Dr. Lindsay Hahn, assistant professor of pharmacy, recently had a manuscript published in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education (AJPE). The article reviewed the development and implementation of a solid organ transplant elective course for second- and third-year pharmacy students, assessing the course’s impact on their knowledge in the management of medications, adverse effects, and complications in organ transplantation patients. Dr. Hahn concluded that course participants significantly improved their confidence and knowledge regarding solid organ transplantation and became open to exploring careers or residencies in this area. The full manuscript can be found on the AJPE website.
The College of Pharmacy partnered with University Ministries for an international spring break Immersion trip geared towards health professional and pre-health professions students. The team was comprised of four faculty and staff members, one professional medical interpreter, eight undergraduate students with an interest or major in healthcare-related fields and two fourth-year pharmacy students. Together they provided diabetes, asthma and vision screenings, as well as nutrition, hygiene and first-aid education to migrant workers at Finca la Azotea coffee plantation, in Antigua, Guatemala. Additionally, the team spent one day working with at Escuela Proyecto la Esperanza, an non-governmental organization school for underprivileged children assessing height weight, and vision percentile projections.
Immersion activities included learning about the processes of growing, harvesting, roasting and packaging coffee, grocery shopping in a neighborhood market, visiting a private university, Universidad Francisco Marroquín, touring the Moore Pediatric Surgery Center and attending religious services on Ash Wednesday.
“The impact we may have had from simply educating the plantation employees may save lives one day. We had a few patients share they had family members who died or had been in danger because they did not know basic first-aid. According to our partner in Guatemala, who initiated and helped organize this trip, many other coffee plantations are now expressing interest in collaborating with Belmont to provide similar services at their locations in the future,” said Jordan Tarter, a fourth-year pharmacy student.
This established and ongoing partnership in Guatemala directly complements the College of Pharmacy’s and Belmont’s overall commitment to missions. This is evidenced by the ability of pharmacy and undergraduate students from varied programs to concentrate their experiential learning in missions or public health, if they so choose. It also provides an opportunity to explore interdisciplinary learning and collaboration, as students representing a variety of health and pre-health professional fields combine in one immersion experience.
Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice Dr. Anthony Blash is now certified, (CPHIMS and CAHIMS) by examination, in the area of health care informatics. Faculty with these credentials continuously set Belmont College of Pharmacy apart as an institution where student pharmacists can pursue a concentration that prepares them for specialization in the practice of pharmacy.
Certified Professional in Healthcare Information & Management Systems (CPHIMS) CPHIMS is a professional certification program for healthcare information and management systems professionals. Many organizations require candidates have this internationally recognized certification and are encouraging existing employees to obtain the certification.
March 19, 2014
Guatemala trip is life-changing for Belmont pharmacy students
By Mignonne Bryant
In a Guatemalan hotel, 23-year-old Belmont University student Gena Curl carefully unpacked all that she had brought from Nashville. A wave of doubts swept across her mind: “Am I going to be able to do this? I’m by myself in the pharmacy. Can I handle this?” Curl knew no one in this foreign place and barely spoke the local language, but the experience changed her life forever.
In October 2013, Curl traveled to Guatemala City as a fourth-year pharmacy student to provide free services at the Moore Pediatric Surgery Center — an opportunity offered by Belmont University’s College of Pharmacy, which partners with the Shalom Foundation and BUCOP Medical Missions.
According to Phil Johnston, dean of the pharmacy school at Belmont, roughly 25 students go each year to one of two locations: the surgery center in Guatemala City or a clinic on a coffee plantation in Antigua. Both locations are enabled by the Shalom Foundation. The building in Guatemala was remodeled and created as a surgery center by people from Nashville.
Fourth-year pharmacy students recently participated in interprofessional team geriatric case training with the Meharry Consortium Geriatric Education Center. To ensure health professional students develop skills for working in interprofessional teams, the Center hosts this annual team training. This is the third year the College of Pharmacy has been involved in this event.
This experience serves as an opportunity for students to develop interprofessional collaborative skills by working as a team on a geriatric case and developing a patient assessment and treatment plan. Faculty experts are available to consult with teams, and nurse practitioners observe and rate team dynamics. The program concludes with an interactive general assembly where an interdisciplinary expert panel provides feedback and answers questions.
Second and third-year pharmacy students enrolled in the Ambulatory Care Pharmacy Elective spent the past month learning about the difficulties of medication adherence first-hand. Nineteen students were given a pillbox and 15 candies representing medications with various schedules of administration. Students were required to fill their pillbox according to their medication list. At the midpoint, students were given two medication changes mimicking real-life scenarios. Following the four-week project, students submitted a focused reflection and discussed the experience with their classmates. Students consistently deemed the pillbox experience a positive one.
Fourth-year pharmacy student Shaneika Walker and pharmacy faculty member Ashton Beggs recently returned from a one-week medical mission trip to Gobert, Haiti. Walker was selected for this Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) last spring. Under the supervision of Beggs, Walker was involved in all medication-related aspects of the trip planning, which began summer 2013. The medical team purchased medications from Blessings International, and it was the responsibility of the pharmacy student and pharmacist to decide which medications and the appropriate quantities to order to treat the variety of disease states encountered. Medications were packaged and labeled appropriately for shipping to Haiti for both the general and health literacy of the Haitian population. While in Gobert, Walker and Beggs were in charge of dispensing medications and counseling patients on each medication dispensed.
Meghan Duquette, a third year student in the College of Pharmacy, will represent Belmont at this year’s national Patient Counseling Competition presented by the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP). Meghan was the winner of this year’s school competition in the College of Pharmacy coordinated by the local chapter of APhA-ASP. The national competition features local winners from 120+ pharmacy schools across the country. This year’s competition will be held in Orlando, FL at the end of March.
The goal of the APhA-ASP National Patient Counseling Competition is to encourage student pharmacists in their efforts toward becoming better patient educators. The competition is designed to reflect changes that are occurring in practice, to promote and encourage further professional development of the student pharmacist and to reinforce the role of the pharmacist as a health care provider and educator.