2015 Mission to Guatemala: Day 4

Two separate teams of health science students are in Guatemala over Spring Break this year.  One team consists of nursing and pharmacy students.  The other includes OT and PT students.  Both  team are writing about their experiences.

TaliaFayedGraceCroninTeam OT/PT
from Grace Cronin & Talia Fayed

“God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called”

Today on March 11th, we spent the morning traveling to the community of Las Conchas on the outskirts of Guatemala City. The houses in this community are a single room with concrete floors, tin roofs and walls, and even blankets serving as dividers. Access to clean water is limited and food is sparse. Upon arrival we split up into 3 teams who each visited with a local family in each sector of the community. 2Guatemala04My group went to visit Nicole’s family. Nicole is a 3 year old little girl who has problems with her spinal alignment and is poorly nourished due to problems with feeding. As we came to learn more about her family we found out that Nicole has had a very hard life so far, but now is in the care of her aunt and grandmother. She is being raised by her aunt and grandmother because her mother abandoned her. These two women stepped up to the plate to do God’s work and take care of this sweet soul that Nicole is. These women were certainly not equipped to take on caring for a toddler with special needs, but God has certainly picked the right women! We loved getting to spend time with these women and Nicole. We enjoyed playing with Nicole, loving on her and her family, and teaching her stretches for her back and strategies to help her eat and communicate more. We can’t wait to hear of Nicole’s progress and the joy that she will bring to her family and her community. Continue reading

2015 Mission to Guatemala: Day 3

Two separate teams of health science students are in Guatemala over Spring Break this year.  One team consists of nursing and pharmacy students.  The other includes OT and PT students.  Both  team are writing about their experiences.

AllisonRichardsonAlliGroot2Team OT/PT
from Ali Groot & Allison Richardson

“God has created us to do small things with great love.”    Mother Theresa

March 10, team Guasome traveled to Elim, a church in Guatemala City. We were able to visit with four families in order evaluate and give suggestions of activities based on the children’s needs. The families were actively engaged with the sessions and eager to learn how they could encourage and improve the quality of care they give their child. Although every member of the team had their own experience with a different family, both of us worked with one special boy named Jimmy.

Jimmy is a 7-year-old boy with cerebral palsy. We collaborated with his eager to learn family on positioning to increase his strength and participation in exploring his environment. It was very inspiring to see the amount of love and support surrounding this child. After two hours Jimmy was out cold in his gracious Mothers arms. His parents explained that Jimmy is a precious gift from God and that they feel blessed that our team was able to come in and share more ideas with them. His father spoke with so much love and hope about Jimmy’s future and it was a true blessing for us to hear his kind words spoken over us. Hearing him speak so freely about God touched our hearts so deeply.

2Guatemala07After stuffing our faces with Gautemalan fried pollo, we decided to get a little exercise and headed to the Guatemala National Olympic training center where one of our amazing translator’s brothers plays adaptive tennis. Jose and Isa showed us how it’s done, making it look much easier than many of us were soon to find out. We were both able to test our skills (or lack there of) on the tennis court. Turns out maneuvering a wheelchair with one-hand results in going nowhere but circles while watching tennis balls fly past you. After we got schooled, Julio (number 46 in the world-NBD) had us all in awe as he and the coach played a match. We broke into groups again and gave the kids and Julio suggestions for stretching, strengthening, and adaptations to help them succeed and minimize discomfort. Continue reading

2015 Mission to Guatemala: Day 2

Two separate teams of health science students are in Guatemala over Spring Break this year.  One team consists of nursing and pharmacy students.  The other includes OT and PT students.  Both  team are writing about their experiences.

OliviaKennedyGabbyLaGaceTeam OT/PT
from Gabby LaGace & Olivia Kennedy

Today was full of adventure!! Our first stop was an orphanage named Rosa de Amor in Guatemala City. We were greeted with hugs, warm smiles and words of thanks from the staff.   Here we spent the morning playing with and assessing the needs of the children. We were broken into 4 teams mixed of OT and PT students and we were able to see children ages 12 months to 16 years old all with contagious smiles and enthusiasm. 2Guatemala01Together with the staff of Rosa del Amor, we collaborated to determine appropriate exercises and activities to enhance development of the children.

Next stop was Hope for Tomorrow. This is a home for children founded by two American women who were both adoptive mothers of Guatemalan children. The team split into two groups. The first group brought many children to the local playground while the second group worked with the staff to develop a plan for a future sensory room. They also completed thorough assessments of the children with disabilities.

2Guatemala02The PT’s worked with the staff to fit a child for orthotics to correct an abnormal gait. The OT’s also worked along side the staff to determine appropriate treatment approaches to further the children’s fine motor development and participation.

The staff of Hope for Tomorrow couldn’t have been more eager to work with us and problem solve together. Their passion for caring for the children was inspiring. What a great start to our trip and we look forward to our next stop on this journey.

Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame Opens Nominations for Inaugural Class

fountain-2014-105-300x199With 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.

The nominations process began on February 20 and will continue until April 10 at www.tnhealthcarehall.com. 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. The inaugural class will be announced at the McWhorter Society’s May 5 luncheon.

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.

Continue reading

PT students visit Tennessee legislature

Click to Enlarge Photo

Click to Enlarge Photo

Belmont DPT students attended the Tennessee Physical Therapy Association (TPTA) Day on the Hill  on February 11, 2015.  Scott Newton, TPTA President, and Joe Black, TPTA Legislative Chair, provided an orientation to the legislative process and highlighted a particular bill of interest to PTs.  The students were then escorted through Legislative Plaza to the Old Supreme Court Room in the Capitol.  Along with PT students from UTC, the students heard an inspiring talk from State Senator Bo Watson who is also a PT.  He stressed the importance of the legislative arena for PT practice and urged them to be advocates for their profession.

PT Professor appointed to Scientific Advisory Committee for Performance Health

VoightSmall2Dr. Michael Voight, Professor of Physical Therapy, has been appointed to Performance Health Academy’s 2015 Scientific Advisory Committee, one of eighteen individuals from around the world who have expertise in physical therapy, chiropractic, exercise science, athletic training, and massage therapy.

Performance Health is a leading manufacturer of rehabilitation and wellness products sold in the U.S. and over sixty countries. The Company markets its product offering under such brand names as TheraBand, Biofreeze, Cramer, Bon Vitaland Thera°Pearl. The Performance Health Academy was formed to scientifically document the benefits of resistance exercise and pain relief and guide the company in its development of new products and exercise programs. The Academy web site is a unique resource that connects healthcare professionals and consumers to the ever growing body of knowledge on exercise.

Interprofessional Workshop offered for graduate health science programs

interprofessional-orientation-139-300x185At the beginning of the spring semester, first year graduate students in the College of Health Sciences & Nursing had their first experience working and learning together under the guidance of more than 25 volunteer faculty.  Using a case study approach, nursing, occupational therapy and physical therapy graduate students worked together to design the best treatment plan for an elderly patient with complex health problems. The new students then tackled the “Marshmallow Challenge,” a fun and creative exercise designed to encourage teams to experience simple but profound lessons in collaboration, innovation and creativity.

College of Health Sciences & Nursing Dean Dr. Cathy Taylor said, “According to the World Health Organization (2010), ‘interprofessional education (IPE) occurs when two or more professions learn about, from and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes.’ Emerging evidence links interprofessional (IP) teams to better patient outcomes. As we move into the next phase of healthcare reform, licensed professionals must be able to work effectively in teams and communicate vital patient information clearly.”

PT professor presents at 2 international conferences

VoightinJapanDr. Mike Voight, Professor of Physical Therapy, was recently a keynote presenter at the World Golf Fitness Summit in Carlsbad, California and at a meeting of the Japanese Athletic Trainer and Physiotherapy Association in Tokyo, Japan.

The World Golf Fitness Summit brings together over 30 of the world’s thought leaders in athletic performance to discuss the latest research and practical applications. Dr. Voight is noted as one of the leading authorities in the rehabilitation of orthopedic and sports injuries. At the Summit, he joined with Dr. Tom Byrd, an orthopaedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine and arthroscopic surgery, to present a session about hip injuries in the golfer.

Earlier in the month, Dr. Voight co-presented a session to the Japanese medical community on the evaluation of movement disorders and the impact that poor movement has on the hip. Seventy-five Japanese physicians and physical therapist were in attendance.

PT student research published in professional Journal

A research group of third year graduate students in the School of Physical Therapy, under the direction of Dr. Pat Sells and Dr. Kevin Robinson, recently had a manuscript published in the October issue of The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.  The journal is the official research medium of the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

“We had conversations several years ago with a company making wearable performance jewelry,” explained Dr. Sells, “and agreed to conduct research that clinically tested claims that the product, which included a variety of technologies such as copper, negative ions, holograms, etc., enhanced performance with improved balance, agility and power.”    The students utilized about 60 aerobic exercise tests with subjects under three different conditions: when not wearing the jewelry, when wearing fake jewelry that appeared to be the performance enhancing product, and when wearing jewelry with the performance enhancing technology.  The clinical tests found that the wrist bands had no impact on performance.

The students, who have since graduated with their Doctorate of Physical Therapy degrees, included Hannah Cavicchio, Brittney Everhart, Brandon Grass and Jonathan Lambert.


School of Physical Therapy Alum is hired by NBA’s Miami Heat

BrandonBelmont alumnus, Dr. Brandon Gilliam, has been named Director or Rehab and Assistant Athletic Trainer for the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association. Dr. Gilliam earned his Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree from Belmont University School of Physical Therapy in 2005.  Upon graduation, he began working in private practice clinics in the Nashville area from 2005-2013.  He also provided sports medicine coverage at Christ Presbyterian Academy from 2005-2009.  Prior to accepting the position with the Heat, Gilliam traveled extensively and taught continuing education courses to other health care professionals with the North American Sports Medicine Institute.  In addition, for the past several years, Dr. Gilliam served as an adjunct within the Belmont University  School of Physical Therapy.   In his final year in Nashville, Dr. Gilliam started his own business consulting with professional and collegiate teams and individual athletes as well as providing concierge physical therapy and fitness services for entertainers and athletes.  In his current role as Director of Rehab, Dr. Gilliam is responsible for maintaining the day to day health of all the player currently on the Miami Heat roster.