Students Attend Pharmacy Leadership Institute

Belmont Student Pharmacists Alliance (BSPA) President Bekki Burch and American Pharmacists Association – Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) President Becca Moore recently attended the APhA-ASP Student Leadership Institute in Washington, D.C. While at the Institute, they participated in Capitol Hill visits where they spoke with Senator Bob Corker, Representative Stephen Fincher and Representative Steve Cohen about provider status which allows pharmacists to be reimbursed under Medicare Part B.

While in D.C., Burch and Moore were invited to tour the APhA headquarters before exploring the National Mall with student pharmacists from across their region and raising money for the upcoming Region 3 Midyear Regional Meeting in Orlando, Florida.

Student Pharmacists Travel to Institute on Alcoholism and Drug Dependencies

Belmont University College of Pharmacy third year student pharmacists Morgan Medley, Becca Moore and Kera Sumner recently attended the 2nd annual American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Institute on Alcoholism & Drug Dependencies in Salt Lake City, Utah. Student pharmacists from all over the nation attend this institute to learn more about addiction, and students can receive 2 hours of college credit.

The students spent four days with their fellow student pharmacists learning more about addiction as a disease and how pharmacists can make an impact. Attendees heard from experts in the field of addiction, attended Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings, and received hands on naloxone administration training. After their trainings were complete, the students were able to take a trip up Salt Lake’s infamous Living Room Trail.

College of Pharmacy Faculty Present at National AACP Meeting

Ten faculty members from the Belmont University College of Pharmacy attended the annual meeting of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) held in Anaheim, California in July. This meeting is the largest gathering of academic pharmacy administrators, faculty and staff.

Dr. Hope Campbell, immediate past chair of the Minority Faculty Special Interest Group, delivered a presentation with colleagues titled “Addressing Hot Topics About Minority Faculty and Students in Pharmacy Programs.” Dr. Angela Hagan attended the meeting as the Secretary of this Small Interest Group.

Dr. Leigh Ann Bynum delivered a presentation with colleagues titled “Faculty Citizenship in the Academy: What Is It and What Do We Do With It?”

Dr. Scott Weston facilitated a round table session focusing on “Interprofessional Education: Leveraging Team STEPPS Faculty Training Across Multiple Disciplines to Enhance Interprofessional Faculty and Student Interaction.”

Drs. Ashton Beggs, Kelley Kiningham, Phil Johnston, Montgomery Williams, and Kristy Wahaib presented a poster titled “Being Belmont: Preparing the Next Generation of Pharmacists” and Dr. Adam Pace and colleagues presented a poster titled “Prevalence and characteristics of pharmacies owned and operated by schools of pharmacy in the U.S.”

Dr. Angela Clauson served as the administrative delegate and Dr. Marilyn Thompson Odom served as the faculty delegate.

College of Pharmacy Attends Tennessee Pharmacists Association Summer Meeting

Pictured left to right are Becca Moore (P3), Phil Johnston, Elisa Greene, Brittany Hayes (P4), Jessica Porreca (P2) and Shelby Blalock (P4).)

The Tennessee Pharmacists Association (TPA) 2016 summer meeting attracted hundreds of participants including pharmacists, student pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, who met from July 18 through July 20. Belmont University College of Pharmacy representatives included Assistant Professor Dr. Elisa Greene, Director of Experiential Education Dr. Angela Clauson, Assistant Professor Dr. Traci Poole, Assistant Professor Dr. Leela Kodali and Dean Dr. Phil Johnston and student pharmacists Brittany Hayes, Becca Moore, Shelby Blalock and Jessica Porreca.

The summer meeting provides an opportunity to attend continuing education sessions, greet and renew acquaintances with Tennessee pharmacists, learn about new products and services and receive updates on new legislative issues.

During the meeting, Clauson presented “The Multigenerational Workplace,” Blaylock served as President of the Tennessee Society of Student Pharmacists, Hayes presented “Transitions of Care and the Use of Technology: Telehealth Models with iPad/Skype to Reach Underserved Areas,” Johnston and Porreca served in the House of Delegates and Greene was introduced as the winner of the TPA Distinguished Young Pharmacist Award.

Beggs Published in Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning

BeggsSmall2Dr. Ashton Beggs, assistant professor of pharmacy, recently published a paper in Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning, a journal “devoted to high quality, peer-reviewed scholarship relevant to all areas of pharmacy education, including innovative teaching and learning strategies.”

Beggs paper is titled, “Evaluating student pharmacists’ perceptions of adherence before and after a pillbox simulation” and was co-authored with Jessica Wilhoite and Alison Walton from Butler University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Pharmacy Fellow Certifies with HIMSS

Kate ClaussenBelmont College of Pharmacy and Aegis Sciences Corporation Clinical Scientist Fellow Dr. Kate Claussen recently became certified by examination in health care informatics. The Certified Associate in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CAHIMS) is a new Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) health IT certification designed for emerging professionals within the industry.

This certification demonstrates knowledge of health IT and management systems, facilitates entry-level careers in health IT and is designed to be a career pathway to the Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CPHIMS) credential.

Belmont’s sponsor of the CAHIMS certification initiative is Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Informatics and Analytics Anthony Blash, Pharm.D., BCompSc, CPHIMS. Blash has created a three-course sequence of classes to prepare Belmont student pharmacists for healthcare informatics and to sit for the CAHIMS certification. The college saw its first students certify at the CAHIMS level in 2015 and expects 20-30 students to certify each year moving forward. Blash has also been invited to teach a “Boot Camp” intensive version of the CAHIMS review at the 2016 Healthcare Summit of the Southeast in September. The conference is sponsored by the Tennessee Chapter of HIMSS and will be held in Nashville.

“Nashville is considered by many to be home to the U.S. healthcare industry, with nearly 300 companies providing healthcare synergies found in few other places.” said Blash. “If your interests lie in healthcare and informatics, our program stands apart. With experiential rotation sites at the headquarters of the largest healthcare organizations in the world, faculty with experiences in the corporate boardrooms of many American healthcare companies and a pharmacy/healthcare informatics experience facilitated by the immediate past national chairman of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists’ Educational Steering Committee on Informatics and Technology, our faculty represents the pinnacle of teaching experience. As an HIMSS Education Partner, Belmont University’s College of Pharmacy becomes the only pharmacy school in the world with a healthcare informatics concentration leading to an internationally recognized certification in healthcare informatics which may be obtained before experiential rotations, residency inquiries and job searches begin.”

College of Pharmacy sends group to Honduras for medical mission

A group of faculty and students from Belmont University College of Pharmacy recently traveled to Honduras as part of the Baptist Medical Dental Mission Trip. Drs. Adam Pace and Leela Kodali and Noah Vasilakes and Brittany Hayes, two 4th year pharmacy students, joined a team of 20 medical professionals for the trip.

The team set up a medical clinic, dentistry clinic and pharmacy in a schoolhouse in Naguaterique, a rural mountain community on the El Salvadorian border and saw more than 1500 patients. About 5800 prescriptions were dispensed through the pharmacy, 223 teeth were pulled by the dentist for 117 dental patients and 325 pairs of eyeglasses were distributed. Additionally, 64 individuals professed a new found faith in Jesus or expressed a renewal of their Christian commitment during the church services and through personal evangelism at the medical stations.

Pace oversaw the setup and operation of the dispensing pharmacy while Kodali provided clinical pharmacy services in the medical clinic by answering providers’ questions about medications and making recommendations on drug therapy.

As part of their advanced pharmacy practice experience, Vasilakes and Hayes split their time between the pharmacy and the clinic. This experience was designed for them to compare and contrast the provision of pharmacy services during a mission trip in Honduras to that of a Nashville patient population.

Vasilakes said, “The Honduras medical mission trip was a wonderful opportunity to use my pharmacy skills and knowledge outside of my comfort zone. It amazed me what our team was able to do in only a few days when teaming with the Hondurans who were incredibly friendly, helpful and welcoming. It was a blessing to be able to provide care to people who otherwise likely would not receive it, and I am so thankful for being provided with this chance to share the love of God through healthcare.”

Hayes added, “Traveling to Honduras gave me the opportunity to not only learn more about myself and the type of practitioner I want to be, but also allowed me to learn about an entirely different culture. The Honduran people were warm, welcoming and grateful for any and all assistance we provided. Although a language barrier existed, a smile and kind eyes created a patient-provider bond that ended the consultations with hugs and trust. I will never forget one particular patient who spoke about the renewed love of God she found that day through the generosity of the mission. As our eyes teared up, she thanked me and blessed me for everything she had been given that day. What she didn’t know was that she and the other patients gave me a renewed love of God as well. Healing begins with the soul and I find myself blessed to have been able to contribute to the physical and spiritual healing in Naguaterique.”

Pharmacy professor leads antibiotic stewardship program at Williamson Medical Center recognized in national report

WilliamsMediumDr. Montgomery Williams, Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice, is providing leadership to an effort at Williamson Medical Center (WMC) in Franklin, Tennessee to curb unnecessary antibiotic use, an initiative recently recognized in a report published by The Pew Charitable Trusts.  Dr. Williams was quoted earlier this week by The Tennessean in a story about the success of the antibiotic program.

Dr. Williams serves at Williamson Medical Center as part of her teaching responsibilities at Belmont University College of Pharmacy, educating PharmD students in their advanced practice experiences at the medical center during their final year of study.   As an internal medicine and antibiotic stewardship pharmacist at WMC, she provides extensive training in general medicine to students throughout the year as they complete month-long rotations at the medical center.  Like all Pharmacy Practice faculty in the College of Pharmacy, Dr. Williams divides her time between the classroom at Belmont and her community site where she mentors student pharmacists who are near completion of their doctoral degree.  Those students participate in the antibiotic program during their rotation with Dr. Williams.

At Williamson Medical Center, where Dr. Williams has practiced for the past six years, she is the co-chair of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program along with Dr. Shaefer Spires, an antibiotic stewardship physician and hospital epidemiologist.  Other health professionals involved in the program at WMC include Dr. Courtney (Curtis) Sutton, pediatric pharmacist (2013 PharmD graduate from Belmont); Dr. Michael Wright, critical care pharmacist; and Dr. Tracey Bastian, clinical pharmacy manager.  In her role as chair, Dr. Williams coordinates ongoing efforts to evaluate how the hospital prescribes antibiotics and work with physicians in developing appropriate treatment plans for patients.   “Presenting recommendations to physicians can be challenging — you really have to work together as a team,”  Williams said in the Tennessean. “We always want what’s best for the patient.”

Also quoted in the Tennessean was Dr. David Hyun, senior officer of Pew Charitable Trusts’ antibiotic resistance project, which published the report. “Williamson Medical Center is a great example of how a program can be tailored to the needs of a community hospital,” said Hyun, who developed and co-chaired a stewardship program at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.  “Efforts to use antibiotics appropriately are not only about reducing resistance but ensuring patients get the right care.”

The full report can be found at http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/reports/2016/04/a-path-to-better-antibiotic-stewardship-in-inpatient-settings.

College of Health Sciences & Nursing and College of Pharmacy Collaborate on Interprofessional Lab Simulation

Belmont’s School of Nursing and College of Pharmacy recently collaborated to demonstrate and educate students on their crucial roles in preventing medical errors. Collaboration and communication between health care professionals has been identified as one of the most important aspects of reducing errors and Belmont’s collaborative partnerships illustrates the University’s commitment to preparing its students for their careers.

The inaugural pilot program’s coordinator Dr. Anthony Blash, assistant professor in the College of Pharmacy said the collaboration between nurses and pharmacists allows for identification of potential medication errors, furthering the field’s ability to eliminate errors. Some of the technology available at the bedside to prevent errors and promote patient safety includes medication dispensing cabinets, electronic health records, patient identification through electronic scanners and infusion safety software that provides “dose error reduction.” Each of these is utilized in Belmont’s School of Nursing but, prior to this pilot, pharmacy students and nursing had not collaborated in the reduction of medical errors.

(L to R: Drs. Blash and Hallmark)

L to R: Drs. Blash and Hallmark

Blash and Dr. Beth Fentress Hallmark, director of simulation in the College of Health Sciences & Nursing, provided simulation-based education to first-year pharmacy students in pharmacy’s “Introduction to Drug Information and Informatics” course.

“I know this makes a difference in the professional lives of these pharmacy students,” Hallmark said. “The most powerful comment was when one of the students said she did not realize that nursing students knew so much about medication. Dr. Blash said it best when he talked about the ‘us’ vs ‘them’ mentality in healthcare and how it must be a ‘we’ mentality… this is what prevents medical error.”

Several nursing, business and pharmacy faculty participated in this initiative including Sara Camp, Jean Blank, PJ Ambrefe, Victoria Buechel, Dr. Tammy Legge, Dr. David Wyant and Dr. Kate Claussen.

Pharmacy Students Earn Certification to Conduct HIV Testing

In an effort to end HIV/AIDS in Tennessee, 17 Belmont University College of Pharmacy students recently volunteered and received intensive training in HIV prevention counseling and testing. The Tennessee Department of Health certified these students who will be using their newly acquired skills to serve communities around Nashville through HIV testing, education and prevention during the annual Walgreens National HIV Testing Days event scheduled for June 23-25.

Dr. Edgar S. Diaz-Cruz is leading the initiative, first started in 2013, and has forged an ongoing partnership between the College of Pharmacy and Nashville Cares, a local non-profit that provides life-saving services to Middle Tennesseans living with HIV/AIDS. Diaz-Cruz said, “I am very proud of our students for volunteering to reach out of their comfort zones to serve the community by bringing attention to HIV/AIDS education. I believe this type of training and personal outreach exposes our students to unique experiences to better serve the public and represent BU.” Since 2013, this partnership has resulted in 44 trained individuals and hundreds of community service outreach hours serving Middle Tennessee.