Mission to Cambodia: On the way to Poipet we go!

After nine hours of riding in a bus that reminded me of the Taj Mahal (purple curtains included), our entire team has finally arrived in Poipet, Cambodia. The bus ride started out a little rough. Unfortunately, the fire extinguisher fell from one of the overhead shelves and exploded as soon as it hit the ground. The white fumes started spreading everywhere, so we quickly pulled over to air the bus out. After that little hiccup, we were smooth sailing. And by that I mean the bus ride felt much like a wooden roller coaster at an amusement park.

When the fire extinguisher broke – note the purple curtains and seat covers.

Meat market at one of our stops

After arriving in Poipet, we checked in to our hotel and headed straight to dinner. We were all starving and in desperate need of some nourishment. One of our hosts took us to a casino on the Thailand border and we ate at the restaurant inside. For the past week, I’ve been on a hunt to find something green to eat (coming from the girl who eats spinach out of the bag like chips). Lucky for me, the restaurant had broccoli! I was on cloud nine to put something green and tasty in my mouth.

Casino on the Thailand border

On the way back to the hotel, our host and a few of the translators that will be working with us at the clinics tomorrow told us about Poipet. We drove by a street that had building after building of massage businesses with young girls sitting out front. I thought to myself how strange it was to have so many places to get a massage all lined up together and how it seemed awfully late to be going to get a massage. A second later, our host turned to me and said that the girls sitting outside were probably somewhere around my age. He added that the store fronts say that they offer massages, but their real business of prostitution is in the back of the building.

At first, I didn’t really comprehend what he was telling me. How could these young, pretty girls be caught up in such a horrible cycle like human trafficking and how did they get into this situation in the first place? It hurt my heart knowing that these girls were around the same age as me and didn’t have an escape route from their present reality. As I thought more and more about it, I started to realize a few different things. Human trafficking effects all countries and it does not discriminate against race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. There are many factors that perpetuate the cycle and a few that are especially unique to Cambodia. The country continues to rebuild itself after the mass genocide that occurred in the 70’s under the Pol Pot regime. With high levels of poverty, few job opportunities, and a broke justice system, trafficking and exploitation in this vulnerable country continues to persist.

Over the next couple of days, our team will be working with an organization called Freedoms Promise as we set up clinics and see patients in different provinces around Poipet. Their mission is to free those who are caught in the cycle of human trafficking by restoring communities, empowering leaders, and sharing their vision of freedom from oppression through the love of Jesus Christ. Please continue to pray for our team as we treat and educate patients over the next couple of days and love on the people of Poipet.

Mission to Cambodia: Hope Hospital and Preparing for Poipet

By Tessa Collier, Undergraduate Nursing Student

Today, the undergraduate nursing students went back to Hope Hospital here in Phnom Penh while the graduate nursing students went on home visits in the area. This morning eleven students and our three professors piled into the hospital van with several huge, military green duffel bags full of supplies to donate to the hospital. Dr. Massie led a Memorial Day themed devotion en route. When we arrived, we walked into the lobby to take a group photo with all of our donations. I have noticed that so many people want to take photos with us, and I have not encountered that on previous study abroad and mission trips I have been on.

Our group of eight students split into two, and we were led on a tour of the hospital. We were informed that Hope is known throughout the country for providing excellent care, and Cambodian nursing students love having the opportunity to learn at the hospital. Our guide explained to us how the hospital used to take pride in providing completely free healthcare to its recipients but decreased funding has forced it to start charging (albeit minimally) for services. We were led through the different departments, such as the Emergency Room, a minor procedure room, and Radiology. These are among the few of the only air-conditioned rooms in the entire facility. Instead of indoor waiting rooms, patients wait outside because the sun kills Tuberculosis. We walked through the beautiful courtyard with a large mango tree into a clinic and the lab. We finished our tour by visiting the medical and surgical wards on the second floor. Each ward has about 12-13 beds; there are no individual patient rooms. If a patient needs privacy while a procedure is performed, curtains are pulled around his/her bed. There are no patient care techs or nurses aides. Family members help move the patient from stretcher to bed and are taught by the nurses how to help in managing the care of the loved one. Coming to this hospital also makes me realize how much we waste in America’s hospitals. They do not dispose of chest tubes or other small things that we usually take for granted.

We dropped off five students to shadow local doctors and nurses. Two other students and I followed Dr. Massie, Dr. Taplin, and Dr. Wofford to the medical and surgical wards to look at charts. Charts here are still done through card copies. Dr. Taplin told us that every hospital in the country is required to chart in either English or French (two of Cambodia’s official languages, after Khmer); this particular hospital uses English because it was founded by English speakers. In the medical ward, Dr. Taplin opened the chart of a patient with abscesses in his spleen. They had found growths of what are called Burkholder’s pseudonomas (a term that was not even in Stedman’s Medical Dictionary) which is a type of bacteria common to this region. We then looked at the chart of another patient with Cirrhosis who had come to the hospital with ascites, which is fluid that has shifted into the abdomen. The doctors had just finished performing a paracentesis, draining 1.5-2 liters of fluid from the man (this is the maximum amount that can be drained per day.

We then went to the surgical ward where Dr. Taplin went over the chart of a woman who underwent a mastectomy to remove a huge tumor that had been growing for three years. She had not had access nor the education to wellness check-ups or cancer prevention that we have in the States. At this point, the woman was put on palliative (comfort) care because there is nothing more that can be done for her. There is no chemotherapy in this country. People who have the money can go over to nearby countries, such as Singapore, for treatment, but for the poor there is no such luxury. Dr. Taplin, Dr. Massie, and Dr. Wofford led the three of us students in a discussion about how care differs in this country compared to the States. Again, this hospital is known for providing quality care. So while there are many differences between the two systems, just because they do things differently here does not necessarily mean that it fails to provide great care to patients. It was a very informative and thought-provoking discussion.

We later regrouped with the other five students and went to lunch at Flavours Restaurant, where we went for dinner our first night here. We are now preparing for our nine-hour drive to a province called Poipet tomorrow where we will set up clinics.

 

 

Mission to Cambodia: “The Killing Fields”

Many people in many different countries around the world have been affected by genocide. When most people think about genocide they think about World War II and the Nazi’s decimation of Jewish people. Many people think that genocide is a thing of the distant past, but in Cambodia it is all too recent. From 1975 to 1979, only 38 years ago, Cambodia was thrown into chaos, by a radical regime, the Khmer Rouge and their leader, Pol Pot. Pol Pot saw hardships faced by people living in provinces outside the cities and blamed it on the people living inside the city. He saw education and wealth as a selfish and destructive nature that needed to be eliminated. Yesterday myself and others on the trip visited a cite where his radical ideas became a reality, and what a disgusting and horrific reality it was.

Upon arriving, the first thing you notice is an articulate archway, created in the traditional Cambodian fashion, as well as a tall building built with the same beautiful architecture,  about 100 yards away from the entrance. After we walked inside the camp we dawned our headsets and began the audio tour. Another student on the trip, David, explained an interesting view of this after the tour stating that it felt odd to him that we had the privilege to listen at our own leisure and pace while we were walking on the souls of thousands. As we walked towards the first checkpoint, we grew nearer to the large ornate tower in the center. As we came closer the beauty of the architecture fades away as you notice the thousands of skulls and bones displayed inside; it was truly perturbing.

Entrance

Entrance

tower in center

tower as we came closer

I won’t go into every detail of the audio tour, as it would take up too much time and my memory would not do it justice. As I began to walk around one of the things I noticed was birds singing and wildlife in full bloom. It was an oddly peaceful and almost tranquil place to be; almost as if it were a place to meditate and relax.

The path we walked and the audio tour portrayed a very different more terrifying realization. As you walk down the path there are sometimes fragments of bone and teeth scattered on the ground. There are dozens of pits and small mounds where mass graves had been excavated and the horrible reality hidden beneath brought into light for all to see. On the tour there were signs with descriptions of each area and recreated pictures of what the place was like while the killings were happening. Death and despair was everywhere and you could feel it.

The mass graves have been decorated by tourists with bracelets as a sign of respect and sorrow for the victims, two places in particular had many bracelets; the mass grave of women and children and the child killing tree.

As the tour moves on. It brings you to a tree titled “The Magic Tree” that is explained to be the same species of tree under which Buddha found enlightenment. However this specific tree is ironically called this and was used to hang tools of massacre as well as lights and speakers that blasted revolutionary music to drown out the screams of agony. The audio tour provided a music clip of the music combined with a diesel generator recreating the noise the victims last heard. This was the hardest part of the tour for me and many others. The noise was terrifying and seemed to bring up the emotions of the anguished souls. There are no words to describe the feeling.

At the end of the tour we were allowed to visit inside the tower, I think it was called the Shtupa but don’t quote me on that. As we entered, we took off our shoes out of respect and were offered to buy incense or flowers to leave for the memorial. Inside the tower were many skulls and bones as well as the killing tools. Each skull had a different marking describing how they were killed.

This place is rough on the conscience and for religious people can be a place of questioning. If there is a God how could he let this happen? How can the world be so cruel if there is an almighty? Many people would answer different things, but none of them can take away the heaviness of the reality. After leaving this place I felt I will never be the same. It is hard to go on living the privileged way we do when you know there was and still is so much hardship for others. This place and this country makes me feel ashamed of my fortune and ashamed of my trivial worries. There is nothing left to do but give back as much as I can and try to better myself and the people around me one action at a time. Let this place be a reminder to all of the terrible possibility of genocide. It could happen anywhere, but when the time comes we must make an effort to prevent catastrophes like this to ever happen anywhere.

Mission to Cambodia: Freedom’s Promise School Clinic

Today (Thursday, 5/25) was the fourth day of our trip, but with travel was our second full day in Phnom Penh, Cambodia! After spending yesterday exploring the city and learning more about the history, we were going to engage in the community around us through a variety of ways. Following breakfast at the hotel, our group of fifteen split into three different groups. One group went with a Social Worker to do HIV home visits and another group went to a local hospital to assist with check-offs for their staff. The group I was with was six of us going to a local school through the organization Freedom’s Promise. At the school we would be holding a clinic for Well Child Checks.

As we arrived in the area with the school, the van dropped us off across the street and walked through a small street, similar to an alleyway. The bleak reality of these peoples’ living conditions shook me. Small rooms, which consisted of little more than dividing walls and a cover were homes for families. Running water and simply a place for trash were non-existent. After walking along the row of homes, we were then in the area with the school. It consisted of several classrooms, an office, and a library. A teacher directed us to their covered play area with tables and chairs to use for our clinic. Lauren and I, both nursing students, set up to do height, weight, vital signs, and an eye chart. The two Doctorate of Nursing students, Kim and Paige did thorough assessments. Dr. Wolford and Dr. Massie were assisting anywhere and everywhere – from aiding in assessments to helping prescribe to keeping kids entertained as they waited.

A health issue noticed in nearly every child was tooth decay. This may seem somewhat insignificant to us and an easy fix, but for these kids it can be so much more. If further decay occurs, they could end up without teeth or an infection. While the United States has fluorinated water to help prevent this, these children come from families without running water (and Cambodia’s water isn’t drinkable, much less fluorinated). For the most part, brushing their teeth isn’t a priority. A toothbrush here costs $1, which seems insignificant to us. Yet, for many of these families, that is a day’s wages – not to consider the need for toothpaste or the lack of access to clean water. This simple issue made me realize even further how we take so much for granted back at home.

Dr. Wolford, a pediatric nurse practitioner, made an important point at the beginning of the day. She said that “Kids were kids, wherever you go.” This simple statement eased some of the nerves about not speaking the same language, as I found this reminder to be so true. Smiles, laughter, and even many games are so universal. Even if it was after a little misunderstanding, we learned their games as they did cartwheels over a string made with rubber bands. They learned limbo and we played their version of jump rope. As they waited for the next part of the assessment, Lauren and I were taught some of the shapes in Khmer. We sang “Head, Shoulder, Knees, and Toes” and taught some boys how to flip a half full water bottle to make it land correctly and cheered after many attempts for each of us. These kids were full of joy, despite their circumstances and I think that was the most powerful part of the entire experience.

Mission to Cambodia: First Day

Today was my first day in Cambodia. My group and I woke up early, had breakfast, and walked through the city to the river. Most notably it was hot, and I sweated a lot. The city was pretty and the people were nice, so that made the heat slightly more bearable. Later on in the day, I went with a group to visit the S-21 prison museum. S-21 was first a school before the Khmer Rouge took power. The Khmer soldiers decimated the school and turned it into one of many torture camps used by the Khmer Rouge during the Cambodian genocide. Their prisoners were held in hardly livable conditions, tortured daily, then killed slowly and painfully after they had given confessions to crimes they never committed. In each of the buildings, there were pictures of the prisoners and the cells they lived and died in.  The whole experience was hard to swallow, but I forced myself to look at the pictures, the torture devices, and the bones of the prisoners. I forced myself because it’s easy to look away, to not think about it and forget it happened – especially to an American. However, I see it as the least I can do for the people who can’t look away, and who can’t forget no matter how hard they try. They people who died there had no rights, no freedom, and no say in what happened to them, but I believe they have a right to be remembered; and I believe that it is our duty to remember them and the injustice of the Khmer Rouge so that those injustices will not be repeated. I think S-21 is a perfect example of what the Khmer Rouge did to Cambodia: destroy education, replace it with misery and death, and then leave it to be forgotten. There was a monument constructed at S-21 declaring that the information there is the right and property of humanity as to not forget the cruelty we are capable of.

Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame Announces 2017 Inductees

Inductees are announced at the 2017 McWhorter Society Luncheon

Hall of Fame’s third class represents Tennessee’s greatest health and health care pioneers

With a mission to honor men and women who have made significant and lasting contributions to the health and health care industries, the Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame announced the six health care professionals selected as the Hall of Fame’s 2017 class at a luncheon on Belmont University’s campus today. Created by Belmont University, the McWhorter Society and Founding Partner the Nashville Health Care Council, the Hall of Fame will induct these individuals at a ceremony in October.

President of the Nashville Health Care Council Hayley Hovious said, “This impressive group of inductees represents some of our state’s greatest talent. With individuals from all across Tennessee who have made a significant impact on their communities through their work as leaders, politicians, practitioners, scientists, philanthropists and innovators, the Hall of Fame is honored to induct such a deserving group of health care heroes.”

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 30 highly qualified nominees, inductees were chosen 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.

The 2017 inductees include:

  • Dr. Dorothy Lavinia Brown: First African American female surgeon in the south, TN House of Representative and General Assembly Member, Longtime educator and Chief of Surgery at Riverside Hospital and Clinical Professor of Surgery at Meharry, Advocate for women’s health, rights and education
  • Dr. William “Bill” Frist: Former U.S. Senator and Majority Leader, Vanderbilt Transplant Center founder, First heart and lung transplant surgeon at Vanderbilt, Founder of Hope Through Healing Hands and NashvilleHealth, Senior Fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center
  • Joel Gordon: 47-year health care veteran who introduced physician ownership/joint ventures as a business structure, Founder of GeneralCare and Surgical Care Associates, Co-Founder of HealthWise of America, Owner of Gordon Group Investment Management
  • Dr. Harry Jacobson: Physician, entrepreneur and investor who founded/co-founded eight companies, Past Chair of the Nashville Health Care Council Board of Director, Executive-in-Residence at Belmont University’s Jack C. Massey College of Business, Past Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs at Vanderbilt University and former CEO of Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • Dr. Stanford Moore:  Received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1972 for his work with proteins and their composition which led to the first understanding of the complete chemical structure of protein and ultimately informed decades of scientific work surrounding disease and drug discovery; Graduate of the University School of Nashville and Vanderbilt University
  • Dr. Donald Pinkel: First Director and CEO of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital; Received the Lasker Award for Medical Research, Kettering Prize for Cancer Research and Pollin Prize for Pediatric Research; Led the development of the first treatment for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia, increasing the cure rate from 4 to 50%.

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, “One of the things I am incredibly grateful for is Belmont’s placement in Tennessee – a state that is widely recognized as a central hub for health care in the United States, with Nashville at the helm. Our community continues to see the efforts of so many as individuals and organizations take significant strides towards shaping and advancing the health and health care industries. Meanwhile, Belmont continues to play an increasingly significant role in undergraduate, graduate and executive health care education. The induction of these six health care legends, and those that will come after them, will help Belmont inspire the next generation of health care greats, while further promoting our state’s booming success as the nation’s premiere health care hub.”

Created in 2015, the Hall of Fame has previously inducted 14 members including Jack Bovender, Dr. Stanley Cohen, Dr. Colleen Conway-Welch, Dr. Thomas Frist, Jr., Dr. Thomas Frist, Sr., Dr. Henry Foster, Dr. Ernest Goodpasture, Dr. Frank Groner, Jack C. Massey, R. Clayton McWhorter, Dr. David Satcher, Dr. Mildred Stahlman, Dr. Paul Stanton and Danny Thomas.

 

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.