Dean Taylor Published in ‘The Mother & Child Project,’ Sheds Light on Global Maternal and Child Health

IMG_09521 (2)Dean of the College of Health Sciences Dr. Cathy Taylor was recently featured “The Mother & Child Project: Raising our Voices for Health and Hope,” a compilation of personal narratives, research and essays from inspirational leaders, politicians, philanthropists, speakers and musicians including Kimberly Williams Paisley, Amy Grant, Melinda Gates, Senator Dr. William H. Frist and Michael W. Smith, among others.

The project was compiled by Sen. Frist’s Hope Through Healing Hands, a nonprofit whose mission is to promote improved quality of life for all people around the world. Using health to lead the charge, Hope Through Healing Hands seeks to educate all people on ways to have access to a fuller, healthier lifestyle.

Published with the intent to raise awareness on maternal and child health issues in developing countries, the book also includes personal stories from women in other countries who have been positively affected by family planning, prenatal care access and post-natal medical assistance. The book outlines the critical role family planning plays in preventing mortality, combating extreme poverty, keeping girls in school, promoting gender equality and preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

Dr. Taylor said she was immediately interested in supporting the project through the writing of a chapter because with the advancements in science for maternal and child health, the ways to ensure health among young children is clear. “We know how to nurture those babies to grow into healthy, productive adults, but in developing countries, many of the ingredients are missing. We can do something about that,” Dr. Taylor said. “Raising awareness of the tragic plight of millions of young women and children in developing countries can make a difference.  As Christians, we are called to carry each other’s burdens, and this is a burden we should share.”

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.

The team worked on the project for several years, and after development and testing, the Navigator is housed and maintained at Georgetown University with permanent support by a grant from the MCH Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Click here to learn more about the project.

The team’s paper, “The MCH Navigator: Tools for MCH Workforce Development and Lifelong Learning,” describes the Navigator and the development process and was published last month in the MCH Journal. Click here for the abstract and full text.

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.

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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.”

Sullenberger is among 30 most influential social workers

SullenbergerSmallSocial Work Program Chair and Associate Professor Dr. Sabrina Sullenberger was recently honored as one of The Social Work Degree Guide’s 30 most influential social workers alive today. Sullenberger has been a faculty member at Belmont since the summer of 2013, after spending 10 years at Indiana University.  She holds a PhD in Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with research interests in poverty and child welfare. Her work has been internationally published with areas of exploration in the scholarship of teaching and learning. She teaches social work by infusing service learning and hands-on assessment. Sullenberger believes in passing the torch of change in social service to her students.

Selection was based on merit, scholastic study, and political activism. From celebrities to university professors, the list includes individuals who plan, engage, and support social work. Many belong to professional associations that provide ethical guidance and support to various communities. Most have authored books or published journal articles on policy, reform, crisis intervention, and civil liberties.

Information about all 30 social workers can be found at socialworkdegreeguide.com.

 

Social Work students honored at Belmont University Awards Day

scholarship-awards-2014-105In a ceremony marked by numerous standing ovations, students and faculty were honored this week during the University’s annual Scholarship and Awards Day convocation. All of the awards given reflected Belmont’s mission and commitment to scholarship, service and leadership.

In one of the most moving presentations, graduating senior and social work major Matthew Thompson was awarded the John Williams Heart of Belmont Award, which is given to a student committed to Belmont’s values including innovation, persistence, advocacy for change, community development and service. Before coming to Belmont, Thompson served in the Navy on the USS George Washington for five years.  In 2005, he enlisted in the Army where he served an additional four years and afterwards completed one year of service in the Tennessee National Guard. After 10 years of service and three deployments, he was honorably discharged and began pursuing a degree at Belmont. Continue reading

Social Work Students, Professors Present at National Conference

matt-poster-BPD-300x224Social Work senior Matt Thompson recently presented a poster at the Baccalaureate Program Director’s (BPD) national conference on social work education.  His poster, which was selected to be a part of the student conference within the larger BPD conference, was entitled “Welcome Home: Current Military Pre and Post Separation and Transition Protocol.”  This poster provided an overview of current practices that are followed as men and women leave the armed services. As Thompson discussed the poster with conference attendees, he noted areas where policies should be reviewed as well as areas where social work expertise could be utilized to provide more effective services to new veterans.   Thompson, drawing on his social work education as well as his experience in the military, summed it up this way:  “Compassion and caring are not substitutes for action and advocacy.”

Assistant Professor of Social Work Julie Hunt and Associate Professor of Social Work Sabrina Sullenberger also presented at the BPD conference.  Sullenberger co-presented a workshop entitled “High-impact Educational Practices in Teaching Social Work Research” with colleagues from Indiana University.   Hunt’s roundtable presentation was entitled ““Integrating Spiritual Sensitivity into Cultural Competence Education for our Changing World.”

Reflecting on her work at the conference, Hunt said, “It was an honor to lead a roundtable discussion with a diverse group of colleagues from universities around the country on ways to integrate spiritually sensitive content in their social work curriculum. We had a productive and meaningful sharing of ideas, and their interest in this conversation has continued as we have been corresponding since the meeting, sharing syllabi, and ideas for readings and course assignments.”

Social Work students look to influence state legislators

Social work juniors in Dr. Jennifer Crowell’s Policy II class recently participated in Social Work Day on the Hill at the Tennessee Legislative Plaza.  They met with legislators, observed committee meetings and participated in a policy presentation and poster competition. Prior to the Day on the Hill, students worked in class to identify bills under consideration at the state level, and analyze the bills in the context of social work values, ethics and populations served, and then made recommendations on how to improve the bills they had studied.  This collective work led the class to identify one topic to focus on for the policy presentation, the issue of Human Trafficking in Tennessee.  At Day on the Hill, junior Christi Sidwell was selected as Belmont’s representative to speak in front of a crowd of students, faculty and social workers from across the state about Senate Bill 1655 and House Bill 1870. Christi spoke passionately about the issue in Tennessee and also about how the bills as proposed could be strengthened to ultimately provide better services and seek justice for people in Tennessee who have been trafficked.  The hard work of all the students was recognized when Belmont University was announced the winner of the undergraduate competition.

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Belmont student honored as Social Work Student of the Year by local organization

ThompsonMediumMatthew Thompson, a senior Social Work student at Belmont University, recently was honored as the undergraduate Student of the Year by the Middle Tennessee branch of the National Association of Social Workers.  The award honors a student who has created a positive influence on classmates for the profession, and maintained academic achievement.

“Matt has demonstrated a tremendous aptitude for scholarship and scholastic activity,” said Dr. Sabrina Sullenberger, Social Work Department Chairperson.  She adds, “He is also a dedicated and courageous individual, respected and valued by his colleagues and peers.”

Thompson is a decorated Army veteran and a bronze star recipient who served honorably in the Middle East and Persian Gulf in 2002 and then was again deployed in Iraq in 2007.   He was the recipient of a competitive national fellowship through The Mission Continues, in which he was awarded a 10 month grant designed to provide a stipend for veterans working in social service fields.  He was one of 80 grantees from a field of just under 2200.

Thompson has deep and abiding commitment to the needs of veterans in the community.  Continue reading

Belmont Announces Formation of Tennessee Healthcare Hall of Fame

McWhorter Hall

First inductees to be announced at McWhorter Society Luncheon May 1

With a mission to honor men and women who have made significant and lasting contributions to the healthcare industry, Belmont University announced today the formation of a new Tennessee Healthcare Hall of Fame. Sponsored by Belmont’s McWhorter Society, the Healthcare Hall of Fame will announce its first inductees at the McWhorter Society Annual Luncheon on May 1 on Belmont’s campus.

Belmont Provost Dr. Thomas Burns, co-chair of the McWhorter Society, said, “Tennessee has become a premier hub for healthcare and healthcare education in the United States. It’s only appropriate that we recognize and honor the countless men and women who have contributed to the growth of the industry, creating ever higher standards for patient care and well-being. With Belmont’s strong interdisciplinary programming in nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, social work, healthcare business and pharmacy, we’re proud to host this new Tennessee Healthcare Hall of Fame as these leaders can inspire our students for generations to come.”

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