Pharmacy Students part of Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Group that Wins Simulated Experience Competition

Students participating in SAP-simulated group project represent four disciplines from across campus

Students from Belmont’s Jack C. Massey College of Business Graduate School of Business (MBA and Professional MBA), College of Pharmacy (joint PharmD/MBA) and College of Law (joint MBA/JD) that are enrolled in an accounting course and a management course recently participated in a SAP-simulated group project and won among their classmates. This is the first time that a student group has included participants from all four disciplines.

The SAP-based simulation provides an opportunity for graduate students, in groups of 4-5, to run a simulated company. Each team is responsible for making strategic decisions including product mix, pricing and marketing levels, investment in additional capacity and cash flow management, among other things. They then operate their companies over six simulated ‘months’ of productions. This opportunity is unique as students are able to use SAP, an enterprise software system that is used by many leading manufacturing companies including Nissan, Bridgestone, Tractor Supply Company and Mapco.

Associate Dean & Senior Professor of Performance Excellence Dr. Joe Alexander said the opportunity to work alongside students from other disciplines is incredibly valuable for participants. “In contemporary business settings, that’s the name of the game,” Alexander said. “Cross-functional teams where individuals from different departments and functions must learn to work together, utilizing the skills and information from their areas to help make teams more successful in solving business problems are apparent in today’s organizations.”

Pharmacy Students Serve at Camp for Children with Diabetes

Camp Sugar Falls

For several years, students from Belmont’s College of Pharmacy have served as counselors for children’s overnight diabetes camps in Alabama and Florida, gaining fourth-year advanced practice experience and clinical course credit. This year, the College extended the opportunity for students who completed their first or second professional year of classes to serve as a counselor for a day camp, Camp Sugar Falls, located in Antioch, Tennessee. Professor of Pharmacy Dr. Condit Steil has fostered these effort for many years, both at Belmont and on a national scale.

The opportunity for student pharmacists to become more aware of children’s needs and support them as they deal with diabetes is valuable. Many patients with diabetes rely on pharmacists for supplies, medications and advice. Student pharmacist David Luong said, “Having been a counselor this week has been fun and very educational. We learned about treating diabetes, the intricacies of monitoring and insulin dosing and carbohydrate counting.”

In the camp, Belmont’s student pharmacists worked with and learned from other health care providers including physicians, nurses, nutritionists and counselors. The American Diabetes Association’s Camp Sugar Falls is a day-camp experience for children ages 6 to 17 that have been diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.  Children and counselors engage in a week of recreational and educational activities that focus on nutrition, lifestyle habits, self-esteem and team building. Camp Sugar Falls takes place at the YMCA’s Camp Widjiwagan.

Belmont Wins Inaugural Siloam Health’s Bridge Builder Award

Photo by Brad Moore / B.MOORE VISUALS. retired Belmont employees John and Nancy Le with University President Dr. Bob Fisher and Mrs. Judy Fisher.

Award given to recognize community partner committed to assisting Nashville’s New Americans

In honor of the University’s commitment to helping New Americans throughout the Nashville community, Belmont was recently honored with Siloam Health’s inaugural Bridge Builders Award. Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher accepted the award at Siloam’s Amplify Nashville Awards Ceremony held on June 22 at Oz Arts. Belmont’s award by presented by Milton Johnson, CEO of HCA and Belmont trustee.

Siloam hosted the event to celebrate the immigrants and refugees who contribute to Nashville’s status as a growing, great city. The event celebrated four honorees for their tireless commitment to Nashville’s cultural diversity including:

  • Community Catalyst Award: Kasar Abdulla (Valor Collegiate Academies)
  • Good Neighbor Award: Fabian Bedne (Hispanic Family Foundation and Metro Council)
  • Culture Shaper Award: Cano and Esen Ozgener (OZ Arts Nashville)
  • Bridge Builder Award: Belmont University and Dr. Bob Fisher

Under Fisher’s leadership, Belmont consistently strives to align its vision with the ever-changing needs of its community and works to help New Americans get ahead with their education and in life. The University makes intentional efforts to hire documented, sponsored refugees, encouraging them to take advantage of the University’s educational offerings and covering the cost of ESL courses. Additionally, Belmont considers students living in the United States for admission without regard to immigration standing and offers support to assist foreign-born students with enrollment and the transition to college life.

Additionally, Belmont’s Colleges of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and Nursing have been in partnership with Siloam for many years. Dr. Elissa Greene, assistant professor of pharmacy, practices at Siloam when she isn’t teaching at Belmont and hosts student pharmacists daily for clinical rotations. Students serve as resources for medical personnel, make recommendations on medication, provide patient and family counseling and make home visits, among other things. Nursing students also visit Siloam for clinical experiences, faculty members serve as regular volunteers and the College will be partnering with the organization’s faith-based, community health outreach program in the future.

John and Nancy Le, pictured above with Dr. and Mrs. Fisher, were also present at the ceremony. The Les, both retired Belmont employees, came to Nashville from Vietnam 25 years ago under Catholic Charities. They both worked at the University for more than 20 years, and four of their children and grandchildren have attended Belmont. Their story was shared at the event as an example of Belmont’s commitment to Nashville’s new Americans.

“It is so important for Belmont to serve the Nashville community,” Fisher said. “We are honored to call Nashville home, and it’s our privilege to serve our city’s newest residents through educational opportunities, employment and more. Siloam Health continues to do incredible work throughout our city, and we are so grateful to have been recognized with this award.”

Pharmacy Faculty, Students Attend Summer Institute on Health Policy


A session during the Summer Institute of Health PolicyA group of eight Belmont Pharmacy faculty and students, the largest to-date, is participating this week in the Summer Institute on Health Policy, a yearly interdisciplinary educational event held at Meharry Medical College. The focus of the course is social epidemiology, and attendees are discussing underlying reasons and potential solutions to disparities in health care access and outcomes.

This year’s course is being taught by Dr. Amani Nuru-Jeter from the University of California Berkeley with assistance from Dr. Derek Griffith from Vanderbilt University.

Mission to Cambodia: Empowering Pharmacists at Hope Hospital

by Jade Readus Williams, Pharmacy Team

Illiteracy, especially health illiteracy, is a significant problem for many of the people in Cambodia. A few days ago, the Pharmacy team got the opportunity to teach the pharmacists at Hope Hospital how to communicate with patients with low health illiteracy. Throughout the presentation, we discussed how to use pictograms, body language, and verbal communication to educate patients about their medications. Afterwards, we asked the pharmacists to give examples of how they would explain certain medications to illiterate patients. The Hope Hospital pharmacists were eager to present their examples.  It was inspiring to see the pharmacists apply what we had taught them. It emphasized the fact that we can really make a change through teaching and empowering the people of Cambodia. I am so grateful to be a part of the awesome work that is happening here.

Mission to Cambodia: What I’ve Learned

by: Candida Damian

As our trip in Cambodia is coming to the final week, I have been looking back to everything that I have learned on this trip. Wow. What an amazing time I have had abroad in Cambodia. The experiences I have had here are unforgettable, and I can’t wait to bring stories back home to my family and friends.

Today, I had the opportunity of shadowing in the emergency department at CMH in Phnom Penh. The staff and nursing students were so open and nice to me while I was there. It is such an amazing privilege to be able to do what I love in another country. It makes me extremely proud to be a nurse in the near future. Nursing is needed everywhere in the world, and it is reassuring when nurses do things here similar to how we do things in the States. Nursing is so universal and it is vital in every place in the world.

Emergency departments have always interested me, so I was excited when I was able to shadow in the ED. It is very busy, but it can also be calm. The staff took great care of each and every patient, and it was nice to see when a patient could get up from the bed and walk away from the ED feeling better. I enjoyed comparing and contrasting the ED here in Phnom Penh to ED’s in the U.S. Even though certain things are different, at the end, they still both perform the same exact tasks. A nurse asked me if I wanted to perform an EKG on a patient. When I went up to the EKG machine, I noticed that it looked different from the EKG machines used in the States. The nurse then taught me how to use this machine. It is cool to see that even though they looked completely different exteriorly, it functioned the same way.

At the end of the day, we went to one of my favorite places for dinner. It is called ‘Friends’, and we all got tapas. The reason why I love this place so much is because we all share our food. I love sharing and I love food, so putting it together is great. The food is so good, and I left with a satisfied belly. Some of us ended the night with a massage. I really enjoy getting massages here because it is cheap, and the masseuse was extremely nice. In all, today was great and I’m looking forward to our final days here in this beautiful country.

Mission to Cambodia: Our Last Clinic

By Courtney Bell, Undergrad Nursing Student
Today our entire team traveled to our last clinic at a school called the Light of Future School. As we pulled into the large field outside of the village where the school was, we could see tiny specks of the school children in their uniforms coming together to greet us. The moment we stepped out of our vans, the kids were saying “Hello” simultaneously, and waving at us with excited smiles. I instantly received a hug that lasted a couple minutes from a young girl who I had never met before. Her sweet embrace and the bright eyes of the other school children was enough to wake us up from our sleepiness.
After stepping over a large pile of trash into the entrance of the village area, we walked down a narrow passageway leading to the living room sized area where we would be setting up the clinic. We passed an assortment of rooms on our left with a brick wall on our right separating us from the field outside. Every once in a while, a moto would pass through the narrow passageway, and the children would move their friends out of the way.
After having had several clinics beforehand, we felt like pro’s setting up the stations. Per usual, the stations included “gatekeeper” (who got everyone’s height and weight and monitored who was seen next), triage and vitals, eye exams and musculoskeletal tests, assessments and prescriptions from the nurse practitioner students, finishing with the pharmacy/ prayer station.
Although the majority of the patients were children in today’s clinic, there were a handful of adults who came through. The children waited patiently outside the fence with their backpacks and chairs, and we called in patients one by one. We had the chance to play games with the kids, teach them songs, learn Khmer from them, and get a bunch of hugs and giggles.
One of my favorite moments in the clinic was watching Candida, a nursing student, do a chicken walk with the children to test their musculoskeletal systems while balking like a chicken. The kids laughed and giggled with big smiles, as it was a fun innovation to our clinic.
We also had some interesting encounters with the squatty-potty today, as it was pitch black and flooded on the floor. Some individuals faced the unfortunate consequences of stepping in the puddle and soaking their feet, but this was not a trial too much worse from some of our other situations on this trip. As Dr. Taplin always quotes, “T.I.C.B.- This is Cambodia, Baby.”
We had a full clinic day with lots of sweat, some dehydration, laughter,  and a lovely applause after our very last patient. This was a bittersweet moment for us knowing that we were finished with clinics, but also recognizing our efforts and accomplishments through all the clinics we had on this trip.
Tonight we enjoyed dinner at Khmer Surin Restaurant, or as we know it, the place with the really pretty elephant plates and yummy mango sticky rice, and said farewell to our beloved nurse practitioner students, Kim and Paige, as they headed to the airport to make it home in time for classes.

Mission to Cambodia: Siem Reap to Phenom Penh

Today we traveled from Siem Reap back to Phenom Penh. Our time in Siem Reap on Friday night and Saturday was a relaxing break from the busy three days at clinic. On Sunday morning, we ate breakfast at the hotel and then all loaded onto our bus for the trip back to our Cambodian home, the Golden Gate Hotel. We started our bus ride with a devotion, as we do most days. Dr. Taplin quoted Mother Teresa about giving ourselves and our time to individuals and organizations rather than just giving only money – although both are so important! This was impactful because it related to our trip in that we have been giving our time and our hearts to the people of Cambodia, even if we sometimes feel that our efforts aren’t making much of a difference.

Many of us, including myself have struggled with feeling we aren’t making an impact. With the vast amount of help we can’t provide and the presence of bad, it can be difficult to reframe how we view things, and focus on the good. The positive we have experienced is that in only three days, we were able to work together to serve over two hundred people at clinics. That was hopefully impactful for each of the people who were able to come and was all due to God. His hand was evident in partnering with organizations here and bringing people to the clinics. On the other hand, I feel as if we aren’t able to do a lot for many of these people. Many come dehydrated. While we provide oral rehydration solution and teaching about clean water, the fact remains that clean water can be difficult to come by. Our translators are incredible, but it can still be difficult to communicate medication and teaching, so at that point we simply have to trust that God is in control. All this to say, this devotion was encouraging that we were making a difference – however big or small – on the people we interact with daily.

Since it was Sunday, we worshipped together after the devotion. We began with a song led by Dr. Taplin and then continued to worship for another hour. It was a really meaningful time for many of us, even though it wasn’t your traditional worship service. We just sang with our voices as we drove through the small provinces and looked out the windows, which was a unique experience. After a time of seeing much heartache and little time to process, this was an encouraging time to be reminded that God is in control and has His hand on each of the people of Cambodia.

Daily we do highs and lows, which is a really growing aspect of our group. Even though we spend the majority of each day together, we each have different experiences and perspectives. Since the last few days had been busy, we hadn’t had an opportunity to gather and share. Hearing about everyone’s experiences with our last clinic, visit to the temple, and all the in between moments was so insightful. By the time we had finished our devotion, worship, and highs and lows, it was already time to stop for lunch! After a long lunch – serving twenty people always seems to take a bit of time – we were back on the road.

A few hours later, we stopped at a market from the recommendation of our bus driver. As you can see from the pictures, it wasn’t your traditional market and had assorted bugs. Four of us brave souls ate a fried tarantula. This moment was one we had both looked forward to and dreaded for months coming up to the trip. Some also enjoyed fried crickets and rice filled bamboo. Others stuck to the comfort and coolness of ice cream. Each experience has been unique, and this market was no exception! The delicious treats aside, we were back on the road! We arrived back in Phenom Penh and had a relatively uneventful evening back at the Golden Gate. We enjoyed being welcomed back by Heim and the fellow staff and had dinner at the Blue Pumpkin. We feel rested from the weekend and are ready for this next week in Phenom Penh – the last for many of us!

Mission to Cambodia: First Day Back in Phnom Penh!

Today was a much needed recuperation day for us undergrads! We’re all so thankful to be back in Phnom Penh, because it’s really started to feel like home.

We began the morning with our familiar breakfast here at the Golden Gate Hotel (lots of mangoes for me!) and then had our daily devotional. We then broke into our individual pairs and prepped some for our teaching day later this week. We have the opportunity to teach some students at the hospitals, so we whipped our power points into shape and went over what we would say and do with our students. We had some free time this afternoon (a rare and beautiful thing) so a couple of us went to a local coffee shop to catch up on neglected school work. The shop we went to felt very much like home: modern, air-conditioned, and with good wifi. It’s cool to think about those shared experiences we have with the students here of going to trendy coffee shops to desperately try to study or write an assignment. It was also a huge relief to feel like I’m caught up with school and not let it distract me from all the amazing things we’re doing here. 

For lunch we ate at one of our favorite restaurants! It’s a favorite mostly because they serve amazing western food, including milkshakes. I know I left happy, and it looked like the rest of the table was pleased with their meals too. It’s hard to dine with so many people sometimes because Cambodians just bring out the food whenever it’s done, so by the time the last person gets their food half the table is usually finished. This bothered me a little when we first arrived because it felt rude to not wait for everyone but I think we’ve all learned that if we waited everything would get cold. It’s a small difference between here and the US, but it’s really noticeable with a group of 20 dining at a small establishment. 

The afternoon was free for us as well, so a group of us went to the central market! We’ve been to several markets before but I think this one was by far the largest. It was open air, though, and partially indoors in a spacious building, so it didn’t feel as suffocating as the Russian market feels. I proudly walked out without spending a penny, but several of us left with multiple sey, a small toy that you use to play a game similar to hacky sack. It’s our favorite game to play down in the lobby during the evenings, so I expect quite a few of you family members and friends will be introduced to it when we all get home. After the market, a large group decided to make their way back to a coffee shop to work. I, feeling that I had accomplished enough that morning, made the executive decision to take a nap instead. It was very much needed after our long days of travel and temples and clinics. 

Dinner was another lovely meal at our most frequent stop, Anise. They have such a good variety, so everyone leaves with something they liked. I know a few of us were feeling a little ill, but the group stayed positive and we had a great dinner regardless. There was plenty of lime soda all around!

To top off a very good day, a few of us played sey before heading off for a massage. This was my first massage experience here in Cambodia, and while it was fun I don’t think I’ll be joining the ranks of the massage enthusiasts. I am far too ticklish to have a stranger touch my feet, but I’m glad I finally experienced what all the hype was about! It was a peaceful way to wind down and de-stress a little on an absolute whirlwind of a trip.

Mission to Cambodia: Third Clinic in Poipet and Traveling to Siem Reap

My roommate and I woke up this morning convinced that the world was ending. Music and yelling from the streets outside our hotel was so loud that we could feel the entire building shaking. Turns out it was just a parade because of the upcoming election that was casually going on at 6:20 AM. Cambodians are early risers, that’s for sure. Once we were assured that the world would in fact go on, we got up and got ready for the day. After a breakfast of noodle soup and iced coffee with sweet milk, we were off to our third clinic around Poipet.

On the bus in the morning, Dr. Massie led a devotional and prayer. She spoke about how we are all broken in our own ways, but that God uses our brokenness and our differences for the good of his Kingdom if we come to Him as we are and allow Him to work through us. If you are interested in the story that she shared with us this morning, google “Indian cracked pot story”. Unfortunately, the parades for the election caused a lot of traffic buildup and we were a bit late showing up to the Vision of Hope Center, a small Christian school that opened its doors for us to set up our clinic. Our lovely translators and other friends from Freedom’s Promise met us there. The building was small but we made it work as usual. Today was a short day due to both showing up later than planned and also because we had a three-hour bus ride from Poipet to Siem Reap, where we will be staying until Sunday morning. Despite only lasting a little over three hours, we were able to see a good number of patients. The nursing students switched roles a little bit so that we were all able to have multiple experiences over the three days. Kim and Paige soldiered on assessing and diagnosing, and the pharmacy team did an amazing job working together and working with what they had to provide the best care that we could for these people.

Last clinic in Poipet with all of the wonderful missionaries and translators who partnered with us to make these clinics possible!

I had the opportunity to be at the education and prayer station, which was the last table that the patients would go to before leaving. This was a difficult but really great experience for me both as a nursing students and as a Christian. A huge part of nursing is patient education, but I have not had many opportunities in nursing school so far to put that into practice. I found myself drawing from things I have learned in nursing school so far and being so thankful to Belmont and the wonderful education that I am so blessed to receive there. I spoke to patients about things like how and why to take the medications that they were given, different diet and lifestyle changes for things like diabetes or hypertension, living with asthma, relaxation techniques for anxiety, proper hydration and nutrition, and more. My heart went out to each individual that I spoke with, especially when it was clear that they were in need of the kind of medical care or

Getting fruit off the trees outside the school

education that we simply could not provide them with. After asking if they had any more questions, I would ask if it was okay if I prayed for them. Almost all of them said yes, and this was a special time to call on the Lord and ask for healing and safety for these people who we have grown to love so dearly in our short time here. Many of the people who I prayed over today were most likely Buddhists, but I was amazed at their reverence while praying and the kindness that they showed to me during our brief but hopefully meaningful interactions.

Around 1 PM, we packed everything up and ate a lunch of peanut butter sandwiches and some delicious fresh mango from right off the trees outside the school. The translators and everyone from Freedom’s Promise showed us so much love and kindness during our three days here, and they gave each of us a gift of a beautiful Cambodian scarf. After a prayer, lots of photos and hugs goodbye, our group of 20 piled into our bus and headed to SIem Reap.

Views from our hotel in Siem Reap

The bus ride was about three hours long and the other undergraduate nursing students and I we passed the time telling gross and funny stories from our experiences in nursing school. We were stuck in traffic once again in Siem Reap because of the election. Once we arrived to the hotel we were greeted with cool towels and tea. We ate dinner at a rooftop restaurant on the top floor of our hotel. The hotel here in Siem Reap is very nice and we are all so excited to have a break from working hard in the clinics and for the opportunity to tour the temples around Siem Reap tomorrow! Everyone is going to bed early because tomorrow we leave at 4 AM to catch the sunrise at Angkor Wat!