College of Health Sciences and Nursing Hosts Visiting Professor Dr. Amanda Phelan

Dr. Phelan spends time with students in the Inman Health Science Building.The College of Health Sciences and Nursing recently hosted Visiting Professor Dr. Amanda Phelan, associate professor and associate dean for global engagement for the School of Nursing, Midwifery & Health Systems at the University College Dublin (UCD). Phelan also serves as the co-director for the National Centre for the Protection of Older People at UCD.

While on campus, Phelan presented on nursing education, health care and public health systems in the Republic of Ireland. She met with students and faculty interested in international collaboration and scholarship and discussed special challenges associated with the Republic’s aging population, as well as her own research in the area of elder abuse and protection.

Phelan provided an overview of Sláintecare, a newly proposed model of care for Irish citizens.  Said to be a radical transformation from traditional models, Sláintecare is designed to shift care out of hospitals and into the primary care, community setting.

Phelan will be working with Belmont students participating in the upcoming Public Health and Public Health Nursing Maymester trip.

Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame Opens Nominations for 2018 Class

With 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. 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.

This year’s nomination process opened after the 2017 class was inducted at a ceremony held on Belmont University’s campus in October. The nominations process will remain open until February 15 and can be accessed at www.tnhealthcarehall.com. The 2018 inductee class will be announced at the McWhorter Society’s May luncheon.

Nominees can be practitioners, executives, entrepreneurs, mentors, teachers, scientists, researchers, innovators or any person with a connection to the health or health care field. 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

To date, the Hall of Fame’s three inductee classes have included health care leaders from across the state including Jack Bovender, Dr. Dorothy Lavinia Brown, Dr. Stanley Cohen, Dr. Colleen Conway-Welch, Dr. Thomas Frist, Jr., Dr. Thomas Frist, Sr., Dr. William H. Frist, Dr. Henry Foster, Dr. Ernest Goodpasture, Joel Gordon, Dr. Frank Groner, Dr. Harry Jacobson, Jack C. Massey, R. Clayton McWhorter, Dr. Stanford Moore, Dr. Donald Pinkel, Dr. David Satcher, Dr. Mildred Stahlman, Dr. Paul Stanton and Danny Thomas.

A Selection Committee, comprised of health and health care leaders from across the state, will evaluate nominees for The Hall of Fame.

Belmont’s Health Sciences Simulation Program Earns Full Accreditation

A nursing student works along a simulator on Belmont's' campus.

The University’s program is the first in the state to earn the designation

Belmont University’s Simulation Program recently received full accreditation in the Teaching/Education Area from the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSIH) and the Council for Accreditation of Healthcare Simulation Programs. The status was granted for a five year period and is valid through December 2022.

The University’s robust Simulation Program exists to improve patient safety and health outcomes by providing high quality, evidence-based, experiential education in a safe innovative environment. With many labs offering a variety of experiences, students in many programs throughout the College of Health Sciences and Nursing (CSHN) have the opportunity to participate in a simulation during their time on campus.

In its report, the SSHC noted many program strengths including:

  • Strong integration of student support in paid positions
  • Tremendous faculty support of the program
  • Continued expansion of faculty and staff skills
  • A recognition of simulation value from learners
  • Significant support from upper administration regarding the Simulation Program and its merits

Additionally, the Simulation Program’s material recycling program was acknowledged as one of Belmont’s best practices, and a recommendation that other programs adopt the initiative was mentioned. This innovative program saves the University more than $40,000 per year.

Director of the Simulation Program and Assistant Professor Dr. Beth Hallmark said students in the College will have many meaningful opportunities to participate in simulation, beginning as soon as their first semester. “Simulation is a safe place to participate in patient care,” Hallmark said. “It enhances patient safety and improves patient outcomes by increasing confidence and improving clinical reasoning. We also are able to expose our student to interprofessional training.”

Belmont’s Simulation Program is the first in the state to receive accreditation.

Dean of the College of Health Sciences and Nursing Dr. Cathy Taylor said, “Reflecting years of dedicated work, this achievement is truly a shining achievement for nursing and health sciences at Belmont.  I’m so proud of our Simulation team and excited for the benefits it will offer future students and faculty.”

Dr. Voight Published in Journal of Sports Physical Therapy

 Professor of physical therapy Michael Voight recently published two articles in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy. The first, titled “The Relationship Between Segmental Rolling Ability and Lumbar Multifidus Activation Time,” was a graduate student research project completed by Nicole Clark, Sherry Pierce, Ryan Cook, Clint Henley and Lindsey Schiller, who graduated in 2017. Voight, Ashley Campbell and Pat Sells served as the faculty research advisers.

The second manuscript, titled “Introduction to the Movement System as the Foundation for the Physical Therapist Practice Education and Research,” written by Voight and Lisa Saladin, vice president of the American Physical Therapy Association, focuses on the transition of the field of physical therapy toward a movement-based approach.

The International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy is a fully indexed medical journal with over 30,000 subscribers worldwide.

Belmont Physical Therapy Students, Faculty Volunteer for Garrett’s Hero Run

Participants from the Fun Run pose with Garrett

Belmont University hosted Garrett’s Hero Run on October 14, the Global Physical Therapy Day of Service, as part of the American Physical Therapy Association’s National Physical Therapy Month. This day provided a perfect opportunity for Belmont’s School of Physical Therapy to join with PTs in the community for a service event that supports a fellow physical therapist and Belmont alumna.

Amber Sapp, a physical therapist and 2005 graduate of Belmont’s program, has an 11-year-old son, Garrett, who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a rare but fatal neuromuscular disorder with no cure. Every year, Amber and her husband, Randy, organize a 5K event as a fundraiser for Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD), the largest nonprofit organization devoted solely to ending Duchenne. The race, Garrett’s Hero Run, encourages participants to dress in their favorite super hero costume to support Garrett. Currently, he is participating in clinical trials to help researchers find a cure so other children don’t have to face the same battles.

At the beginning of each fall semester, Dr. Christi Williams, assistant professor in the School of Physical Therapy, fellow 2005 alumna and former classmate of Sapp’s, shares Garrett’s story with her students.  “I feel strongly that there is something special here at Belmont and we refer to it as the ‘Belmont PT Family,’” she said. “This ‘family’ serves to support you when you need it most.”

At Belmont, the physical therapy program strives to transform the lives of others by serving patients in the clinic and giving back to the community–as evidenced by students’ involvement in countless community service events. “Making a difference in the lives of others is what physical therapy is all about,” Williams said. “Amber is making a difference in the lives of many families and young boys by raising money to support research through PPMD. Her story provides encouragement and inspiration to all future PTs, and since Amber is a part of the Belmont PT family, her mission continues to be supported by her former classmates, fellow alumni and the current DPT students.”

The 2017 Garrett’s Hero Run raised more than $25,000 for PPMD to support research efforts towards a disease cure. Belmont DPT volunteers assisted in these efforts by volunteering on race day, helping with fundraising and providing auction items for the silent auction.

Sapp said, “When I was in Physical Therapy school at Belmont, my classmates became my family. When my son, Garrett, was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy seven years ago, one of the first calls I made was to a fellow alumni. These are the types relationships that are built at Belmont. These relationships are what get you through the ‘stuff of life’. Your classmates are the people who went through the fire with you and held your hand the whole way. These are the people I still want by my side.”

Tennessee’s Deputy Commissioner for Population Health to Speak at Belmont

Dr. Michael Warren, Deputy Commissioner for Population Health with the Tennessee Department of Health, will speak at Belmont this Friday, October 27, at 10:00 a.m. during the convocation hour.  His presentation will provide an introduction to public health/population health, discuss their importance, and take a look at public health in Tennessee.  The event will be held in McWhorter Hall, Room 102.  Students and the public are invited.

Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame Inducts Six Health Care Legends at Luncheon and Ceremony

Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame

For images from this year’s event, click here

The Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame inducted six health care legends from across the state at a luncheon and ceremony held in Belmont University’s Curb Event Center today, Tuesday, October 17. Hosted by Senior Counsel at Finn Partners John Seigenthaler, the Hall of Fame’s Ceremony recognizes and honors 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 Hall of Fame’s 2017 class includes:

  • Dorothy Lavinia Brown: First African American female surgeon in the south, TN House of Representative and General Assembly Member, longtime educator and Chief of Surgery at Riverside Hospital and Clinical Professor of Surgery at Meharry, advocate for women’s health, rights and education
  • William H. Frist: Former U.S. Senator and Majority Leader, Vanderbilt Transplant Center founder, first heart and lung transplant surgeon at Vanderbilt, Founder of Hope Through Healing Hands and NashvilleHealth, Senior Fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center
  • Joel C. Gordon: 47-year health care veteran who introduced physician ownership/joint ventures as a business structure, Founder of GeneralCare and Surgical Care Affiliates, Co-Founder of HealthWise of America, Owner of Gordon Group Investment Management
  • Harry R. Jacobson: Physician, entrepreneur and investor who founded/co-founded eight companies, Past Chair of the Nashville Health Care Council Board of Directors, Executive-in-Residence at Belmont University’s Jack C. Massey College of Business, Past Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs at Vanderbilt University and former CEO of Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • Stanford Moore:  Received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1972 for his work with proteins and their composition which led to the first understanding of the complete chemical structure of protein and ultimately informed decades of scientific work surrounding disease and drug discovery; graduate of the University School of Nashville and Vanderbilt University
  • Donald P. Pinkel: First Director and CEO of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital; received the Lasker Award for Medical Research, Kettering Prize for Cancer Research and Pollin Prize for Pediatric Research; led the development of the first treatment for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia, increasing the cure rate from 4 to 50%

This year’s Hall of Fame inductees join an impressive list of health care legends honored in the last two years. These include Jack O. Bovender, Jr., Stanley Cohen, Dr. Henry W. Foster, Dr. Thomas Frist, Jr., Dr. Thomas Frist Sr., Dr. Ernest William Goodpasture, Frank S. Groner, Jack C. Massey, Clayton McWhorter, Dr. David Satcher, Dr. Mildred Stahlman, Dr. Paul Stanton, Danny Thomas and Dr. Colleen Conway Welch.

For more information on the Hall of Fame, click here.

CHS Dean Taylor Featured on HealthStream’s “Second Opinions” Podcast

Dr. Cathy Taylor Head ShotDean of the College of Health Sciences and Nursing Dr. Cathy Taylor was recently featured on HealthStream’s “Second Opinions” Podcast. Taylor’s interview, “Rewiring Nurse Education to Match Industry Demands and Millennial Strengths,” details the ways in which nursing education programs are evolving based on the ever-changing health care workforce.

Taylor details training curricula and how it must change to match the needs of the “connected, digital millennial workforce.” She also explains the importance of setting realistic expectations regarding workforce rigor early in a student’s educational experience. Finally, she highlights the ways Belmont has adapted–namely through her team’s use of concept-based learning aimed at “producing flexible, curious, engaged graduates” who are prepared for their health care careers.

To listen to the interview, click here.

Physical Therapy Students Honor the Memory of Alumna Sara Pigg Walker

Students pose for a picture before the Fun Run began.

Belmont University Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) students volunteered at the annual Sara Walker Run on September 24, held in honor of 2003 Belmont DPT alumna Sara Pigg Walker. The Sara Walker Run is a fundraising event to raise money for missions supported through the Sara Walker Foundation that are intended to help spread Sara’s message of hope to others through Jesus Christ.

Sara’s Story

Sara was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer on her 33rd birthday in January 2011. After 16 rounds of chemotherapy and three clinical research trials, Sara’s earthly struggle with cancer ended in August of 2012, at the age of 34.

During her life, Sara had two great loves: writing and bringing souls to Jesus. From her diagnosis until her final breath, she sought to use her writing to provide encouragement to those with their own challenges, always pointing her readers to Jesus. She candidly wrote of her physical, emotional and spiritual battles, praying she could provide encouragement to her more than 700,000 readers worldwide. What resonated most with her audience was the concept of “savoring”–the opportunity to enjoy the little things life has to offer and see each moment as a gift from God.

Because of her great outreach to the lost and hurting, Sara’s family and close friends established the Sara Walker Foundation in 2012 to continue to provide hope to others in her honor. Because of Him, her story continues today.

Sara Walker Foundation and Belmont University

Kids who participated in the event run towards their activities. The first Sara Walker Run was held in April 2011, when Sara’s ‘Belmont DPT family’ sought to help raise funds for Sara’s medical expenses after her diagnosis. Due to its huge success, and in an effort to continue to honor Sara, the annual Sara Walker Run continues today and serves as the Sara Walker Foundation’s main fundraising event.

This year, Belmont University and the Sara Walker Foundation provided two current DPT students with scholarships in Sara’s honor. Scholarship recipients were 3rd year students Drew Dudek and Susan Keim.

Christi Williams, 2005 alumna and assistant professor in the School of Physical Therapy and Jennifer LaRocca, 2003 alumna and close friend and classmate of Sara’s, serve on the Sara Walker Foundation Board with a focus of sharing Sara’s story and keeping Sara’s spirit alive in the hearts of Belmont DPT alumni and current students. Williams shares Sara’s story with all incoming Belmont DPT students.

Williams said, “When I share Sara’s story and the mission of the Sara Walker Foundation, the students quickly begin to understand that there is something uniquely special about our ‘Belmont PT family,’ and they are excited to be a part of Sara’s story by helping with this event and spreading her message to others.”

Kids For Kids Fun Run

Sara’s sister and fellow Belmont DPT alumna (2006) Dinah Hall, with the help of Williams, LaRocca and 3rd year student leaders Susan Keim and Erin St. Pierre, successfully organized the 2nd annual Kids for Kids Fun Run which included fun activities and obstacles designed by the Belmont DPT students. The kids were divided into three age groups – a “Team Green”, “Team Yellow” and “Team Red” – and given matching wristband.  Each team was led by a group of three DPT students who designed a series of warm-up activities, led the kids through the course and provided cool-down activities and games afterwards.

Belmont PT faculty member Suzanne Greenwalt said, “The Belmont students were so interactive, silly and engaging with the young children at the race. What great role models! My children were so won over by them that all they can talk about is how they want to be just like them when they grow up.” Keim said, “What a special experience it was to run along with the kids. There was so much positive energy that flowed from the race all the way into the worship service. “

This year, the Sara Walker Run included nearly 700 participants, and the event raised $70,000 of which 100% will go toward missions supported by the Sara Walker Foundation.

St. Pierre summarized the day and said, “The Sara Walker Run is a perfect example of how everyone who is a part of Belmont PT becomes your family and how that family continues to support you long after graduation. Years after Sara’s passing, the new students still come together on this day to support the cause of one of our own, and that is a such a beautiful thing. “

New This Year:

A Belmont DPT student runs alongside children who are participating in the Fun Run.

An exciting addition to the Sara Walker Run this year was a “Battle of the Boulevard” competition between Belmont and Lipscomb students.  Sara attended Lipscomb as an undergraduate student and Belmont as a graduate student, and she loved the annual Battle of the Boulevard event between the two schools. This year when students registered for the race, they indicated “Team Belmont” or “Team Lipscomb.” The trophy was awarded to Team Lipscomb this year. The competition will continue next year, and the trophy will be passed between the schools, going to whomever has the most registered runners.

Also new this year, was the announcement of the new book that shares Sara’s story, “The Light Shines Through – A Story of Hope in the Midst of Suffering.”  In this book, Sara’s story offers compelling lessons on how to live in the present and see God’s presence and abundant love in every moment – even those that are painful. The book will be released in January 2018. To preorder your copy and take advantage of the early release date of December 15, click here.

Children’s Worship Service

The children’s worship service, led by Sara Walker’s Father Jody Pigg (known as Papa Pigg) was also a success. Belmont DPT students played an integral role in engaging the children with high-fives, big hug, and reciting Papa Pigg’s phrases with enthusiasm. The children patted each other on the back saying, “I love you, I love you, I love you” coming to the front of the group to give the biggest “high-five” to student Drew Dudek and giving the “biggest hug” to student Susan Keim. Dudek stated, “The children’s worship service was awesome! It was incredible seeing how Papa Pigg had the kids so involved and how he made it clear that God loves them. “

Papa Pigg taught the kids about the importance of “doing what’s right.” This was no ordinary worship service–it was filled with excitement as Papa Pigg used short phrases and asked the children to repeat after him in loud voices. He led the children in repeating the phrase, “When God loves me, I want to do what’s right, go to heaven and help other people.” Belmont students were interspersed throughout the crowd, helping energize the children and keep them engaged in the activities.

He continued and explained that by participating in the Fun Run, the children helped provide medicine to sick children in Africa and that their involvement sent helpers to the children. Most importantly, Papa Pigg made sure that the children understood that by helping, “We will  be able to tell those children we love them.” Keim stated, “You could feel how in tune the kids were with Papa Pigg’s worship message, which tied together the purpose of the Kids for Kids Fun Run beautifully.”

To learn more about Sara’s story and the mission of the Sara Walker Foundation, click here.

To view a video of the event, click here.