Health Sciences at Belmont University


Pharmacy professor contributes to cancer research study

DiazCruzSmallDr. Edgar Diaz-Cruz, assistant professor of Pharmacy, was recently published in the journal. Frontiers in Oncology, for research he and his colleagues conducted on human pancreatic cancer.   The study, entitled Human pancreatic cancer-associated stellate cells remain activated after in vivo chemoradiation, showed that human tumor-derived pancreatic stellate cells survive both in vivo chemo- and radiotherapy. The data supports the idea that stellate cells play an essential role in supporting and promoting pancreatic cancer and may lead to new treatments targeting the pancreatic tumor microenvironment.  The team included researchers from the National Cancer Informatics Program, the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University, the University of Texas, the German Research Center for Environmental Health, and ETH Zurich in Switzerland.


Pharmacy students complete project for Guatemalan Hospital

June 2014 Mission team: Front row (l-r): Kristen Conrad, Chelsey Manire; Middle Row: Candice Beam, Mary Alice Hobson, Alex Ernst, Kandice Squires; Back row: Meredith Erivin, Dr. Eric Hobson, Garrett Hobson, Will Hobson, Scott Hobson, Kyla Cunico

June 2014 Mission team: Front row (l-r): Kristen Conrad, Chelsey Manire; Middle Row: Candice Beam, Mary Alice Hobson, Alex Ernst, Kandice Squires; Back row: Meredith Erivin, Dr. Eric Hobson, Garrett Hobson, Will Hobson, Scott Hobson, Kyla Cunico

Students and faculty from Belmont University’s College of Pharmacy recently completed a year-long project to create an inventory system at the Moore Pediatric Surgery Center in Guatemala City, Guatemala.  The project started last July and included four separate mission trips from the College with a total of 23 students and faculty contributing.  The most recent team finished the expansive project to catalog the contents of the surgery center which includes three operating rooms and 21 beds.  The inventory system was built from scratch, tested, launched and, during this last visit, turned over to the surgery center’s local management.


Pharmacy professors published with study of interprofessional learning

SteilSmallDr. Condit Steil, professor of Pharmacy,  Dr. Mark Chirico, a former faculty member in the College of Pharmacy, and Dr. Richard Thompson from Lipscomb University have co-authored a manuscript accepted for print publication in August by Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning.  The article describes the implementation and first two years of follow-up of a novel interprofessional program which includes the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing at Vanderbilt University, the Social Work Department at Tennessee State University, the College of Pharmacy at Lipscomb University, and the College of Pharmacy at Belmont University.  The study suggests positive benefits, as well as some areas for improvement, of interprofessional students working together in experiential settings and provides a format for other institutions to follow.  The article is available electronically by clicking here.


Pharmacy students help administer free HIV tests

Greater Than AIDSThis past weekend, Belmont College of Pharmacy students teamed up with Walgreens and Nashville Cares to administer free HIV tests at Walgreens locations around Middle Tennessee. The free testing was part of the Greater Than AIDS campaign and was in honor of National HIV Testing Day. The students participating in the event were members of the Belmont chapter of the Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA) who had completed HIV testing and counseling training with Nashville Cares and become certified in the Spring. SNPhA plans to offer the training to its other members during the upcoming school year. SNPhA hopes to maintain their partnership with Nashville Cares so that they can continue to serve their community through HIV education and early detection.


Pharmacy staff member publishes article

WikleSmall2Erin L. Wikle, assistant to the dean in the College of Pharmacy, has published an article on new Tennessee legislation impacting women who use narcotic drugs while pregnant. The law, effective July 1, states that a woman can be prosecuted for assault if she takes a narcotic drug while pregnant and the baby is born addicted, is harmed or dies as a result. Wikle discusses services offered by The Salvation Army in Tennessee to support both the mother and effected family members. She also proposes key questions that result from the controversy of the legislation. Click here to read the article.


Pharmacy Faculty and Students join Medical Mission to Honduras

2014HondurasMission1A small group of faculty and students from Belmont University College of Pharmacy recently traveled to Honduras as part of the Baptist Medical Dental Mission to that country.  Dr. Adam Pace, Dr. Alisa Spinelli, and two fourth year pharmacy students, Erin Oakley and Erin Mullen, joined a team of about 30 medical professionals who made the trip.

The team set up a medical clinic, dentistry clinic, and pharmacy in a schoolhouse in El Cedrito, a mountain village in the state of Yoro, and saw approximately 1500 patients. About 5,000 prescriptions were dispensed through the pharmacy, 250 teeth were pulled by the dentist and 200 pairs of eyeglasses were distributed. In addition, 180 individuals either professed a new found faith in Jesus Christ or expressed a renewal of their Christian commitment during the church services or through personal evangelism at the medical stations.


Dean Johnston recognized as Health Care Hero by Nashville Business Journal

JohnstonSmall2The Nashville Business Journal has named Dr. Phil Johnston, dean of Belmont’s College of Pharmacy, as a Health Care Hero. Winners were selected for their contributions to Music City’s health community by a panel of industry judges. Johnston was recognized in the “Health Care Professional Services” category along with other local leaders, including Anne Sumpter Arney of Bone McAllister Norton PLLC, Vicki Estrin of C3/Consulting, Berry Holt of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, Rosemary Plorin of Lovell Communications, Jerry Taylor of Stites & Harbison PLLC and Tommy Yeager of M.J. Harris Construction Services. The honorees will be recognized at an awards luncheon on June 6 at Loews Vanderbilt Hotel and in a special publication in the June 6 print edition of the Nashville Business Journal.  The luncheon celebrates “the accomplishments of the leaders, innovators, strategists and caretakers, whose work is helping to grow the region’s health care industry and reinforcing Nashville as the health care capital of the nation.”  Belmont University School of Nursing professor Jane Shelby was recognized as a Health Care Hero in 2009.


Pharmacy Students Trained as Hepatitis C Educators

HCV-Training-Photo-300x300Fourth-year pharmacy students William Herbert and Myduy Nguyen, along with pharmacy faculty member Dr. Ashton Beggs, recently attended a Hepatitis C Training Workshop. This intensive one-day training provided attendees with knowledge and tools to go into their communities and educate others about Hepatitis C. Topics covered in this workshop include the liver, Hepatitis C transmission, prevention, diagnosis, symptoms, disease progression and management as well as medical treatment.

In 2001, the Hepatitis C Support Project (HCSP) conducted a broad needs assessment for hepatitis C awareness and education. The HCSP determined the most needed resource was a quality hepatitis C educational process that could be widely distributed and utilized throughout underserved communities affected by hepatitis C. To accomplish this objective, HCSP designed a program that covers awareness and education in a training workshop environment. The goal of this program is to provide unbiased and quality education to individuals who can then educate their respective communities on the virus.


Pharmacy student receives US Public Health Service Award


Mary-Martin Johnson is recognized by Dr. Philip Johnston, Dean of the College of Pharmacy

Fourth-year pharmacy student, Mary-Martin Johnson, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, recently received the United States Public Health Service Excellence in Public Health Pharmacy Practice Award.  Johnson was presented the aware by Dr. Chris Lamer, a clinical informaticist with the Indian Health Services.   The U.S. Public Health Service created the program to encourage student pharmacists to become active in public health issues.  The annual award recognizes student pharmacists who have demonstrated a commitment to public health and public health practice across America.

Johnson was recognized for her work in the American Pharmaceutical Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) chapter within Belmont’s College of Pharmacy.  She has served as operation heart chairwoman and patient care coordinator for the organization. Through her efforts sustainable contributions to organizations such as the Barren Plains Hispanic Ministry have been initiated in the last few years. The APhA-ASP chapter has provided migrant workers free blood glucose and blood pressure screenings as well as patient education regarding diabetes and hypertension. In addition, the APhA-ASP chapter provided influenza immunizations to the migrant workers. Additionally, as service chairwoman within the Class of 2015, she has worked with The Little Pantry That Could.  The nonprofit organization that provides food and healthcare services to the homeless population in west Nashville.  Without a doubt, Johnson embodies the mission of the United States Public Health Service.  Through her efforts as a student pharmacist, numerous lives have been changed.


Pharmacy students volunteer at community health fair

Kappa Psi at Health FairRecently several students from the College of Pharmacy’s Kappa Psi, Epsilon Kappa chapter assisted with a health screening fair at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Burns, Tennessee.  The students provided bone density checks, blood glucose checks and surveys of diabetes mellitus.  They also assisted with blood pressure measurement and counseling about blood pressure and nutrition.  Participants included Kelly Maguigan, Chris Conkling, Fred ONeal, Niki Walker, Fernando Diggs, Kyla Cunico, Jessica Yost, Chris Kepinski, Joshua Ferrall, Destin Lenz and Sarah Gobin.