Physical Therapy Students Honor the Memory of Alumna Sara Pigg Walker

The runners begin their race at the Sarah Walker 5K!

Belmont University Doctorate of Physical Therapy students played an important role in honoring a fellow 2003 Belmont DPT alumna, Sara Pigg Walker, on September 25.  Belmont’s current DPT students organized a Kids for Kids Fun Run, a new event added to the annual Sara Walker Run 5K, where kids were encouraged to run for children around the globe.  Belmont’s DPT students teamed up with the Sara Walker Foundation and Lipscomb University to help organize this event in honor of Sara Walker, by spreading her message of hope through Jesus Christ.

The first Sara Walker Run occurred in April 2011, when Sara’s Belmont PT family wanted to raise funds for Sara’s medical expenses after she was diagnosed with cancer. Her 2003 classmates, with the help of the Belmont School of Physical Therapy faculty and STAR Physical Therapy, successfully organized this family-friendly 5K race for hundreds of Sara’s friends, family and blog readers to offer support and encouragement. Due to its 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. Continue reading

PT Students, Faculty and Alumni Help Coordinate Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Nashville

komen2016aOver 130 doctoral students and alumni from the School of Physical Therapy at Belmont recently helped coordinate logistics for the annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Nashville.   The Belmont contingent helped with course set-up and take-down and served as course marshals managing a crowd of over 20,000 participants and spectators.

Dr. Michael Voight, professor of physical therapy, was co-chair for this year’s race along with Dr. Ashley Campbell who is an adjunct professor in the School and an alumnus of the doctoral program.  Dr. Voight serves on the local Komen organization’s Board of Directors and has facilitated the participation of Belmont students as volunteers for many years.  “Komen Greater Nashville has provided more than $4 million in screening, treatment and educational services to women in middle Tennessee,” said Voight, “and much of that is raised each year with the Race for the Cure in which our students contribute greatly.”  Additional faculty support comes from Dr. Pat Sells who leads the race volunteer program.

Third-year students Jade Manning and Brittany Ryan served as class leaders to train and coordinate their classmates in preparing for the race weeks in advance.  Many worked until dark during the day before the race with course set-up and 120 volunteers began race day at 6:00 a.m. to coordinate last-minute logistics.  “Each year when we volunteer at these charitable events I’m reminded why I wanted to be a physical therapist in the first place,” shared Ryan, “to help promote a healthier and more positive world.”  Added second-year student Sarah Hogan, “I love volunteering for Komen each year because it provides great class bonding while raising money for an important cause.  I have multiple breast cancer survivors in my family and seeing all these people in pink reminds me of the struggle that so many families endure.”

Patty Harman, executive director of the Nashville Komen affiliate, expressed gratitude to the Belmont students for their contributions to the race.  “The race would not have been as successful without our friends from Belmont University School of Physical Therapy,” remarked Harman, adding, “we cancer survivors and co-survivors understand and appreciate the gift they provide each year in this unique way.”

“We had another successful event with more people participating this year than ever before,” said Haden McWhorter, Komen board member and chairman of the event.  “Belmont jumped in to do whatever was needed to make it a wonderful experience for each person.  We can’t thank them enough for all they did.”

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.

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.”

School of Physical Therapy Hosts Shoes4Kids Drive

Each year, Shoes4Kids conducts a shoe drive in conjunction with the American Physical Therapy Association’s annual conference, NEXT, to provide new athletic shoes and socks to under-privileged and under-served children in the host city. This year’s conference took place in Nashville, providing Belmont University’s School of Physical Therapy with the privilege of hosting the Shoes4Kids event.

As host school, the Doctor of Physical Therapy students were responsible for collecting, inventorying, purchasing and transporting hundreds of shoes for the event. The Belmont PT students, along with faculty sponsor Dr. Christi Williams (‘05), collected over 800 pairs of new tennis shoes and socks, which were then distributed in the Nashville community with the assistance of Catholic Charities of Nashville. Students, joined by volunteers, formed the “Shoe Crew” and fit children with their new shoes and socks.

Kylie Cook (’16) and Jade Manning (’17) led the student team and presented the results of the shoe drive at the APTA House of Delegates. Brad Thuringer, founder of the Shoes4Kids program, said, “I am daily reminded how fortunate I am to be part of such a wonderful profession and organization made up of such amazing people… You have such an amazing group of students. The best that I have worked with yet!”

College of Health Sciences and Nursing Hosts Health Care Academy

Belmont’s College of Health Sciences and Nursing recently hosted a one-day session for high school students interested in pursuing careers in health care through the 2016 Maury Academy for Students in Health (MASH).

A two-week summer camp for local students, MASH included individual sessions designed to expose participants to diverse areas of medicine and health care. Students interacted with health care expects including physicians, registered nurses, medical & radiologic technologists, respiratory therapists and pharmacists to learn about physical assessment, casting, suturing, medical terminology and more.

In a post-survey of their experiences at Belmont, one student commented on the University’s use of technology throughout its curriculum saying, “I enjoyed working with the mannequins. They were super cool! I did not know that our world had that advanced of technology. It is quite amazing.”

School of Physical Therapy receives 10-year reaccreditation

Belmont University’s School of Physical Therapy was recently granted a 10-year reaccreditation term by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). This is the maximum length of time granted by the Commission and is reserved for programs that have demonstrated compliance with established criteria and excellent program outcomes.

Focused on the continued improvement of physical therapy education across the country, CAPTE requires programs to engage in a self-study to demonstrate compliance and submit it for review. Additionally, a team of CAPTE reviewers conducts an onsite assessment of the program. The findings of the self-study and the on-site review team are then reviewed by the Commission for determination of accreditation status. This year-long process (undertaken by Department Chair Renee Brown, PhD, PT and the entire physical therapy faculty and staff) included students, graduates, employers, clinical instructors and the Program Advisory committee.

The School of Physical Therapy’s 10-year reaccreditation was awarded on May 4 with no areas of non-compliance or areas for improvement cited. Additionally, the Commission commended the program for the quality of the self-study. The awarding of 10-year reaccreditation indicates that CAPTE recognized the high quality of the program, the caliber of the faculty and staff and the accomplishments of students and graduates.

Dean of the College of Health Sciences and Nursing Dr. Cathy Taylor said, “This is a remarkable accomplishment and well-deserved recognition for Dr. Brown and our exceptional PT faculty, staff, students and graduates.”

Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame Announces 2016 Inductees

Hall of Fame’s second class represents Tennessee’s greatest health and health care pioneers

The Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame announced the six health care professionals selected as the Hall of Fame’s second class of inductees at a luncheon held on Belmont University’s campus Tuesday. With a mission to honor men and women who have made significant and lasting contributions to the health and health care industries, the Hall of Fame was created by Belmont University and the McWhorter Society and is supported by the Nashville Health Care Council, a Hall of Fame Founding Partner.

Chair of the McWhorter Society and Chairman of Medcare Investment Funds Dr. Harry Jacobson said, “This group of six individuals embodies some of the greatest talent our state has ever seen. With representatives from all corners of Tennessee who have made a significant impact on their communities through their work as leaders, practitioners, executives and scientists, the Hall of Fame is honored to name such a deserving group of health care legends as inductees.”

The nomination process began in January and was open to practitioners, executives, entrepreneurs, mentors, teachers, scientists, researchers, innovators or any person with a connection to the health or health care field. Nominees 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

Among the more than 35 highly qualified candidates nominated, the inductees were reviewed by a Selection Committee made up of health and health care leaders from across the state. Selected inductees represent some of Tennessee’s greatest health and health care pioneers, leaders and innovators.

Inducted individuals include:

  • Jack Bovender: 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
  • Dr. Stanley Cohen: Recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in medicine and physiology, 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 therapiesDr. Colleen Conway-Welch: Dean Emerita of Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, Past Nashvillian of the Year, Served on President Reagan’s Commission on HIV Epidemic and the National Bipartisan Commissions of the Future of Medicare, Founder of Friends of the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Nursing Research
  • Dr. Henry Foster: 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, Pioneered a national model for regionalized perinatal health care systems
  • Dr. Frank Groner: President Emeritus of Memphis’s Baptist Memorial Hospital, Commissioner of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals, Health Consultant to the federal government
  • Dr. Paul Stanton: President Emeriti and Professor Emeriti 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

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.

Belmont’s President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “It is widely recognized that Tennessee is a central hub for health care in the United States, and with Nashville at the helm, our community has seen many individuals and organizations take significant strides to shape and advance the industry. Meanwhile, Belmont University has taken a significant role in undergraduate, graduate and executive health care education. The induction of these members into the Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame will help us inspire the next generation of health care leaders, while further promoting Tennessee’s booming success as the nation’s premiere health care hub.”

Created in 2015, the Hall of Fame inducted eight inaugural members last year including Dr. Thomas Frist, Jr., Dr. Thomas Frist, Sr., Dr. Ernest Goodpasture, Jack C. Massey, R. Clayton McWhorter, Dr. David Satcher, Dr. Mildred Stahlman and Danny Thomas.

PT students to collect shoes for underserved children in Nashville

In conjunction with the 2016 APTA NEXT conference being held in Nashville from June 8 through June 11, Belmont University’s School of Physical Therapy is partnering with Shoes4Kids to collect and distribute new athletic shoes and socks to underserved children and their families in the Nashville community.   The goal is to collect 1,300 pairs of shoes to reach the 10,000th  pair of shoes that Shoes4Kids has given out in the last 10 years.

You can help by teaming up with Belmont’s PT students to place collection containers in appropriate stores and clinics, purchasing “NEW” youth athletic shoes (toddler size 1 to adult size 15) to donate, or sending a monetary donation to help purchase shoes.

For more information, contact Dr. Christi Williams (christi.williams@belmont.edu) or student representatives, Kylie Cook, SPT (kylie.cook@pop.belmont.edu) or Jade Manning, SPT (jade.manning@pop.belmont.edu)

Health Science Students Attend Leadership Health Care Delegation in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Cathy Taylor, dean of Belmont’s Gordan Inman College of Health Sciences and Nursing, recently moderated a session at the Leadership Health Care Delegation in Washington, D.C. Taylor’s moderated session delivered by Dr. Meena Seshamani, director of the Office of Health Reform, who oversees the office charged with implementing the Affordable Care Act.

Seven Belmont nursing, occupational therapy and physical therapy doctoral students attended the conference with Taylor to network with industry leaders and decision makers. These students included Emmy Rice, Nicole Clark, Tim Zerwic, Joe Straatmann, Carleigh Smith, Kenneth Jenkins and Kristian Beach.

*Above photo provided by Keith Mellnick and Nashville Health Care Council