Natalie Cohlmeyer, a current PharmD student and member of Belmont University’s women’s basketball team from Evansville, Indiana, traveled with her teammates this summer to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil as part of a sports evangelism trip. The team partnered with Brentwood Baptist Church for the endeavor, playing games at the 2016 Olympic basketball venue against three different teams including a Brazilian national team in the Bruins’ age group. The team won each contest handily.
“Going into it, I didn’t really know what to expect,” said Cohlmeyer. “We went down to change those kids’ lives and it ended up changing ours.”
About 100 kids from the schools they had visited during the previous week traveled about two hours via a public bus to watch one of their games. “Those kids spent all their pocket change to come see us play,” said Cohlmeyer. “They were cheering for us in Portuguese and doing the wave throughout the entire game. You want to talk about a moving experience.”
On the last day of the 10-day trip, the team enjoyed some sightseeing, visiting Copacabana Beach, the Christ the Redeemer statue atop Mt. Corcovado and Sugarloaf, a granite monolith with cable cars to its summit.
Cohlmeyer was featured in a story about the trip in her hometown newspaper, The Evansville Courier Press.
Dr. Eric Hobson, professor of pharmacy at Belmont, was recently featured in a story in CrossMap about his service (and that of his family and college) at the Moore Pediatric Surgery Center in Guatemala. CrossMap is a digital Christian living magazine published by The Christian Post.
Dr. Hobson was instrumental in connecting Belmont’s College of Pharmacy with the Moore Center at its inception. The Center was opened in 2011 by The Shalom Foundation in Nashville which owns and operates the facility.
Dr. Hobson provided guidance to students as they created the Center’s pharmacy. “The hospital needed a pharmacy, so I worked with a colleague to design one for the facility and in May of 2011 we brought several students here and opened the pharmacy,” he related. Since then, Belmont student have provided about 95% of the pharmacy services at the Moore Center.
Read the entire story here.
Fred O’Neal, a Belmont University College of Pharmacy student, was one of six student presenters at the Tennessee Pharmacist Association’s Annual Convention this summer. In his presentation, “OTC Medication Clinical Pearls and Therapeutic Updates,” O’Neal educated more than 120 pharmacists and students about allergic rhinitis, the determination of allergy severity and recommendations on the best products for use. At the end of his 15-minute presentation, O’Neal provided several examples and a poll to encourage audience participation.
A team from Belmont’s College of Pharmacy recently spent 10 days in Guatemala City, Guatemala as part of a multidisciplinary surgical mission team serving at The Moore Pediatric Surgery Center. Led by Professor of Pharmaceutical, Social and Administrative Sciences Dr. Eric Hobson, three students – Shelby Blalock, Anais Fraire and Tayler Storrs – served the hospital’s hospitality and outreach team, charged with meeting the patients’ and hospital staff’s physical, emotional and spiritual needs.
Beyond providing chaplaincy services, entertaining patients and anticipating the medical team’s needs, one student was always stationed in the Moore Center’s pharmacy where they served as a pharmacy technician to the hospital’s full-time pharmacist. Each student also observed multiple surgeries including cleft palate repair, tonsillectomy and scar rescission.
Throughout the week, the team cared for 108 children who received life-changing surgery at no cost. Dr. Hobson said a highlight of the care process was sitting, talking and praying with parents while their children were in the operating room. The team reconnected with families the day after surgery and provided each with a Spanish language Bible and a printed set of the prayers team members prayed during the major stages of each child’s hospital stay.
Upon returning from the trip, Blalock said she is thankful for Belmont for allowing her to be a part of something so special. “I woke up this morning full of emotions: sadness because I wasn’t at the Moore Pediatric Surgery Center today, happiness because I remember the impact we were able to make and gratefulness because those kids changed my life more than I could ever imagine changing or impacting theirs,” she said. “It was truly an honor to be able to serve all week and is something that will always be close to my heart.”
Belmont’s College of Pharmacy was recently confirmed as a Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Approved Education Partner, according to a letter recently received by Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical, Social and Administrative Sciences Dr. Anthony Blash.
This designation assures that the College of Pharmacy will be able to join an exclusive group of organizations authorized to offer HIMSS-approved review courses and training programs to prepare candidates for advanced knowledge in health IT or healthcare and sit for IT exams. Blash has also prepared a four-course sequence to prepare Belmont student pharmacists to sit for nationally standardized testing for health professional technology certification.
Pictured top row left to right are Dr. Phil Johnston, Dean of Belmont University College of Pharmacy, Dr. Cathy Ficzere, Chair of the Department of Pharmacy Practice at Belmont University College of Pharmacy, Mr. Bob Mifflin, Executive Director of the Christy-Houston Foundation, Gordon B. Ferguson, President and CEO of St. Thomas Rutherford Hospital, Dr. Amy Hodgin, Residency Director at St. Thomas Rutherford Hospital, John Farringer, Director of Pharmacy at St. Thomas Rutherford Hospital. Dr. Nick Brakefield and Dr. Maggie Goodman (Belmont COP ‘15), inaugural residents, are seated.
Belmont University College of Pharmacy initiated their first post-graduate pharmacy residencies earlier this month in cooperation with Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital and the Christy-Houston Foundation. On July 1, Drs. Maggie Goodman, a 2015 graduate of Belmont’s PharmD program, and Nick Brakefield, a 2015 graduate of Auburn University’s PharmD program, started their year-long residency.
Dr. Philip Johnston, Dean of the College of Pharmacy, remarked, “We are very excited about the partnership with Christy-Houston Foundation and Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital. It is an excellent practice and location to establish a pharmacy residency program. Drs. Hodgin and Farringer will serve as wonderful role models and mentors along with various health care personnel. This helps create jobs in Rutherford county, where the Christy-Houston Foundation focuses, it helps the hospital expand its clinical and administrative services, and helps Belmont establish additional training sites.”
Residencies for pharmacy graduates are a one year program designed to provide structured experience and education for pharmacists who are aspiring to positions in various health-systems. Residency positions are difficult to secure and only about 65% of graduates seeking a residency find a match. The College of Pharmacy worked with the Christy-Houston Foundation to fund a program for two residents at Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital. The grant was approved, underwriting residency stipends, fringe benefits and travel. Once the program is accredited in the summer of 2016, it will be self-sustaining. Belmont’s College of Pharmacy is making an effort to positively affect the number of offerings in middle Tennessee by partnering with funding agencies and area health care facilities to create new jobs.
Sara Thompson, a fourth year Pharmacy student at Belmont University, was recently chosen as a Walmart Scholar by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP). The program recognizes select students and their faculty mentors in an effort to strengthen the recipient’s skills and commitment to a career in academic pharmacy. Dr. Edgar Diaz-Cruz, Assistant Professor of Pharmacy, serves as Thompson’s mentor.
In speaking of Thompson, Dr. Diaz-Cruz said, “It is refreshing to see such maturity , determination, and passion for academic pharmacy and patient education in a pharmacy student.” Thompson is interested in medical Spanish and health disparities as experienced in the Hispanic community. After pharmacy school, she plans to pursue a residency with a teaching certificate program and has a career goal to join academia as a faculty member in pharmacy practice.
The Scholar program provides scholarships to student-faculty pairs to attend the AACP annual meeting and Teachers Seminar which was recently held in National Harbor, Maryland.
Sixteen Belmont faculty and staff members attended and contributed to the 2015 American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) joint meeting with the Association of Faculties of Pharmacy of Canada, recently held in National Harbor, Maryland.
Due to changes in the pharmacy market and pharmacy practice act and the number of new schools, this year’s conference, attended by approximately 2,000 people, was particularly active. Continue reading