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.

Johnston Attends Global Conference on Pharmaceutical Sciences Education

The group of conference attendees in ChinaDean of Belmont University’s College of Pharmacy Dr. Phil Johnston recently attended a global conference on pharmaceutical sciences education hosted by the International Pharmaceutical Federation in Nanjing, China. The focus of the conference was to explain current and future educational needs in pharmacy on a global scale and to seek agreement and endorsement by delegates from 35 countries of 60 prepared statements that will guide educators in developing a proper curriculum.

Many of the prepared statements were based on data collected by the World Health Organization. Among these statements, there was a strong emphasis on drug shortages around the world, the migration of the world population and the health care needs that emerge from it, the need for inter-professional collaboration, the importance of alliances between industry and education, the need for antibiotic stewardship, the need to document the roles taken to develop with proof of concept, a focus on the health needs of the world in curricular planning and the expansion of the roles of health professionals. 55 of the 60 prepared statements were approved at the meeting.

Johnston discussed the importance that the conference had for the future of health care educators. “In a world where 10-15 percent of all workers are in health care, and where 50 percent of those workers require specialized education, it is imperative that we work collaboratively and build our curriculum to meet the needs of our population.”

Pharmacy Students Certify with HIMSS in Healthcare Informatics

Belmont University College of Pharmacy students Josh Burton, Katie Hubbard and Sarah Ratzloff recently became certified by examination in the area of health care informatics. The Certified Associate in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CAHIMS) is the health IT certification distributed by the Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and is designed to be a career pathway to further credentials for emerging professionals within the industry.

pharm-student-josh pharm-student-katie pharm-student-sarah

Belmont Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Informatics and Analytics Anthony Blash is the sponsor of the CAHIMS certification initiative at Belmont and has created a four-course sequence of classes to prepare pharmacy students for healthcare informatics. The department saw its first student certify at the CAHIMS level in 2015 and expects 20-30 students to certify each year moving forward.

“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 pharmacy 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 current 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 Approved 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.”

Burton, Hubbard and Ratzloff will each receive a 2016 HIMSS Conference backpack donated by Vice President of Professional Development for HIMSS North America JoAnn W. Klinedinst. The donated bags are awarded to the top grade-earners in healthcare information courses and to students like Burton, Hubbard and Ratzloff who obtain their CAHIMS certification before graduating from the Doctor of Pharmacy Program.

“We would like to congratulate our students for earning this HIT certification and thank Vice President Klinedinst for her generous donation,” said Blash. “The students now enter their fourth-year experiential classes with the CAHIMS certification under their belts.”

Student Pharmacy Society Participates in Clinical Skills Competition

The winning students pose for a picture. Belmont University College of Pharmacy Student Society of Health-System Pharmacy recently conducted its annual ASHP Clinical Skills Competition. In this competition, participants utilize their knowledge and clinical abilities to create and present a detailed, patient-centered care plan. Six teams competed this year, with participants coming from the P1, P3, and P4 classes.

College of Pharmacy’s Drs. Kristy Wahaib, Montgomery Williams and Ashton Beggs served as judges for the competition. The students chosen to represent Belmont at the national level were P4s Charlotte Wesley and Alex Kreimer. Wesley and Kreimer will compete at the ASHP Midyear Clinical meeting in Las Vegas this December.

Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame Inducts Six Health Care Legends

Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame Inductees and their families members pose for a picture

The Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame inducted its six member, 2016 class at a luncheon and ceremony in Belmont’s Curb Event Center on Monday, October 10. Hosted by President and Chief Executive Officer of the Network for Excellence in Health Innovation Susan Dentzer, the Hall of Fame seeks to recognize and honor the pioneers and current leaders who have formed Tennessee’s health and health care community and encourage future generations of health care professionals.

Created by Belmont University and Belmont’s McWhorter Society with the support of the Nashville Health Care Council, a Founding Partner, the event honored the Hall of Fame’s inductees including:

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

Evelyn Kisayke speaks at the induction ceremony.

Evelyn Kisakye speaks at the induction ceremony.

In addition to recognizing the state’s greatest health care legends, the Hall of Fame also exists to raise funds for students interested in pursuing careers in health care. Evelyn Kisakye, a pharmacy student at Belmont and recipient of a McWhorter Society scholarship addressed the crowd. Growing up in Uganda and working alongside her mother, an AIDS nurse, Kisakye said she knew from an early age she was interested in working with overlooked populations. “As a future pharmacist, I want to increase health care access to underserved populations, address healthcare disparities and social determinants in the communities and bridge the gap between developing and developed cities and countries,” she said. “Through this experience, I hope to make difference in the community and walk across this stage again as a Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame.”

The induction ceremony featured acceptance speeches from a number of inductees, both in person or by video.

Pharmacy Students Appointed to American Society of Pharmacists Student Advisory Groups

Fourth year pharmacy students Destin Lenz and Kelsie Graham were appointed to American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists Pharmacy Student Advisory Groups for the 2016 – 2017 year. The Forum has six advisory groups that provide advice and guidance to the forum pertaining to the needs of student members and how to address these needs using ASHP programs and resources.

Lenz is serving on the Community and eCommunication Advisory Group and Graham is serving on the Policy and Legislative Advisory Group.

Kelsie Graham

Kelsie Graham

Destin Lenz

Destin Lenz

College of Pharmacy Raises $2,450 for Nashville AIDS Walk

College of Pharmacy team that participated in AIDS Walk 2016

Belmont University College of Pharmacy raised thousands of dollars for Nashville AIDS Walk for the fifth consecutive year, sponsored by Nashville Cares on October 1. The team raised $2,450 for the local non-profit organization, which currently partners with the College of Pharmacy to certify students in HIV prevention testing and counseling. The 40-person team included deans, faculty and pharmacy students who joined hundreds of community participants to benefit thousands of individuals and families affected by HIV/AIDS in Middle Tennessee. Team captain Dr. Edgar S. Diaz-Cruz pointed out that, “Belmont students and faculty continue to unite with the community to reach out and support a cause that touches our society. It is great to see how we continue to change the future of HIV/AIDS and break down the stigma one ‘WALK’ at a time.” He added, “I’m so proud of our newly certified students for volunteering their time to conduct HIV tests and educate the community about HIV prevention at the event.”

Health Sciences Students Provide Health Care in Guatemala

Student taking blood pressure of Guatemalan childDuring Belmont’s spring break last March, students and faculty from the nursing, pharmacy, physical therapy and social work programs traveled to Guatemala to provide health screenings, patient teaching programs and medications and vitamins to citizens in Antigua. The trip was made possible through the university’s partnership with a Guatemalan coffee company, Kafes Guatemala, through its CoffeeMed Program. The students and faculty served over 350 people.

Belmont’s College of Health Sciences and Nursing has been involved with the CoffeeMed Program for the last three years, serving more than 800 patients. The program aims to provide basic needs to workers on Guatemalan coffee plantations who don’t always work under ideal conditions. In addition, the program takes students on a hands-on tour of plantations, hoping they will realize the importance of their involvement. Students who participate in the program are expected to fund the trip themselves by selling coffee from Kafes Guatemala in their communities.

In addition to current students and faculty, 2015 nursing graduate Claire Zetak served as a team leader on the trip. Zetak noted the importance of student engagement in an interview conducted recently with Roast Magazine. “In the health care profession, interdisciplinary works are always taking place,” said Zetak. “Nurses are working with doctors or physical therapists or pharmacists, so this is an example of what they’ll be doing in their future careers.”

Founder and President of Kafes Guatemala Pablo Castaneda realizes the value of the help Belmont students bring to Guatemala and expressed his gratitude for their work. “Thank you, Belmont students, for your love for others,” Castaneda said. “Never forget you can change lives for good. Your love for others is impacting so many lives, and it goes beyond medical attention to proving you are serving a living God.”

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.