Students and Faculty Attend Nashville Health Care Council’s DC Delegation

Pharmacy studentsFive students and one associate professor from the Belmont University recently attended the Nashville Health Care Council’s Leadership Health Care (LHC) initiative, along with a group of more than 100 health care leaders, on its annual two-day delegation to Washington, D.C. This year’s event provided delegates with an inside look at the state of health care policy under the new administration and predictions about what developments may unfold to impact Nashville’s $78 billion health care industry.

The delegation featured discussions with members of Congress such as U.S. Representative Diane Black (R-TN) and U.S. Representative Jim Cooper (D-TN). The other key health care leaders who participated in discussion panels were Jay Perron the Vice President of America’s Health Insurance Plans, Chip Kahn the President and CEO of the Federation of American Hospitals, and Michael Ramlet, the Founder and CEO of the Morning Consult.

Pictured above:  L to r: Brittani Montgomery, PharmD Student, Bruce Alter, DPT Student, Drew Dudek, DPT Student, Sabrina Salvant, OTD Faculty Member, Kerry Ternes, BSN-DNP Student, and Julie Wofford, OTD Student

Pharmacy Students Install National Electronic Health Record on Campus

Students images with EMRBelmont University College of Pharmacy students Aziz Afzali, Emily Locke and Jae Yi recently installed the Veterans Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA) nationwide information system and Electronic Health Record (EHR) in the Christy Houston Drug Information Center in Belmont University’s College of Pharmacy. VistA was developed by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) and currently operates in over 1200 healthcare sites of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA).

Afzali, Locke and Yi completed the install as part of a class assignment in the Healthcare Informatics concentration of the Belmont University College of Pharmacy Doctoral program. Dr. Anthony Blash, assistant professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical, Social and Administrative Sciences, has created a four-course sequence of classes to prepare Belmont student pharmacists for healthcare informatics and sit for the CAHIMS certification. The college saw its first student certify at the CAHIMS level 18 months ago and expects 20-30 students to certify each year moving forward. Both Afzali and Yi have already certified at the CAHIMS level, and Locke expects to complete her certification within the year.

When asked about the innovative project, Locke stated, “We got the assignment at the beginning of the semester. When I first heard about the assignment, I was excited to get some hands on experience.” Yi said, “When I got the assignment from Dr. Blash, I was scared first because I never had any EHR system experience at all. But at the same time, I thought it would be a great chance to learn how EHR systems work and how to install it.” As with any project, obstacles were encountered. Afzali identified these as “lack of computer programming knowledge and unfamiliarity with the EHR being installed.”

“I had every confidence in the team,” said Blash. “I predict that students in the Healthcare Informatics concentration will soon be able to work with an actual EHR, building clinical decision support modules which make healthcare safer and more cost effective for all. 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. As a 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.”

Blash Presents at Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society Annual Meeting

Blash with his colleagues.Dr. Anthony Blash, College of Pharmacy, and colleagues presented a session titled “Differentiate Your Skill Sets From Others: Earn a Professional Certification” at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida. The conference and session were attended by Belmont Pharmacy students Jae YI, CAHIMS, Corey O’Nan, Michael Nixon, CAHIMS, and Dominic Paolella.

College of Pharmacy hosts Fourth Annual Homecoming Continuing Education Program

Presentations during College of Pharmacy's 4th annual Homecoming Continuing Education Event

On Saturday February 25, the College of Pharmacy hosted its annual Homecoming Continuing Education event. Approximately 20 local pharmacists attended the event. Attendees came from across Middle Tennessee and represented a variety of pharmacy practice settings including health system pharmacists and community pharmacists. Presentations included a 2016 New Drug Update, Cyber Risk & Your Pharmacy, Precision Medicine in Pharmacy Practice, Neuropsychiatric Symptoms of Dementia and an Update on the Screening and Treatment of Depression. Belmont faculty Drs. Genevieve Ness, Kate Claussen, Amy Ham and Michael McGuire were among the presenters. Other presenters included Hayden McKaskle of Kroll and Stephanie Walters of Alive Hospice.

Belmont University College of Pharmacy is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) as a provider of continuing pharmacy education. For more information on upcoming Continuing Education opportunities, click here.

Pharmacy Faculty, Students Represent Belmont at Graduate School Fair

 College of Pharmacy presents at Grad School FairStudent pharmacists Markesha Cook and Caleb Darensbourg recently represented Belmont at a Graduate School Fiar hosted by the Tennessee Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (TLSAMP). Held on Feb. 23, the Fair was conducted in conjunction with the TLSAMP Annual STEM Undergraduate Research Conference.  Drs. Edgar Diaz-Cruz and Marilyn Odom represented the College of Pharmacy faculty.

The Alliance is composed of 10 institutions in Tennessee — Fisk University, LeMoyne-Owen College, Middle Tennessee State University, Nashville State Community College, Southwest Tennessee Community College, Tennessee State University, Tennessee Technological University, University of Memphis, University of Tennessee-Knoxville and Vanderbilt University.

College of Pharmacy Welcomes Lipscomb Academy High School Students

Libscomb Academy students touring Belmont's pharmacy lab

On February 15, the College of Pharmacy hosted AP Language and AP Biology students from Lipscomb Academy High School. The AP Language class, taught by Mrs. Chasidy Burton, is currently reading “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” and Chair of Belmont’s Department of Pharmaceutical, Social and Administrative Sciences Dr. Marilyn Thompson Odom has a daughter who is enrolled in that class. Odom’s daughter volunteered to show the class the HeLa cells and the invitation was then extended to the AP Biology class, which is taught by Mr. Geoff Musick. With the aid of Dr. Kelley Kiningham, associate dean of the College of Pharmacy, 32 students plus their teachers and principal, Mr. Lanny Witt, were able to tour Belmont’s pharmacy research laboratories and visualize the cells.

The students viewed the cells through three different microscopes and were able to note the differences between each microscope and the ones they use in class. The ability for students to see and discuss the HeLa cells with scientists who use them made the book more relevant. After looking at the cells, the students enjoyed lunch at Belmont’s Harrington Place Dining Hall.

College of Pharmacy hosts First Annual Middle Tennessee Antimicrobial Stewardship Symposium

ASP Symposium at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. January 27, 2017.Dr. Montgomery Williams, associate professor of pharmacy practice, with the help of Dr. Shaefer Spires, assistant professor with Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, developed and planned the first Middle Tennessee Antimicrobial Stewardship Symposium. This event was held in the Janet Ayers Conference Center on Friday, January 27. The symposium was attended by more than 80 health care workers from multiple disciplines including pharmacists, physicians, nurses and those involved with infection prevention and patient safety and quality.  The symposium theme was “Putting Policy into Practice – Tools for Implementation.”

Antimicrobial stewardship is a growing national focus as concerns of antimicrobial resistance, side effects and Clostridium difficile continue to mount. This symposium brought together key stakeholders and practitioners to learn more about this topic and discuss ways to work together as a medical community to improve appropriate antimicrobial use and mitigate these risks. The symposium featured speakers from across the country, who discussed topics including legislative updates in stewardship, the use of rapid diagnostics, how to use stewardship to reduce C. difficile and changing provider behavior. During the afternoon, participants were divided into workshop sessions led by pharmacists and physicians where  many different topics were discussed, including stewardship program outcome measures, stewardship considerations in the pediatric population (led by Dr. Courtney Curtis Sutton, Belmont College of Pharmacy 2013 graduate) and engaging administration in stewardship. Given the success of the event, the symposium is likely to be an annual event.

Dr. Weston Participates in the Planning of the 2017 AACP Annual Meeting

Dr. Weston's headshotDr. Scott Weston, associate dean for academic affairs and assessment in Belmont’s College of Pharmacy, recently participated in the planning of the 2017 annual meeting of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) in Alexandria, Virginia. Weston, along with a committee of other selected members representing pharmacy schools from across the country, reviewed and discussed the hundreds of proposals for poster, podium and roundtable presentations in order to select the programming for this year’s meeting, which will be held in Nashville.

Founded in 1900, the AACP is the national organization representing pharmacy education in the United States.  AACP is comprised of all colleges and schools with pharmacy degree programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. This includes more than 6,400 faculty and 62,500 students enrolled in professional programs as well as 5,100 individuals pursuing graduate study. The AACP’s annual meeting is the largest gathering of academic pharmacy administrators, faculty and staff and each year offers 70 or more educational programs that cut across all disciplines in pharmacy.

Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame Announces Call for Nominations

The stage and audience at the Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame's 2016 Induction Ceremony

The Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame, an initiative to honor Tennessee’s finest health care leaders, is accepting nominations for its 2017 class via the organization’s website, www.tnhealthcarehall.com. Submissions will be accepted until March 10.

With a mission to honor men and women who have made significant and lasting contributions to the health care industry, the Hall of Fame seeks to recognize the pioneers who have formed Tennessee’s health care community and encourage future generations of innovators and leaders.

Created by Belmont University and The McWhorter Society and supported by the Nashville Health Care Council, a Hall of Fame Founding Partner, the Hall of Fame inducted its six-member 2016 class at a luncheon last year. Inductees included:

  • 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

Submitted nominees will be evaluated by the Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee, comprised of health care leaders across the state.

Potential inductees must have:

  • Been born, lived or have worked in Tennessee
  • Made a significant impact and lasting contribution to health care at the local, state, national or international level
  • Exhibit the highest ethical and professional character
  • Serve as an outstanding role model in their community

More information, as well as all previous Hall of Fame inductees, can be found here.