PT faculty member receives award and students present research projects at statewide meeting

BurschLikens3Gail Bursch, Associate Professor of Physical Therapy, received the 2015 Carol Likens Award (CLA) presented by the Tennessee Physical Therapy Association (TPTA) at their annual meeting recently. The award is given annually to a TPTA member who has provided exceptional service to the profession of physical therapy.  Bursch served as Chair of the Nashville District of TPTA for 11 years, was Vice President of the Tennessee Chapter for 5 years and most recently chaired the TPTA Nominating Committee for 4 years.  The Likens award is named for its first recipient who served the chapter as president from 1985 to 1995 and whose vision, leadership and commitment to the profession brought the TPTA through one of its greatest periods of growth and service to members. Continue reading

Dean Taylor Contributes to Maternal and Child Health Navigator

TaylorSmallDean of the College of Health Sciences Cathy Taylor was part of the original design team of national experts, supported by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), who worked to develop and launch the MCH Navigator beginning in 2010.

The MCH Navigator is an online portal and clearinghouse for maternal and child health professionals, students and others working to improve the health of women, children, adolescents and families for training on key MCH and leadership topics. The project contains in-depth training portals on specific issues of importance to public health professionals and highlights learning opportunities focused on MCH topics.
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PT professor honored by Komen as Pink Tie Guy

SellsSmall2Dr. Pat Sells, Professor of Physical Therapy, was recently honored by the Greater Nashville affiliate of Susan G Komen as part of the 2015 class of Pink Tie Guys. Dr. Sells was among nine individuals from middle Tennessee who were recognized this year.

The Pink Tie Program honors  influential leaders who help mobilize, energize and engage audiences in the breast cancer movement through their role within the community, within their organizations, and through their personal involvement. The Pink Tie Guys are leaders who bring a male voice to the urgency of finding the cure.

It was Dr. Sells’ interest in service that first led him to get involved with Susan G. Komen and the Race for the Cure.  His interest in the Komen events was heightened following the passing of his grandmother, who happened to be a 20 plus year survivor of breast cancer.  After her passing, Pat spent a great deal of time contemplating the courage, strength, determination and faith required of someone facing breast cancer, a strong motivational influence to help find a cure.

Dr. Sells, along with 2014 Pink Tie Guy and fellow Belmont professor, Dr. Mike Voight, coordinate over 100 student volunteers from the School of Physical Therapy prior to and during the Race for the Cure event each year.  The students were recognized in 2013 by Komen International as the Outstanding Volunteer Group of the Year.

OT and PT students, faculty and alumni present at International Seating Symposium

ISS 2015 Go Baby Go 2

Belmont OT student, Jayme Mills and BU PT alumnus, Marna Jane Bevill watch as a child test drives her new “ride.”

Six doctoral students from the School of Occupational Therapy recently joined with Dr. Teresa Plummer, Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy, Dr. Nancy Darr, Professor of Physical Therapy, and several graduates of both programs to teach a Go Baby Go preconference workshop at the annual International Seating Symposium (ISS) held in Nashville this year.  The ISS is the lead educational and scientific conference in the field of wheelchair seating & mobility and related technologies.

The student presenters included Elizabeth Davis, Gabrielle LaGrace, Emily McClearran, Jayme Mills, Kelly Phipps and Betsy Philo, all second year OTD students.  OTD alumnus Cassie Swinehart and DPT alumnus Marna Jane Bevill assisted in the presentation which was coordinated with Go Baby Go Music City and the Center for Independent Living.

Workshop participants were instructed in how to modify commercially available ride on toys for young children with disabilities.  Several children with physical disabilities participated in the workshop and received ride on cars modified by participants with assistance from the instructors and Go Baby Go Music City volunteers.   Modified ride on cars enable children with physical disabilities to interact and play with peers thus improving communication, vision, cognition and motivation to move.

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 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.

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PT students visit Tennessee legislature

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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.