Pharmacy professor featured in story about his service in Guatemala

HobsonGuatemalaDr. Eric Hobson, professor of pharmacy at Belmont, was recently featured in a story in CrossMap about his service (and that of his family and college) at the Moore Pediatric Surgery Center in Guatemala.  CrossMap is a digital Christian living magazine published by The Christian Post.

Dr. Hobson was instrumental in connecting Belmont’s College of Pharmacy with the Moore Center at its inception.  The Center was opened in 2011 by The Shalom Foundation in Nashville which owns and operates the facility.

Dr. Hobson provided guidance to students as they created the Center’s pharmacy.  “The hospital needed a pharmacy, so I worked with a colleague to design one for the facility and in May of 2011 we brought several students here and opened the pharmacy,” he related.  Since then, Belmont student have provided about 95% of the pharmacy services at the Moore Center.

Read the entire story here.

Pharmacy students and faculty serve in Guatemala

Guatemala-Pharmacy-TripA team from Belmont’s College of Pharmacy recently spent 10 days in Guatemala City, Guatemala as part of a multidisciplinary surgical mission team serving at The Moore Pediatric Surgery Center. Led by Professor of Pharmaceutical, Social and Administrative Sciences Dr. Eric Hobson, three students – Shelby Blalock, Anais Fraire and Tayler Storrs – served the hospital’s hospitality and outreach team, charged with meeting the patients’ and hospital staff’s physical, emotional and spiritual needs.

Beyond providing chaplaincy services, entertaining patients and anticipating the medical team’s needs, one student was always stationed in the Moore Center’s pharmacy where they served as a pharmacy technician to the hospital’s full-time pharmacist. Each student also observed multiple surgeries including cleft palate repair, tonsillectomy and scar rescission.

Throughout the week, the team cared for 108 children who received life-changing surgery at no cost. Dr. Hobson said a highlight of the care process was sitting, talking and praying with parents while their children were in the operating room. The team reconnected with families the day after surgery and provided each with a Spanish language Bible and a printed set of the prayers team members prayed during the major stages of each child’s hospital stay.

Upon returning from the trip, Blalock said she is thankful for Belmont for allowing her to be a part of something so special. “I woke up this morning full of emotions: sadness because I wasn’t at the Moore Pediatric Surgery Center today, happiness because I remember the impact we were able to make and gratefulness because those kids changed my life more than I could ever imagine changing or impacting theirs,” she said. “It was truly an honor to be able to serve all week and is something that will always be close to my heart.”

2015 Mission to Guatemala: Final Day

FullSizeRenderTeam Nursing/Pharmacy
from Pharmacy Faculty Members
Elisa Greene & Edgar Diaz-Cruz, and
Nursing Faculty Member Jamie Adam

Our team returned safely to Nashville just before midnight last night with exhausted, yet fulfilled students and faculty. This unique Springbreak experience gave students an incredible opportunity to be immersed not only as American students in the Guatemalan culture, but also as an inter-professional healthcare team. Nursing, OT, Pharmacy students and a student majoring in Communications, learned how to leverage each other’s strengths to provide quality care to the people of Guatemala. Within the majors, students had various degrees of experience. Graduate students were mentoring undergraduates, seniors were mentoring freshman, and faculty were facilitating meaningful inter-professional learning experiences.

As most international trips go, students and faculty were challenged to be flexible about their own expectations and use the unexpected as “teachable moments.” In addition, our team had to learn to manage the people’s expectations of what we could provide. There was much we could offer, but in some cases, we had to acknowledge our own limitations. Regardless of whether we could identify a problem or a need, our patient might not be able to afford a physician or the medications needed. Continue reading

2015 Mission to Guatemala: Day 6

Two separate teams of health science students are in Guatemala over Spring Break this year.  One team consists of nursing and pharmacy students.  The other includes OT and PT students.  Both  team are writing about their experiences.

ToriPowersDanielleMarshallGabiOkoniewskiTeam Nursing/Pharmacy
from Gabi Okoniewski, Danielle Marshall
& Tori Powers

A week ago, none of us knew what exactly we were getting into as we traveled to Antigua, Guatemala. Now a week later, our expectations of this trip have been far exceeded and our perspectives have changed. Not only have we learned about the culture here in Antigua, but we have also learned more about our own culture in America. Collaborating with the different professions this week has given us all a greater appreciation for the different disciplines in the healthcare field. This was a great experience that could not be matched by any other.

1Guatemala15Top reasons why YOU should come on the Guatemala Spring Break Immersion Trip

-There is 75 degree weather everyday and there are NO mosquitos!

-The creation of new friendships.

-Cultural compentance within the city.

-Having the ability to interact with the kids at both the coffee plantation school and the God’s Children School. Continue reading

2015 Mission to Guatemala: Day 5

Two separate teams of health science students are in Guatemala over Spring Break this year.  One team consists of nursing and pharmacy students.  The other includes OT and PT students.  Both  team are writing about their experiences.

KandiceSquiresErinOakleyErinToddTeam Nursing/Pharmacy
from Erin Todd, Erin Oakley,
Kandice Squires, Noah Ploegman &
Justin Beasley

Today our group drove to San Luca, a small town ten minutes from Antigua, to visit a pharmaceutical manufacturer called PharmaDel. JustinBeasleyNoahPloegmanHere we had the unique opportunity to observe the medication manufacturing process first-hand. It was exciting for us as future pharmacists to follow a medication from its raw form into its final packaged product ready to be distributed across Central America. We were impressed with the level of dedication and integrity demonstrated by plant employees.

After observing these processes for both solid and liquid medication formulations, our tour then shifted focus from the manufacturing aspect towards PharmaDel`s quality assurance measures. The technology and lab techniques used to evaluate the purity of the medication produced are very similar to those which we use in our country. 1Guatemala11Special air pressurization, filtration systems, and room design functioned to enhance sterility and prevent contamination. PharmaDel is working towards becoming certified by the World Health Organization as meeting their highest standards for pharmaceutical manufacturing. It was surprising to our group that most of the drug development and quality assurance measures were performed by pharmacists, however, the guide explained to us that this is a common role for pharmacists in Guatemala. To become licensed, students complete 5 years of post-high school general and pharmacy education, plus 6 months each in a hospital and laboratory practice setting. Finally, they complete an internship in one of these areas, which often leads to employment. Continue reading

2015 Mission to Guatemala: Day 4

Two separate teams of health science students are in Guatemala over Spring Break this year.  One team consists of nursing and pharmacy students.  The other includes OT and PT students.  Both  team are writing about their experiences.

AlexisRheaAnnePendleyMaddyClarkeWilliamsTeam Nursing/Pharmacy
from Maddy Clarke Williams & Alexis Rhea-Anne Pendley

Language may be regional, but love is universal.

Today, we had no expectations of where we were going or what we would be doing. Upon arriving, we came to realize we were at a school that was tangible proof of how one man’s work can establish a strong community for roughly 150 students in Antigua, Guatemala. Some twenty years ago, a man’s heart was touched by God’s radiating beauty that he experienced through the children he met on a mission trip. He was inspired to give back to the children who touched him. With the little money he had, he was able to purchase a Big Mac and split it twenty ways, so every child to which he was ministering was able to have some. The man went on to create a school for these orphans that has developed through the years and now provides a safe and empowering environment. We soon realized our purpose at the school differed from our previous experiences at the coffee plantation.

1Guatemala07To begin our day, we taught the children the importance of nutrition and basic hygiene, such as washing hands and brushing teeth. To assist in our teachings, we taught the students a simple, yet catchy, song about washing their hands. After practicing this song with them several times, they requested more songs. With humble hearts and shaky voices, our group managed to quiet the area by singing Amazing Grace. Many of us later remarked on the power of the moment; though the students may not have understood the words we sang, they definitely appeared to share the same content feelings. Afterwards, the children were eager to share with us a few of the songs they had learned at school. Continue reading

2015 Mission to Guatemala: Day 4

Two separate teams of health science students are in Guatemala over Spring Break this year.  One team consists of nursing and pharmacy students.  The other includes OT and PT students.  Both  team are writing about their experiences.

TaliaFayedGraceCroninTeam OT/PT
from Grace Cronin & Talia Fayed

“God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called”

Today on March 11th, we spent the morning traveling to the community of Las Conchas on the outskirts of Guatemala City. The houses in this community are a single room with concrete floors, tin roofs and walls, and even blankets serving as dividers. Access to clean water is limited and food is sparse. Upon arrival we split up into 3 teams who each visited with a local family in each sector of the community. 2Guatemala04My group went to visit Nicole’s family. Nicole is a 3 year old little girl who has problems with her spinal alignment and is poorly nourished due to problems with feeding. As we came to learn more about her family we found out that Nicole has had a very hard life so far, but now is in the care of her aunt and grandmother. She is being raised by her aunt and grandmother because her mother abandoned her. These two women stepped up to the plate to do God’s work and take care of this sweet soul that Nicole is. These women were certainly not equipped to take on caring for a toddler with special needs, but God has certainly picked the right women! We loved getting to spend time with these women and Nicole. We enjoyed playing with Nicole, loving on her and her family, and teaching her stretches for her back and strategies to help her eat and communicate more. We can’t wait to hear of Nicole’s progress and the joy that she will bring to her family and her community. Continue reading

2015 Mission to Guatemala: Day 3

Two separate teams of health science students are in Guatemala over Spring Break this year.  One team consists of nursing and pharmacy students.  The other includes OT and PT students.  Both  team are writing about their experiences.

AllisonRichardsonAlliGroot2Team OT/PT
from Ali Groot & Allison Richardson

“God has created us to do small things with great love.”    Mother Theresa

March 10, team Guasome traveled to Elim, a church in Guatemala City. We were able to visit with four families in order evaluate and give suggestions of activities based on the children’s needs. The families were actively engaged with the sessions and eager to learn how they could encourage and improve the quality of care they give their child. Although every member of the team had their own experience with a different family, both of us worked with one special boy named Jimmy.

Jimmy is a 7-year-old boy with cerebral palsy. We collaborated with his eager to learn family on positioning to increase his strength and participation in exploring his environment. It was very inspiring to see the amount of love and support surrounding this child. After two hours Jimmy was out cold in his gracious Mothers arms. His parents explained that Jimmy is a precious gift from God and that they feel blessed that our team was able to come in and share more ideas with them. His father spoke with so much love and hope about Jimmy’s future and it was a true blessing for us to hear his kind words spoken over us. Hearing him speak so freely about God touched our hearts so deeply.

2Guatemala07After stuffing our faces with Gautemalan fried pollo, we decided to get a little exercise and headed to the Guatemala National Olympic training center where one of our amazing translator’s brothers plays adaptive tennis. Jose and Isa showed us how it’s done, making it look much easier than many of us were soon to find out. We were both able to test our skills (or lack there of) on the tennis court. Turns out maneuvering a wheelchair with one-hand results in going nowhere but circles while watching tennis balls fly past you. After we got schooled, Julio (number 46 in the world-NBD) had us all in awe as he and the coach played a match. We broke into groups again and gave the kids and Julio suggestions for stretching, strengthening, and adaptations to help them succeed and minimize discomfort. Continue reading

2015 Mission to Guatemala: Day 3

Two separate teams of health science students are in Guatemala over Spring Break this year.  One team consists of nursing and pharmacy students.  The other includes OT and PT students.  Both  team are writing about their experiences.

EllieIvancichTimZerwicRachelSearfossTeam Nursing/Pharmacy
from Rachel Searfoss, Tim Zerwic & Ellie Ivancich

Put a few students in a room and you come up with a physical assessment. Put a few more students in a room and you come up with a list of suggested medications. Put yet another student in the room and you learn what exercises can be done to remedy specific pain. Put all of the above along with faculty and interpreters in a room, and you come up with a plan, from English to Spanish, for how to help an individual return to a more optimal state of health.

Day two of health screenings and teaching begins in Antigua with the College of Health Sciences and Pharmacy missions team. The group has worked incredibly hard to find better ways to organize our efforts together in order to provide the most useful amount of care that we can give to the coffee plantation workers and their families. Everyone has offered their insight, experience, heartfelt concerns, suggestions, and innovative ideas to make this process mesh together in a solidified way. When workers came to the screenings earlier this morning, we began recording height and weight first, assessing for any complaints of pain or health concerns, taking blood pressure and blood glucose measurements, and teaching for both adult and child CPR education. The effort to reorganize the health screening process engaged the workers and families so much more than before and also helped to streamline the process into where those with more serious health issues were able to receive more concentrated and specific care. One of those cases worked closely with our occupational therapy student on the mission team, Tim.

1Guatemala07A man who works the coffee fields was complaining of upper back and shoulder pain. He reported that he lifts heavy bags of coffee over and over again each day. The bags, filled with fresh coffee harvested, can weigh up to 150 pounds. After assessing the injury, Tim considered that the man may be suffering from a supraspinatus tendon impingement. This type of injury affects the rotator cuff and involves abduction of the arm away from the body and can result from overuse and overexertion. Working with an interpreter, Tim taught the man how to perform different types of stretches and exercises he could do at home, even with a can of beans, something he easily has on hand.

Continue reading

2015 Mission to Guatemala: Day 3

Two separate teams of health science students are in Guatemala over Spring Break this year.  One team consists of nursing and pharmacy students.  The other includes OT and PT students.  Both  team are writing about their experiences.

Team Pharmacy
from Dr. Eric Hobson

Dr. Hobson's Spring Break Immersion team is hard at work caring for children at the Moore Pediatric Surgery Center in Guatemala City. Samantha Wheeler and Jessica O'Connell are preparing medications for today's surgery patients.

Pharmacy students hard at work caring for children at the Moore Pediatric Surgery Center in Guatemala City. Samantha Wheeler and Jessica O’Connell are preparing medications for today’s surgery patients.

1Guatemala05

BU students Samantha Wheeler, Jasmin Mohn, Jessica O’Connell and professor Eric Hobson taking a break from a long day of surgery support.