Health Sciences at Belmont University


OT and PT students serve community’s wheelchair users

WashRoll2013Occupational and physical therapy students took their classroom learning outside during a community service project on Tuesday. During Wash and Roll, dozens of wheelchair users had their power chairs cleaned and serviced free-of-charge by students and faculty from Belmont’s Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy programs and local equipment dealers.

“This collaboration of physical therapy and occupational therapy was to get students involved in community service with an underserved population. Because once they get a wheelchair from insurance, they can get serviced once a year, but it is difficult to find place to get it done,” said Occupational Therapy Assistant Professor Teresa Plummer. “No one just cleans and services chairs, so families of people with medical disability have to do it on their own.”

The service is so rare that Barbara Pierce drove her husband, Marion, 90 miles from Winchester, Tenn. to Belmont’s campus to have his five-year-old wheelchair evaluated and cleaned.


OT and PT to host Wash & Roll for Wheelchair Users

Wash&RollBelmont University will host a “Wash & Roll” event for wheelchair users on Tuesday, October 22, 2014 from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.   Attendees can bring their wheelchairs to be cleaned and serviced free-of-charge by students and faculty from Belmont’s doctoral programs in physical therapy and occupational therapy, and local equipment dealers.  In addition, there will be opportunity to use a power wheelchair test track, listen to live music, and enjoy offerings from local food trucks.  The event will occur on the courtyard between Belmont’s McWhorter Hall and the Curb Events Center.

Wash & Roll is sponsored by two leading providers of wheelchairs and mobility devices, Permobil and Numotion, as well as the Tennessee Chapter of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association and the Schools of Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy at Belmont University.


PT students assess babies and infants

Twenty six babies, toddlers and preschoolers came to Belmont University on Tuesday, September 17 to participate in a pediatric physical therapy class.    The students performed developmental assessments on the infants and young  children, which fostered student learning about typical development and challenges of testing young children.  "Our young guests were excellent instructors, and everyone had a great time playing together," said Dr. Nancy Darr.
baby and young child day-118baby and young child day-129
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PT Alum featured in PBS documentary about preventing concussions in student athletes

KeithCroninBelmont PT alumnus, Keith Cronin, is part of a team of health professionals featured in a new PBS documentary about reducing concussions in high school football.  The documentary, entitled “The Smartest Team”, shows how football programs and athletes can reduce concussions and their effects by playing smarter.   The program premiered on Oklahoma Public Television last month and will roll out to all other PBS stations this fall.  Cronin was recently interviewed about his participation in the documentary by Fox 2 in St. Louis, Missouri.

Cronin earned his Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) from Belmont University in 2008 and is currently a physical therapist in St. Louis, working on sports injury prevention and coaching education community outreach programs.  He is a member of the Team of Experts at, the premier online information gateway for parents of children who play youth sports. was founded by parenting expert Brooke de Lench, the author of Home Team Advantage: The Critical Role of Mothers in Youth Sports (HarperCollins 2006).


Health Sciences faculty receive promotions

Congratulations to the following faculty members in the College of Health Sciences who received promotions this summer.

School of Nursing
Martha Buckner from Associate Professor to Professor
Angela Lane from Full-time Adjunct to Assistant Professor
Erin Shankel from Full-time Adjunct to Assistant Professor

School of Occupational Therapy
Shelley Hix from Instructor to Assistant Professor
Tamara Garvey from Full-time Adjunct to Assistant Professor
Camille Turner from Full-time Adjunct to Instructor
Emmy Dagnan from Full-time Adjunct to Instructor

School of Physical Therapy
Renee Brown from Professor to Professor & Chairman

Social Work Department
Jennifer Crowell from Full-time Adjunct to Assistant Professor

Martha Buckner

Martha Buckner


Erin Shankel

Shelley Hix

Shelley Hix


Tamara Garvey


Camille Turner


Renee Brown


Jennifer Crowell



School of Physical Therapy presents Distinguished Alumni Award and graduates 35


Dr. Terry Grindstaff

Belmont University School of Physical Therapy honored Dr. Terry Grindstaff (04) with its Distinguished Alumni Award at August graduation ceremonies for the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Class of 2013.  Dr. Grindstaff addressed the graduates at the School’s annual hooding ceremony prior to commencement.

In his address, Dr. Grindstaff reminded the graduates that their accomplishments were not achieved alone, but through contributions of many others including family, friends, faculty and fellow students.  He encouraged them to continue to surround themselves with people that will provide guidance, boundaries, motivation and support in future endeavors.  He challenged the graduates to pursue their passion and approach each task with an optimism that reflects that passion, and to embrace the opportunity to make an impact on the world through the patients they treat.


Belmont’s Joint PT Residency with Vanderbilt Medical Center receives Accreditation

Lisa Haack, PT, DPT, NCS, works with a patient for balance retraining. The Neurological Physical Therapy Clinical Residency instituted last year is a partnership between Belmont University’s School of Physical Therapy and Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson’s Pi Beta Phi Rehabilitation Institute.
Photo by Amy Woosley

Belmont University’s School of Physical Therapy and Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson’s Pi Beta Phi Rehabilitation Institute (PBPRI) have received accreditation from the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) for their collaborative Neurological Physical Therapy Clinical Residency instituted last year.

The one-year residency is one of 23 programs of its kind in the United States to have achieved this status, and is the only such program in Tennessee.

PBPRI is an outpatient interdisciplinary neurological rehabilitation program where physical therapists work in teams with colleagues in occupational therapy, speech-language pathology and social work to promote community re-entry and vocational and/or academic transitioning.

“Being the first neurological physical therapy residency program in Tennessee, we have the responsibility and the privilege to train the next generation of outstanding neurological clinical specialists,” said Lisa Haack, DPT, NCS, Neurological Clinical Residency director, a PBPRI clinical staff member in physical therapy and a neurologic specialist.

Academic Residency Director Renee Brown, PT, Ph.D, professor of Physical Therapy at Belmont University, said completion of the credentialing process is an affirmation of the program’s commitment to its patients.


Recent Publications of Faculty in the College of Health Sciences

BucknerSmall3Dr. Martha Buckner
Professor of Nursin
Buckner, M. M., Dietrich, M. S., Merriman, C., & Keeley, J. P. (2013). Identifying at-risk nursing students using a midcurricular examina-tion. CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing, 31(4). Retrieved from 10,1097/NXN.0b013e31828a0dda.


DunlapSmall2Dr. Ruby Dunlap
Professor of Nursing
Dunlap, R. K. (2013). Nursing theory and the clinical gaze: Discovery in teaching theory across a cultural divide. Nursing Science Quarterly, 26(2), 176-180.

Dr. John Halle
Professor of Physical Therapy

Halle JS. The Neuromuscular Scan Exam (Chapter Four), in Voight, Hoogenboom, and Prentice (ed), Musculoskletal Interventions: Techniques for Therapeutic Exercise, McGraw-Hill Medical, New York (Scheduled for 2013 publication).



Voight Speaks at National Athletic Trainers Meeting

VoightSmallDr. Michael Voight, professor of physical therapy in the College of Health Sciences at Belmont,  recently presented at the annual meeting of the National Athletic Trainers Association in Las Vegas, NV.  His presentation, attended by over 400 conference delegates, was on assessing and developing rotational speed in athletes.   Dr. Voight shared his work in assessing fundamental movement and in turn correcting the impairments discovered.  Examples were given utilizing several of the PGA tour players that he works with.


Susan G. Komen Organization names Belmont University School of Physical Therapy as Outstanding Volunteer Group of the Year


Belmont University PT students help coordinate the 2012 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Nashville

Belmont University School of Physical Therapy has been recognized as the “Outstanding Volunteer Group of the Year” by the Susan G. Komen Organization at their annual Leadership Conference in Dallas, Texas. Susan G. Komen is a global leader in the fight against breast cancer with local Affiliate offices in more than 120 locations in the U.S. and around the world.  Each year the organization recognizes volunteers who demonstrate dedication, commitment, creativity, initiative and dependability.

The Belmont Physical Therapy students began their commitment to Susan G. Komen Greater Nashville two years ago when they volunteered as a group to manage the race course at the organization’s annual Susan G. Komen Nashville Race for the Cure® event. The Belmont students utilize this opportunity to enhance the schools community involvement and establish teamwork within the physical therapy school.