Health Sciences at Belmont University


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.


Dr. Renee Brown appointed Department Chair for Physical Therapy

Dr. Renee Brown, Professor of Physical Therapy at Belmont, has been appointed as the new Physical Therapy Department Chair as of June 1, according to Dr. Cathy Taylor, Dean of the Gordon E. Inman College of Health Sciences & Nursing.

"We are indeed fortunate to have someone with Dr. Brown’s extensive academic preparation, and her notable teaching, clinical and administrative experience, assume this important position," said Taylor in making the announcement.  Brown takes the place of Dr. John Halle who is returning to the classroom full-time.


DPT graduate receives New Horizon Award from Tennessee Physical Therapy Association

SaraSuddarthByrdSarah Suddarth Byrd, a 2010 graduate from the School of Physical Therapy doctoral program was the recipient of the 2013 New Horizon Award by the Tennessee Physical Therapy Association (TPTA). The award goes to a TPTA member with less than 5 years of experience who has made outstanding contributions to the field of physical therapy.

Sarah is employed as a physical therapist by Pulaski Ardmore Physical Therapy in Pulaski and Ardmore, Tennessee. She has many hours of advanced training, where she has focused on Orthopedic problems common in the outpatient setting. She was recently appointed the Federal Affairs Liaison for Tennessee by TPTA.


PT Professor honored as Educator of the Year

Danny Smith (left), Awards Chair of TPTA, and Alan Meade (right), Vice President of TPTA, recognize Dr. Michael Voight as TPTA Educator of the Year.

Dr. Michael Voight, Professor of Physical Therapy, recently was named Educator of the Year by the Tennessee Physical Therapy Association (TPTA).

Dr. Voight was nominated for this honor by a former student, Dr. Ashley Campbell.  “In his life, Dr. Voight has educated thousands of students and clinicians, and I am lucky to be among that group,” said Campbell.  She added, “as a student, Dr. Voight guided, encouraged and challenged me to be the best.  He taught me by example what it means to be great, and to never be satisfied with good.  He never ceases to amaze me in his passion and dedication to the profession of physical therapy, especially the education of both future and current clinicians.”