and brightest leaders with experience and industry focus spanning all sectors of health care,” said U.S. Senate Majority Bill Frist, who co-directs the initiative with Larry Van Horn, a leading expert in health care management and economics, and professor at Vanderbilt University. “These individuals have a challenging task ahead, and I look forward to the meaningful discussion and debate on our nation’s health care that will come from our rigorous curriculum.”
For more information on this program and the Nashville Health Care Council, click here.
Throughout the fall, fourth year pharmacy students led educational classes at Room In The Inn (RITI), a community of participants, guests, volunteers and staff who work together to offer hope to Nashville’s homeless population. RITI serves more than 4,000 individuals each year – some for only a day, while others for months to years.
Dr. Ashton Beggs, faculty member in the College of Pharmacy, teaches fourth year students at United Neighborhood Health Services (UNHS) Mission Clinic. This clinic provides interdisciplinary primary care services to the homeless population of Nashville. Many of the UNHS clinic patients utilize RITI’s programming for a sense of community and as a ladder to get back on their feet.
RITI offers over 3,000 classes annually, covering a wide range of subjects including health, spirituality, GED preparation and art. Dr. Beggs’s fourth year students teach a weekly class focusing on primary care topics, such as Vaccine Jeopardy and Diabetes Bingo. Participants earn points for taking classes and can use them to purchase socks, gloves and bus passes.
Pharmacy students Tim Furfaro and Mary Martin Johnson led Vaccine Jeopardy in September. Furfaro said, “It was a great experience to teach these patients about vaccines while having fun at the same time. I think it’s important not just to educate people, but to give them a chance to ask their own questions as well.” Johnson said, “I’m confident we clarified common myths about vaccines and hopefully motivated people to ask their health care provider about receiving vaccines they needed.”
In October, Ashley Stovall and Jessica Brinkley taught Vaccine Bingo. Brinkley said, “By the last class we had so many people show up that we ran out of chairs, bingo cards and game pieces. I would say that Vaccine Bingo was a success, and hopefully we helped to prevent many diseases with our educational efforts!”
In November, students Samantha Wheeler and Christie Saldana facilitated Diabetes Bingo. “It’s interesting to hear how patients have learned about diabetes through the experiences they have had either with family members or friends. Even though we taught people with varying degrees of knowledge, everyone commented on how they learned from our class,” said Wheeler.
Dr. Beggs said, “This is a wonderful opportunity for our pharmacy students to learn about providing health education to patients with low health literacy. The feedback from the participants has been consistently positive- remarking about how they are learning about their health and having fun at the same time.”
New program equips graduates for rapid career success, advancement
Starting in fall 2015, prospective pharmacists can pursue the only dual PharmD/MBA degree available in Middle Tennessee at Belmont University in Nashville, the nation’s healthcare capital. Unlike similar programs around the country that require a minimum of five years’ study or offer MBA courses primarily online, Belmont PharmD/MBA students can complete all the requirements for both degrees within four years and will enjoy Belmont’s signature personal interaction from experienced, highly regarded faculty. Moreover, students can complete the degree at a reduced tuition from doing the programs separately.
“The modern practice of pharmacy is constantly evolving, and now—more than ever before—it’s imperative that new PharmD graduates also enter the workforce with a strong business acumen,” said Dr. Phil Johnston, dean of Belmont’s College of Pharmacy. “Regardless of whether a graduate works in a retail, institutional or research site, they must possess robust entrepreneurial skills in business forecasting, employee management, corporate finance and more. A PharmD/MBA dual degree is a timely addition to Belmont’s offerings.”
Dr. Joe Alexander, associate dean of Belmont’s Massey Graduate School of Business, added, “This is a logical extension of our mission to provide business education and thoughtful leadership to the working professionals of Nashville and the Middle Tennessee region. Due to our flexible week-night and summer course schedule, students can complete their MBAs in the same four years as their PharmD while also participating in the internship, study abroad and clinical practice experiences each program requires. Belmont PharmD/MBA graduates will be uniquely prepared for rapid career development.”
According to a 2008 report published in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, the average total first-year compensation for a PharmD/MBA dual degree graduate was 15 percent greater than that of a PharmD graduate. Interestingly, despite the rigor of both programs, students taking the dual-degree route in the study performed better academically, indicated a higher level of program satisfaction and reported increased career opportunities.
Dr. Mollie Allen, manager of professional and college relations for CVS Health, said, “In our latest CVS Health survey of the recent PharmD grads we’ve hired in the past four years, we asked them to rate a number of necessary areas of responsibility they encounter in their daily work. General business knowledge and management skills ranked as one of the top three areas they felt needed the most growth and additional training. Belmont’s new dual PharmD/MBA program will certainly play a key role in filling an important gap today’s pharmacists are perceiving in themselves as they enter the marketplace and better prepare new graduates to quickly succeed.”
Prospective PharmD/MBA students would also be hard-pressed to find a better program. Belmont Pharmacy boasts a 95.33 percent three-year average first attempt pass rate on the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) in addition to 30 full-time terminally-degreed faculty and a low 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio. Meanwhile, Belmont’s MBA program is consistently lauded by both Princeton Review and BusinessWeek, the latter of which ranks Belmont’s Part-Time MBA as the top program in the state. In fact, in its recent report BusinessWeek noted that Belmont’s “faculty experts, innovative courses and small class sizes, as well as dynamic internship, service and study abroad opportunities combine to provide an exceptional learning experience.” Combine those accolades with the location in Nashville—where the health care industry contributes more than 200,000 jobs to the local economy annually—and it’s difficult to imagine a better fit.
Applicants to the dual PharmD/MBA degree must meet the requirements for both the Pharmacy and MBA programs. Prospective PharmD/MBA students should visit the dual-degree program’s information web page for specific application instructions, curriculum information and admissions representative contact information. Email inquiries may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. The PharmD/MBA application deadline is March 1, 2015 for Fall 2015 admission—this is a competitive program so early applications are recommended.
Belmont University College of Pharmacy recently hosted an interactive and innovative certificate program for pharmacists entitled “Delivering Medication Therapy Management (MTM) Services.” Developed by the American Pharmacists Association, the training program explores the pharmacist’s role in providing medication therapy management services to patients.
The goals of the certificate training program are to advance public health and patient care through improved medication use, provide training to enhance pharmacists’ ability to effectively provide MTM services, motivate increased numbers of pharmacists to establish MTM services, and communicate benchmark practices for providing MTM services. Thirty pharmacists- from New Jersey, North Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, and Tennessee- attended the one-day training session led by College of Pharmacy faculty members Dr. Traci Poole and Dr. Ashton Beggs.
The College of Pharmacy’s student American Pharmacists Association (APhA) chapter, advised by Dr. Traci Poole, had 20 attendees at the annual Midyear Regional Meeting, held in Atlanta, Georgia, Oct. 24-26. Student pharmacists participated in various professional development activities and networking events with students from 24 schools and colleges throughout the southeast.
The festivities were kicked off when second-year pharmacy student Kayla Hill was announced as Belmont’s Student Membership Recognition winner due to her work as Fundraising Chair. Belmont second-year student Kathryn Litten participated in the Prescription Relay Race, where she worked with three other student pharmacists from different schools in filling, verifying and counseling a “patient” regarding their prescription.
Third-year student Alexander Tu stayed true to this year’s national theme of “Discover Your Voice,” by running for the regional position of Midyear Regional Meeting Coordinator. Tu amazed the crowd with an informative and humorous speech which led him to victory. With Tu’s win comes the opportunity for the College of Pharmacy to host the 2015 Midyear Regional Meeting in Nashville.
Belmont second-year student and Vice President for Policy Melanie Beaty successfully proposed policy developed by Belmont’s chapter to the Regional House of Delegates regarding promoting patient access to nontraditional therapies and alternative delivery systems via compounds.
Members of Belmont’s College of Pharmacy Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA) walked in the Oct. 4 HIV/AIDs Walk and 5k benefiting Nashville Cares. For the third year in a row, SNPhA has raised more than $1,500 to benefit Nashville Cares. The entire College of Pharmacy contributed through a bake sale as well as individual fundraising efforts. Nashville Cares is a charitable organization that provides lifesaving services to Middle Tennesseans living with HIV/AIDS as well as offers education, prevention and awareness of HIV/AIDS.
Dr. Cathy Ficzere, associate professor and director of drug information services, and Dr. Kinsley Kiningham, College of Pharmacy assistant dean of student affairs, recently completed the 2014 Chairs and Academic Administrators Management Program (CAAMP). The Academy for Academic Leadership (AAL) held the 2014 Chairs and Academic Administrators Management Program (CAAMP) this past summer at the Georgia Tech Conference Center in Atlanta, Georgia. CAAMP is a top-notch leadership and management course designed specifically for department chairs and academic administrators within colleges and schools of the health professions. Since its inception in 2009, over 250 administrative leaders from institutions over the country have participated in CAAMP. Participants developed their leadership abilities through assessments and through peer feedback and individualized, professional coaching. Sessions included learning to lead, managing new tasks and challenges, faculty performance and assessment, strategic planning and budgeting, conflict management, work-life balance, and legal issues in academia.