2015 Mission to Guatemala: Day 4

Two separate teams of health science students are in Guatemala over Spring Break this year.  One team consists of nursing and pharmacy students.  The other includes OT and PT students.  Both  team are writing about their experiences.

AlexisRheaAnnePendleyMaddyClarkeWilliamsTeam Nursing/Pharmacy
from Maddy Clarke Williams & Alexis Rhea-Anne Pendley

Language may be regional, but love is universal.

Today, we had no expectations of where we were going or what we would be doing. Upon arriving, we came to realize we were at a school that was tangible proof of how one man’s work can establish a strong community for roughly 150 students in Antigua, Guatemala. Some twenty years ago, a man’s heart was touched by God’s radiating beauty that he experienced through the children he met on a mission trip. He was inspired to give back to the children who touched him. With the little money he had, he was able to purchase a Big Mac and split it twenty ways, so every child to which he was ministering was able to have some. The man went on to create a school for these orphans that has developed through the years and now provides a safe and empowering environment. We soon realized our purpose at the school differed from our previous experiences at the coffee plantation.

1Guatemala07To begin our day, we taught the children the importance of nutrition and basic hygiene, such as washing hands and brushing teeth. To assist in our teachings, we taught the students a simple, yet catchy, song about washing their hands. After practicing this song with them several times, they requested more songs. With humble hearts and shaky voices, our group managed to quiet the area by singing Amazing Grace. Many of us later remarked on the power of the moment; though the students may not have understood the words we sang, they definitely appeared to share the same content feelings. Afterwards, the children were eager to share with us a few of the songs they had learned at school. Continue reading

2015 Mission to Guatemala: Day 3

Two separate teams of health science students are in Guatemala over Spring Break this year.  One team consists of nursing and pharmacy students.  The other includes OT and PT students.  Both  team are writing about their experiences.

EllieIvancichTimZerwicRachelSearfossTeam Nursing/Pharmacy
from Rachel Searfoss, Tim Zerwic & Ellie Ivancich

Put a few students in a room and you come up with a physical assessment. Put a few more students in a room and you come up with a list of suggested medications. Put yet another student in the room and you learn what exercises can be done to remedy specific pain. Put all of the above along with faculty and interpreters in a room, and you come up with a plan, from English to Spanish, for how to help an individual return to a more optimal state of health.

Day two of health screenings and teaching begins in Antigua with the College of Health Sciences and Pharmacy missions team. The group has worked incredibly hard to find better ways to organize our efforts together in order to provide the most useful amount of care that we can give to the coffee plantation workers and their families. Everyone has offered their insight, experience, heartfelt concerns, suggestions, and innovative ideas to make this process mesh together in a solidified way. When workers came to the screenings earlier this morning, we began recording height and weight first, assessing for any complaints of pain or health concerns, taking blood pressure and blood glucose measurements, and teaching for both adult and child CPR education. The effort to reorganize the health screening process engaged the workers and families so much more than before and also helped to streamline the process into where those with more serious health issues were able to receive more concentrated and specific care. One of those cases worked closely with our occupational therapy student on the mission team, Tim.

1Guatemala07A man who works the coffee fields was complaining of upper back and shoulder pain. He reported that he lifts heavy bags of coffee over and over again each day. The bags, filled with fresh coffee harvested, can weigh up to 150 pounds. After assessing the injury, Tim considered that the man may be suffering from a supraspinatus tendon impingement. This type of injury affects the rotator cuff and involves abduction of the arm away from the body and can result from overuse and overexertion. Working with an interpreter, Tim taught the man how to perform different types of stretches and exercises he could do at home, even with a can of beans, something he easily has on hand.

Continue reading

2015 Mission to Guatemala: Day 3

Two separate teams of health science students are in Guatemala over Spring Break this year.  One team consists of nursing and pharmacy students.  The other includes OT and PT students.  Both  team are writing about their experiences.

Team Pharmacy
from Dr. Eric Hobson

Dr. Hobson's Spring Break Immersion team is hard at work caring for children at the Moore Pediatric Surgery Center in Guatemala City. Samantha Wheeler and Jessica O'Connell are preparing medications for today's surgery patients.

Pharmacy students hard at work caring for children at the Moore Pediatric Surgery Center in Guatemala City. Samantha Wheeler and Jessica O’Connell are preparing medications for today’s surgery patients.

1Guatemala05

BU students Samantha Wheeler, Jasmin Mohn, Jessica O’Connell and professor Eric Hobson taking a break from a long day of surgery support.

2015 Mission to Guatemala: Day 2

Two separate teams of health science students are in Guatemala over Spring Break this year.  One team consists of nursing and pharmacy students.  The other includes OT and PT students.  Both  team are writing about their experiences.

NoahPloegmanKristenFlowersTeam Nursing/Pharmacy
from Kristen Flowers and Noah Ploegman

On our second day in Guatemala began with a traditional Guatemalan breakfast prepared by a local mother and daughter. After breakfast, we ventured thirty minutes under the shadow of an active volcano to a coffee plantation where women enthusiastically greeted each member of the team with a hug.

1Guatemala02The owner of the plantation allowed us to set up a clinic in the school for his employees and their families. We provided screenings for diabetes and hypertension, personal hygiene, nutrition, and CPR. In return, the plantation owner invited us to experience the “work” on a coffee plantation. We were able to sort and pick coffee beans, and observe, first hand, the heavy lifting the workers perform. This experience gave us insights into why we were seeing so many workers complaining of shoulder and knee pain. In addition, the recent volcano eruption left ash covering the coffee plants and covered the workers and us while we worked, leaving us to wonder if workers were experiencing respiratory issues.

Although we had prepared for screenings and teaching it quickly became apparent that workers and their families had many acute needs they wanted addressed.
Patients presented with symptoms of strep throat, peritonsilar abscess, arthritis, diabetes, peripheral edema, and arrhythmias. This unexpected change placed a new responsibility on our team to work together to manage their expectations and our capabilities to care for their immediate needs.

Continue reading

2015 Mission to Guatemala: Day 1

Two separate teams of health science students are in Guatemala over Spring Break this year.  One team consists of nursing and pharmacy students.  The other includes OT and PT students.  Both  team are writing about their experiences.

RachelSearfossTeam Nursing/Pharmacy
from Rachel Searfoss

Yesterday was lift off! A group of 20 students and faculty from the College of Health Sciences and Pharmacy ventured from Nashville to embark on the Immersion Mission trip over spring break 2015. The Immersion mission trip to Antigua, Guatemala connects students and faculty with local workers and families in Guatemala, hoping to reach others’ physical needs through the skills we have learned thus far and also their spiritual needs, giving our hearts and our testimony to others wherever they need it.

After flying in and staying overnight in Guatemala City, the group finally made it to our destination here in Antigua. Picture this: blue skies interspersed with fluffy clouds, lazily making their way around an active volcano seen rising in the midst of the beaming sunshine, all while steadying oneself upon the historic cobblestone streets, touching the stone walls of a church built in years past. This is Antigua. A city bustling around statuesque churches with street vendors selling anything from candies to tapestries comes alive in the afternoon to meet our eager and excited group. Our first stop – the local grocery store.

Continue reading

Pharmacy faculty member publishes book chapter

KinninghamSmallAssociate Dean of the College of Pharmacy Dr. Kelley Kiningham recently published a chapter titled, “Manganese Superoxide Dismutase” in the book “Manganese in Health and Disease.” Kiningham’s chapter summarizes studies from the last 30 years on the antioxidant.

The mitochondrial enzyme is one of three superoxide dismutases in humans; however, it is the only one that is essential for life.  The enzyme has been shown to be protective in in vivo models of adriamycin, methamphetamine and taxol toxicity.  In addition various researchers, including Dr. Kiningham, have shown that expression of manganese superoxide dismutase is a tumor suppressor.

Clinical trials based on the work of Kiningham and other researchers in the field have lead to the development of synthetic drugs based on the MnSOD enzyme and are currently being tested in a variety of conditions where oxidative stress is known to occur.

Pharmacy Professors published in American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

HobsonSmallSpinelliSmallJohnstonSmall2Professors in the College of Pharmacy Drs. Eric Hobson and Alisa Spinelli and Dean of the College of Pharmacy Dr. Philip Johnston were published in The American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education with their article, “Staging a Reflective Capstone Course to Transition PharmD Graduates to Professional Life.” The article is the scholarly findings from a case study of a Belmont capstone class.

The objective was to develop and implement a course that would allow students to reflect on their development as a professional, assess and share achievement of the college’s outcomes, complete a professional portfolio, establish a continuing professional development plan and prepare to enter the pharmacy profession.

Findings concluded that the course provided an opportunity for student-based summative evaluation, direct observation of student skills and documentation of outcome completion as a means of evaluating readiness to enter the profession.

To read the full journal article, click here.

Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame Opens Nominations for Inaugural Class

fountain-2014-105-300x199With a mission to honor men and women who have made significant and lasting contributions to the health and health care industry, The Tennessee Health Care 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.

The nominations process began on February 20 and will continue until April 10 at www.tnhealthcarehall.com. Created by Belmont University and the McWhorter Society, The Hall of Fame is supported by the Nashville Health Care Council, a Hall of Fame Founding Partner. The inaugural class will be announced at the McWhorter Society’s May 5 luncheon.

In addition to recognizing Tennessee’s most influential health and health care leaders, The Hall of Fame will serve as an on-going educational resource to document the rich history that has contributed to Tennessee’s position as a leader for national health care initiatives.

Continue reading

Kiningham Establishes Pharmaceutical Endowed Scholarship for College of Pharmacy

KinninghamSmallAssociate Dean and Professor of the College of Pharmacy Dr. Kelley Kiningham has served the College since 2009 and since then has acquired a number of accolades including the Presidential Faculty Achievement Award in 2013 and the Most Influential Faculty Member designation by the class of 2013.

Most recently, Dr. Kiningham continued her direct contribution to student success by establishing the Warren E. Angel Pharmaceutical Education Endowed Scholarship, named in honor of her late grandfather who significantly contributed to Dr. Kiningham’s life. The scholarship has been designed to support student pharmacists in good academic standing who attended Middle Tennessee State University, Dr. Kiningham’s alma mater.

Continue reading