College of Pharmacy hosts Fourth Annual Homecoming Continuing Education Program

Presentations during College of Pharmacy's 4th annual Homecoming Continuing Education Event

On Saturday February 25, the College of Pharmacy hosted its annual Homecoming Continuing Education event. Approximately 20 local pharmacists attended the event. Attendees came from across Middle Tennessee and represented a variety of pharmacy practice settings including health system pharmacists and community pharmacists. Presentations included a 2016 New Drug Update, Cyber Risk & Your Pharmacy, Precision Medicine in Pharmacy Practice, Neuropsychiatric Symptoms of Dementia and an Update on the Screening and Treatment of Depression. Belmont faculty Drs. Genevieve Ness, Kate Claussen, Amy Ham and Michael McGuire were among the presenters. Other presenters included Hayden McKaskle of Kroll and Stephanie Walters of Alive Hospice.

Belmont University College of Pharmacy is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) as a provider of continuing pharmacy education. For more information on upcoming Continuing Education opportunities, click here.

Pharmacy Faculty, Students Represent Belmont at Graduate School Fair

 College of Pharmacy presents at Grad School FairStudent pharmacists Markesha Cook and Caleb Darensbourg recently represented Belmont at a Graduate School Fiar hosted by the Tennessee Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (TLSAMP). Held on Feb. 23, the Fair was conducted in conjunction with the TLSAMP Annual STEM Undergraduate Research Conference.  Drs. Edgar Diaz-Cruz and Marilyn Odom represented the College of Pharmacy faculty.

The Alliance is composed of 10 institutions in Tennessee — Fisk University, LeMoyne-Owen College, Middle Tennessee State University, Nashville State Community College, Southwest Tennessee Community College, Tennessee State University, Tennessee Technological University, University of Memphis, University of Tennessee-Knoxville and Vanderbilt University.

College of Pharmacy Welcomes Lipscomb Academy High School Students

Libscomb Academy students touring Belmont's pharmacy lab

On February 15, the College of Pharmacy hosted AP Language and AP Biology students from Lipscomb Academy High School. The AP Language class, taught by Mrs. Chasidy Burton, is currently reading “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” and Chair of Belmont’s Department of Pharmaceutical, Social and Administrative Sciences Dr. Marilyn Thompson Odom has a daughter who is enrolled in that class. Odom’s daughter volunteered to show the class the HeLa cells and the invitation was then extended to the AP Biology class, which is taught by Mr. Geoff Musick. With the aid of Dr. Kelley Kiningham, associate dean of the College of Pharmacy, 32 students plus their teachers and principal, Mr. Lanny Witt, were able to tour Belmont’s pharmacy research laboratories and visualize the cells.

The students viewed the cells through three different microscopes and were able to note the differences between each microscope and the ones they use in class. The ability for students to see and discuss the HeLa cells with scientists who use them made the book more relevant. After looking at the cells, the students enjoyed lunch at Belmont’s Harrington Place Dining Hall.

College of Pharmacy hosts First Annual Middle Tennessee Antimicrobial Stewardship Symposium

ASP Symposium at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. January 27, 2017.Dr. Montgomery Williams, associate professor of pharmacy practice, with the help of Dr. Shaefer Spires, assistant professor with Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, developed and planned the first Middle Tennessee Antimicrobial Stewardship Symposium. This event was held in the Janet Ayers Conference Center on Friday, January 27. The symposium was attended by more than 80 health care workers from multiple disciplines including pharmacists, physicians, nurses and those involved with infection prevention and patient safety and quality.  The symposium theme was “Putting Policy into Practice – Tools for Implementation.”

Antimicrobial stewardship is a growing national focus as concerns of antimicrobial resistance, side effects and Clostridium difficile continue to mount. This symposium brought together key stakeholders and practitioners to learn more about this topic and discuss ways to work together as a medical community to improve appropriate antimicrobial use and mitigate these risks. The symposium featured speakers from across the country, who discussed topics including legislative updates in stewardship, the use of rapid diagnostics, how to use stewardship to reduce C. difficile and changing provider behavior. During the afternoon, participants were divided into workshop sessions led by pharmacists and physicians where  many different topics were discussed, including stewardship program outcome measures, stewardship considerations in the pediatric population (led by Dr. Courtney Curtis Sutton, Belmont College of Pharmacy 2013 graduate) and engaging administration in stewardship. Given the success of the event, the symposium is likely to be an annual event.

Dr. Weston Participates in the Planning of the 2017 AACP Annual Meeting

Dr. Weston's headshotDr. Scott Weston, associate dean for academic affairs and assessment in Belmont’s College of Pharmacy, recently participated in the planning of the 2017 annual meeting of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) in Alexandria, Virginia. Weston, along with a committee of other selected members representing pharmacy schools from across the country, reviewed and discussed the hundreds of proposals for poster, podium and roundtable presentations in order to select the programming for this year’s meeting, which will be held in Nashville.

Founded in 1900, the AACP is the national organization representing pharmacy education in the United States.  AACP is comprised of all colleges and schools with pharmacy degree programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. This includes more than 6,400 faculty and 62,500 students enrolled in professional programs as well as 5,100 individuals pursuing graduate study. The AACP’s annual meeting is the largest gathering of academic pharmacy administrators, faculty and staff and each year offers 70 or more educational programs that cut across all disciplines in pharmacy.

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, 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.

Pharmacy Faculty and Students Present at ASHP Meeting

Thirty members of the student pharmacists body and five faculty of the College of Pharmacy attended the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Midyear Clinical Meeting and Exposition.

Presenting a poster at the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting is a noteworthy accomplishment and we commend our students who have prepared a poster and presented it at this international meeting.  Posters presented included (photos below):

  • Comparison of ocular gel forming solutions of gellian and calcium gluconate with and without polyvinyl pyrollidone. (Nate Berger, Caitlin Medley)
  • Metronidazole-induced cerebellar toxicity following prolonged course of therapy. (Kelsie Yates and Angel Johnson)
  • Cholesterol medications and breast cancer: Unraveling the potential value of statins in breast cancer treatment.  (Brittany Hayes)
  • Antiproliferative and chemosensitizing effects of metformin in neuroblastoma cell lines. (Allison Karst and Cassandra Boils)
  • Impact of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) blood culture identification technology on antimicrobial stewardship. (Alexander Kreimer and Charlie Upton)
  • Findings and implementation of the multiplex polymerase chain reaction meningitis/encephalitis panel in a community hospital. (Kathryn Litten)

Student Pharmacists Alex Kreimer and Charlotte Wesley represented Belmont University College of Pharmacy in the international clinical skills competition final rounds, and Dr. Montgomery Williams presented an invited platform presentation titled Antimicrobial Stewardship:  Innovative Practices in Community Hospitals.

Belmont student pharmacists and faculty welcomed alumni at a reception in conjunction with the meeting.  Many of these alumni are completing post graduate year one and post graduate year two residencies throughout the country.

ASHP’s Midyear Clinical Meeting and Exhibition is the largest gathering of pharmacists in the world. With its focus on improving patient care and medication safety, the meeting is attended by more than 20,000 pharmacy professionals from around the globe. For more than 50 years, the Midyear Clinical Meeting has provided pharmacy practitioners with a value-packed event for advancing knowledge, networking with colleagues, enhancing practice skills, and learning about the latest products and innovations.

Johnston Appointed to NashvilleHealth Steering Committee

Johnston's headshotDr. Phil Johnston, dean of Belmont University’s College of Pharmacy, was recently appointed to the NashvilleHealth Steering Committee, set up to guide and advise the organization in its efforts moving forward. The committee consists of 24 business, government and community leaders who carry diverse expertise in health and the factors that impact it. The group will work alongside NashvilleHealth’s Governing Board to align community attention and resources in an effort to address poor health outcomes and health equity issues.

Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader and NashvilleHealth Founder Bill Frist said, “These 24 local leaders are critical champions for NashvilleHealth and Nashville as a whole. We will rely on each of them to provide guidance on our overall community-developed strategic plan, help execute tactical implementation, advise on the development of pilot programs and monitor outcomes of our initiatives.”

NashvilleHealth is an organization dedicated to creating a culture of health and wellbeing in the Nashville area. It aims to open dialogue and build strategic partnerships to help close the gap in health disparities.

College of Pharmacy Partners with Nashville Zoo for Research Project

Over the past two years, Belmont University’s College of Pharmacy has been working closely with the Nashville Zoo’s Veterinary Services to provide an answer to a research question that could help zoos across the globe provide better care for their lorikeets. Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences Dr. Steven Stodghill and several  students have been working with the zoo’s flock of over 80 lorikeets to conduct their research and come up with a reliable conclusion.

The goal of the study is to discover how large a dosage of the drug ponazuril lorikeets need to protect them from Sarcocystosis, a seasonal parasitic disease, without overdosing them. The drug is given to the lorikeets regularly and up until this point, few studies have been conducted to determine the actual amount needed. Once the results are in, findings will be shared in the Exotic Animal Drug Formulary for use by other zoos that keep their lorikeets in an outdoor aviary environment.

“Accuracy of dosing is critical for accurate treatment,” Director of the Nashville Zoo’s Veterinary Services Dr. Heather Robertson said in a post on the Zoo’s blog. “If you overdose, you could cause other unintended health concerns. If you under dose, you are not treating appropriately which isn’t helping the animal improve. The results derived from this research will positively impact institutions housing parrots and lorikeets around the world.”

For more information on this research project, visit the Nashville Zoo’s blog.

Odom Elected to AACP Governance Position

Dr. Odom's headshotDr. Marilyn Thompson Odom, chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical, Social and Administrative Sciences in the Belmont University College of Pharmacy, was recently elected as the secretary of the biological sciences section of the American Association of the Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP). Odom has been a member of the AACP since 2009, previously serving positions that placed her in charge of reviewing the New Investigator Awards, the Student-Led Community Engagement Awards and abstracts for the AACP’s annual meetings. In her new position within the biological sciences section, Dr. Odom will serve as the college’s faculty delegate at the annual AACP meeting.

Dean of Belmont’s College of Pharmacy Dr. Phil Johnston said, “We are so proud of Dr. Odom and all of our pharmacy faculty. This is verification that we are acknowledged as leaders in the profession and in the academy. We celebrate the election of Dr. Odom into this important post.”

Founded in 1900, the AACP is the national organization representing pharmacy education in the United States. The mission of the AACP is to lead and partner with its members in advancing pharmacy education, research, scholarship, practice and service to improve societal health. The AACP is comprised of all accredited colleges and schools with pharmacy degree programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, including more than 6,400 faculty members, 62,500 students enrolled in professional programs and 5,100 individuals pursuing graduate study.