Belmont Wins Inaugural Siloam Health’s Bridge Builder Award

Photo by Brad Moore / B.MOORE VISUALS. retired Belmont employees John and Nancy Le with University President Dr. Bob Fisher and Mrs. Judy Fisher.

Award given to recognize community partner committed to assisting Nashville’s New Americans

In honor of the University’s commitment to helping New Americans throughout the Nashville community, Belmont was recently honored with Siloam Health’s inaugural Bridge Builders Award. Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher accepted the award at Siloam’s Amplify Nashville Awards Ceremony held on June 22 at Oz Arts. Belmont’s award by presented by Milton Johnson, CEO of HCA and Belmont trustee.

Siloam hosted the event to celebrate the immigrants and refugees who contribute to Nashville’s status as a growing, great city. The event celebrated four honorees for their tireless commitment to Nashville’s cultural diversity including:

  • Community Catalyst Award: Kasar Abdulla (Valor Collegiate Academies)
  • Good Neighbor Award: Fabian Bedne (Hispanic Family Foundation and Metro Council)
  • Culture Shaper Award: Cano and Esen Ozgener (OZ Arts Nashville)
  • Bridge Builder Award: Belmont University and Dr. Bob Fisher

Under Fisher’s leadership, Belmont consistently strives to align its vision with the ever-changing needs of its community and works to help New Americans get ahead with their education and in life. The University makes intentional efforts to hire documented, sponsored refugees, encouraging them to take advantage of the University’s educational offerings and covering the cost of ESL courses. Additionally, Belmont considers students living in the United States for admission without regard to immigration standing and offers support to assist foreign-born students with enrollment and the transition to college life.

Additionally, Belmont’s Colleges of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and Nursing have been in partnership with Siloam for many years. Dr. Elissa Greene, assistant professor of pharmacy, practices at Siloam when she isn’t teaching at Belmont and hosts student pharmacists daily for clinical rotations. Students serve as resources for medical personnel, make recommendations on medication, provide patient and family counseling and make home visits, among other things. Nursing students also visit Siloam for clinical experiences, faculty members serve as regular volunteers and the College will be partnering with the organization’s faith-based, community health outreach program in the future.

John and Nancy Le, pictured above with Dr. and Mrs. Fisher, were also present at the ceremony. The Les, both retired Belmont employees, came to Nashville from Vietnam 25 years ago under Catholic Charities. They both worked at the University for more than 20 years, and four of their children and grandchildren have attended Belmont. Their story was shared at the event as an example of Belmont’s commitment to Nashville’s new Americans.

“It is so important for Belmont to serve the Nashville community,” Fisher said. “We are honored to call Nashville home, and it’s our privilege to serve our city’s newest residents through educational opportunities, employment and more. Siloam Health continues to do incredible work throughout our city, and we are so grateful to have been recognized with this award.”

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.

 

Recent Social Work Graduate Pays It Forward at Kipp Academy in Nashville

Cherish Woodard, a May 2016 Belmont social work graduate and fifth grade English Language Arts Teacher at KIPP Academy Nashville, was recently featured in an article published by KIPP:Nashville, a network of public charter schools in the Nashville area. Entitled “Paying It Forward,” Woodard’s feature details her own story — and how, as a child, she found herself experiencing homelessness due to an electrical fire. Forced to split her family up, Woodard and her relatives were dispersed all throughout Nashville.

“I went from seeing my family every day to every now and then. But the experience did give me a unique perspective on life, and it’s something I draw on while I’m in the classroom,” Woodard is quoting as saying. Relocating to East Nashville, Woodard begin building a community in the same place she now teaches. After graduating high school, Woodard went on to attend Belmont, earning a scholarship that supported her tuition.

At first, Woodard said she was interested in studying business, but when she found social work, she knew she’d discovered her calling. “Social work not only helped me better understand people in general, it helped me understand my family and our dynamics better. I use that knowledge every day with my students,” she said.

The article goes on to describe Woodard’s passion in the classroom, detailing the ways she connects with students, her commitment to their success and her engaging energy. Woodard sees her time as an educator as an opportunity to impact a child’s future. Understanding the challenges that her students are facing, she is able to create an environment where they are safe, loved and secure. “I know what it’s like to make difficult choices and sacrifice for what you want…I always say, ‘You’ve got to learn to live in the world and then change it’!”

As for her philosophy for teaching, Woodard said, “Seed planting is important. As long as the seed continues to get nurtured, it will grow. Although I may not be the one who’s able to continue nurturing the seed, I pray there will be others.”

The story is linked here.

Social Work Club Hosts Nashville Unity Project

Students map their identifiers at the Unity Project event on April 6

Beginning on April 6 and lasting through April 9, Belmont University’s Social Work Club organized and implemented an interactive art project in Nashville as part of the international Unity Project movement. The event was aimed at reducing division in the community by visually showing how all lives are interconnected and related.

Panel discussion at the Unity Project event on April 6The event was held at the Bellevue Branch of the Nashville Public Library and began with an opening ceremony that featured a panel discussion led by local community members on matters of diversity and inclusion. Panelists included Belmont’s Chief of Staff and Vice President Dr. Susan West, Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at Vanderbilt Dr. George Hill, Education and Street Chaplaincy Coordinator for Open Table Nashville Lindsey Krinks, Community Relations Manager at Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition Leah Hashinger, Belmont student Jasmine Niazi and a representative from Conexión Américas.

After the opening ceremony, the interactive art project was open for public participation during normal library hours and was constantly supervised by Belmont students until the closing ceremony, held on April 9. The art project consisted of 32 poles placed in a circle, with each pole representing a unique identifier (culture, ethnicity, race, religion, etc.). Participants were invited to wrap colorful yarn around the poles they identified with, connecting themselves with the growing piece. Once complete, the yarn formed a cohesive web of interconnectedness to show that community members have more similarities than they do differences. The closing ceremony featured a poetry reading, music by a local artist and a group discussion on diversity, which was led by Associate Professor of Social Work Julie Hunt.

Belmont student Kate Patterson initially came up with the idea to bring the Unity Project to Nashville after being inspired by her participation in a Unity Project in Washington D.C. last June. Patterson was the main student involved in organizing the event and was present throughout the whole event.

“The Social Work club and I have been working out the details for the event for several months. It was rewarding to see the event take place after so mucStudents map their identifiers at the Unity Project event on April 6h planning,” Patterson said. “The panel discussion at the opening event was powerful to hear how organizations across Nashville value working together with various populations for a common goal of promoting the rights of humans. Throughout the weekend, I was blessed to meet many amazing individuals who reflected on their identities and had dreams of carrying the event to other locations around Nashville and to other cities. It was refreshing to meet so many people who worked together to create unity in the collaborative art piece as well as in their lives.”

The Unity Project was created in June of 2016 as a response to the divisiveness and negative rhetoric in American politics. Since its conception, the Unity Project has been completed in more than 20 countries.

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.

Army Behavioral Health Officer Presents to Social Work Students

img_0787Captain Vandergriff, LCSW, recently presented to seniors in Belmont’s Social Work Crisis Intervention class, a required course for all students in the department focused on the prevention and intervention of crisis. One of Fort Campbell’s Brigade Embedded Behavioral Health Officers, Captain Vandergriff presented about a variety of policies and programs for active duty military directed toward decreasing incidence of PTSD, assisting soldiers in managing trauma symptoms and working with soldiers to process potentially traumatic events.

During his time on campus, Captain Vandergriff shared  stories from his work and students asked questions about the interventions utilized by military social workers. Course Instructor Alison Peak, LCSW, highlighted the importance of these guests speakers saying “These presentations are essential in assisting our students in recognize the variety of populations that social workers interact with. These presentations also educate our students on available programs and systemic interventions so that they are better equipped to assist a multitude of populations in locating and connecting with necessary support services.”

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.”