College of Health Sciences Scholar in Residence Shares Insight on Social Leadership

Bankston speaking at a faculty lunch on February 22

Belmont’s College of Health Sciences recently welcomed Dr. Karen Bankston, associate dean for clinical practice, partnership and community engagement in the University of Cincinnati’s College of Nursing, to campus as a Scholar in Residence. From February 20-24, Bankston led students and faculty in convocations, lectures, small group discussions and even one-on-one conversations surrounding the role that diversity plays in the health care system. Bankston has been working in the health care industry for over 40 years in areas ranging from trauma care in the emergency room to psychological health. She spent her week at Belmont speaking to students and faculty on topics centered on social leadership in the 21st Century.

At her convocation event on February 22, Bankston discussed the history of health care in the U.S., starting with the conception of the idea that care should be provided to everyone, including those who can’t afford it, which surfaced during the Civil Rights Movement. She focused on how the industry has had to adapt, like everything else, to changes in technology, moving from an industrial society to a technological one and from a national consumer base to a global market. Due to these advancements in the way that society functions, the focus of health care shifted to meeting the needs of an audience that expected fast and immediate attention. The idea no longer seemed to be centered on the patients being served or on the quality of the service, but rather on the money that could be made through providing the quickest gratification.

“There is no health care industry in the United States,” Bankston said. “What we have in the U.S. is an illness care industry.” With the emphasis of care being placed on those who are already sick instead of also working to promote wellness and prevent illness from occurring in the first place, different areas within the industry are straying away from their common goal of providing care. Bankston raised the question, “When is it okay to let one’s rights take a backseat to cost and quality?”

Bankston also discussed the role that social leadership should play in creating change where and when change is needed. She described social leaders as the ones who “bridge the gap between what is and what should be” and encouraged students and faculty to always question why things are done the way they are.

Bankston’s visit gave CHS faculty members the opportunity to open a discussion regarding the role that social contexts play in creating disparities in the health care industry. This information is being considered moving forward as the School of Nursing works to launch a new curriculum this fall.

“Dr. Bankston challenged us with shared experiences and insights into our academic social responsibilities, and we’re especially grateful for her frank contributions to our on-going dialogue about diversity and inclusion.  She is an inspiration for future healthcare professionals,” said Dr. Cathy Taylor, dean of the College of Health Sciences.

“We know that the health care workforce needs to look more like the population we serve,” added Dr. Martha Buckner, associate dean and professor in the School of Nursing. “We lack diversity in our professions and we believe the dialogue generated around [Bankston’s visit] will help move us forward. We also know that health professions faculty need to be more diverse and we hope to inspire a future generation of diversity for academia.”

College of Health Sciences and Nursing Receives ACE Grant, Hosts Stakeholder Summit

College of Health Sciences and Nursing hosted a Stakeholder Summit for their recent ACE grant receipt. A packed room began discussions surrounding the grant's use.

Belmont’s College of Health Sciences and Nursing recently hosted a Stakeholder Summit on campus to support the College’s Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) grant. Received from the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services, the grant provides funding for the development of three undergraduate educational modules for nursing, public health and social work students.

The Summit was held to survey area stakeholders on current gaps and recommendations for developing these modules. Speakers included the Deputy Commissioner Dr. Michael Warren from the State Health Department, Chief Medical Officer for HRSA/MCHB Dr. Aaron Lopata and Director of Community Development and Planning at Metro Health Department Tracy Buck.

Attendees discuss material at the ACE Stakeholder SummitIn addition to speakers, the event included opportunities for attendees to identify ACE topics to be included in Belmont’s new Educating Trauma Information Professionals Project. This project addresses the need to improve professional practices and promotes cross-fertilization among professions that touch children and families during sensitive periods of development and beyond. With no standard trauma-information care education model for undergraduates available, Belmont’s program seeks to create programming for health science students and identify and address knowledge and training needs among recent graduates and practicing professionals.

Dean of the College of Health Sciences and Nursing Dr. Cathy Taylor said, “We’re thrilled to receive this funding dedicated to enhancing multidisciplinary professional education and improving the health and well being of Tennessee’s children. Working with such esteemed partners toward achieving this common goal is sure to have long lasting impact.”

Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame Announces Call for Nominations

The stage and audience at the Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame's 2016 Induction Ceremony

The Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame, an initiative to honor Tennessee’s finest health care leaders, is accepting nominations for its 2017 class via the organization’s website, www.tnhealthcarehall.com. Submissions will be accepted until March 10.

With a mission to honor men and women who have made significant and lasting contributions to the health care industry, the Hall of Fame seeks to recognize the pioneers who have formed Tennessee’s health care community and encourage future generations of innovators and leaders.

Created by Belmont University and The McWhorter Society and supported by the Nashville Health Care Council, a Hall of Fame Founding Partner, the Hall of Fame inducted its six-member 2016 class at a luncheon last year. Inductees included:

  • 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

Submitted nominees will be evaluated by the Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee, comprised of health care leaders across the state.

Potential inductees 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

More information, as well as all previous Hall of Fame inductees, can be found here.

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.”

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.”

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.

College of Health Sciences Introduces new major in Public Health

Undergraduate degree seeks to address critical topic of community well-being

This fall Belmont University will begin preparing the next generation of expert community health advocates through the establishment of an undergraduate Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH). A dynamic field of study and practice credited with saving millions of lives, public health focuses on improving the health of communities and populations by working to develop the conditions and behaviors that contribute to better health for all. Practitioners address a wide range of topics that can include air, water and food standards; vaccine initiatives; tobacco control regulations; highway safety and injury prevention programs; emergency preparedness; and more.

Dr. Cathy Taylor, dean of Belmont’s Inman College of Health Sciences and Nursing where the major will be housed, said, “Establishing a Bachelor of Science in Public Health supports our College’s goal to prepare graduates who are compassionate providers and transformational leaders dedicated to service. The need for the content in this program is great, as the health of Americans—and Tennesseans in particular—remains sub-optimal. We suffer illness and premature death at higher rates than other developed countries, and the U.S. economy is at risk due to rising healthcare costs with an unhealthy workforce that has grown less competitive in the global marketplace. Our faculty and students can bring their best science and qualified skills to addressing those issues head on.”

“Tennessee is fortunate to have excellent schools and programs in public health that help meet the increasing demand in our state, nationally and internationally for professionals who are well grounded in population health principles and practice, increasingly understood as being more important even than healthcare to meet the desire we all share for optimal health,” said Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH, FACOEM. “We are delighted that Belmont is creating this undergraduate public health program that can meaningfully contribute to this growing emphasis on public health, and I’m grateful to Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher, Dr. Taylor and others at Belmont who have taken this forward looking step in their institutional journey and educational mission. We look forward to working with them to help train an advancing generation of professionals.”

The Belmont program was designed based on accreditation guidelines set forth by the Council on Education in Public Health. The BSPH prepares students for work in positions in a variety of settings including health-related agencies, hospitals, local and state public health departments, academic research centers and institutes, corporate disease management and wellness programs, non-profit agencies, and healthcare businesses and industries. Examples include:

  • Community health outreach worker
  • International health organization or missions program assistant
  • Research assistant with a nonprofit organization
  • Carrying out health-related assessments at construction sites
  • Doing consulting work related to disease prevention
  • Working at a company that does health communication and health marketing
  • Conducting air quality sampling and surveying

Many students with undergraduate degrees in public health go straight on to health-related graduate programs, while some graduates choose to take advantage of government programs to gain more experience before entering the workforce or moving on to graduate study (e.g., serving in the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps or participating in a CDC Training Fellowship such as the Public Health Associate Program, a 1-2 year, paid fellowship).

Belmont’s program will emphasize hands-on field work hours in clinical, research, policy or community health settings at local and international locations. Students in the major will be mentored to achieve personal goals whether they choose employment after their bachelor’s degree or admission into a graduate or professional program. Courses will include explorations in the foundations of public health, epidemiology, environmental health, biostatistics, policy, global health and health economics, among others. Finally, as with all health science programs at Belmont, public health majors will benefit from the ability to work with interdisciplinary teams of students and professional colleagues in nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, pharmacy, social work and health care administration, providing the best possible atmosphere to emulate the challenges and complexities of modern health care.

For more information, visit belmont.edu/publichealth.