During his recent visit to Thomazeau, Haiti, College of Pharmacy Dean Phil Johnston visited villages with LiveBeyond workers and a Belmont delegation to aid and dispense medications to a woman in postpartum, a father with high blood pressure, a small boy with worms and a man with a hip injury. The most powerful experience of them all was when a man who received medical attention sang a Christian hymn in Creole as his Voodoo-practicing neighbors gathered around and listened.
“It was like watching a Bible story about caring for the least of these,” Johnston said.
He, along with College of Health Sciences & Nursing Dean Cathy Taylor and Nursing Assistant Professor Robin Cobb, visited LiveBeyond’s base in Haiti last week to identify areas of student mission participation and to flush out unique partnerships between the University and the nonprofit organization that would allow Belmont students to provide medical and educational resources as well as business development to the ailing Caribbean country. Founded by retired trauma surgeon David Vanderpool, LiveBeyond moved its headquarters in May into Belmont’s Facilities Management Services building at the corner of 15th and Delmar avenues. The organization’s 64-acre Haitian base encompasses medical care, nutrition, maternal health, orphan care, education development, community development and infrastructure, agriculture and demonstration farms, clean water projects and community outreach visits to those with special needs and disabilities in a region 25 miles northeast of Port Au Prince, Haiti.
“We certainly were able to get a great flavor for the compound and the vision for what is there now and the vision for what is planned,” said Taylor, who co-hosted a convocation-credit forum to share more about the team’s experiences at noon Feb. 19 in McWhorter Hall room 114. (more…)
Occupational and physical therapy students took their classroom learning outside during a community service project on Tuesday. During Wash and Roll, dozens of wheelchair users had their power chairs cleaned and serviced free-of-charge by students and faculty from Belmont’s Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy programs and local equipment dealers.
“This collaboration of physical therapy and occupational therapy was to get students involved in community service with an underserved population. Because once they get a wheelchair from insurance, they can get serviced once a year, but it is difficult to find place to get it done,” said Occupational Therapy Assistant Professor Teresa Plummer. “No one just cleans and services chairs, so families of people with medical disability have to do it on their own.”
The service is so rare that Barbara Pierce drove her husband, Marion, 90 miles from Winchester, Tenn. to Belmont’s campus to have his five-year-old wheelchair evaluated and cleaned.
Ms. Wheelchair America 2014 Jennifer Adams spoke to occupational therapy students about the “Inclusion Revolution” on Tuesday. The event was sponsored by the Belmont Student Occupational Therapy Association.
Adams is a successful 33-year-old businesswoman from Tacoma, Wash. She was born with partial limbs and has used a wheelchair her whole life. She grew up in a family of eight children after being adopted along with five of her siblings, all who had either Down syndrome or cerebral palsy.
“I believe that really set me up to grow up into the world with a view of diversity and to accept people from the inside first,” Adams said. “I attribute a lot to my parents.” Her adopted mother, Jeanne, is a family doctor in Chehalis, Wash.
The teasing she experienced in her youth led Adams to seek out ways to tell her story. For 17 years, she has been motivating others with her positive message. “We all have limitations,” said Adams in a recent interview with her hometown newspaper, The News Tribune, “but if you press beyond your limitations, that’s where fulfillment and life’s purpose lies.”
A radiant, high energy spokeswoman, Adams has experienced barriers to her passion in the mainstream art world due to her disability, but her goal is to encourage people to take their gifts and talents out into the world to break down barriers of discrimination. “When people with disabilities show the world our talents,” she says, “disabilities dissolve and abilities shine forth.”
Students in BSOTA are doctoral level students at Belmont in the School of Occupational Therapy, part of the Gordon E. Inman College of Health Sciences & Nursing.
Belmont University’s School of Physical Therapy and Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson’s Pi Beta Phi Rehabilitation Institute (PBPRI) have received accreditation from the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) for their collaborative Neurological Physical Therapy Clinical Residency instituted last year.
The one-year residency is one of 23 programs of its kind in the United States to have achieved this status and is the only such program in Tennessee.
PBPRI is an outpatient interdisciplinary neurological rehabilitation program where physical therapists work in teams with colleagues in occupational therapy, speech-language pathology and social work to promote community re-entry and vocational and/or academic transitioning.
“Being the first neurological physical therapy residency program in Tennessee, we have the responsibility and the privilege to train the next generation of outstanding neurological clinical specialists,” said Lisa Haack, Neurological Clinical Residency director, a PBPRI clinical staff member in physical therapy and a neurologic specialist.
Academic Residency Director Renee Brown, professor of Physical Therapy at Belmont University, said completion of the credentialing process is an affirmation of the program’s commitment to its patients.
“We have had a long-standing working relationship with Vanderbilt and this new program is an extension of that partnership,” Brown said. “We look forward to continuing to collaborate to train the next generation of physical therapy providers in the area of neurologic rehabilitation.”
The Neurologic Physical Therapy Clinical Residency will be recognized during the Residency/Fellowship Career Development Reception at the 2014 Combined Sections Meeting hosted by the APTA.
“An important mission of both Belmont and Vanderbilt is to educate and train the next generation of leaders in health care,” said Mike de Riesthal, director of the PBPRI. “The success of the collaborative residency program is a perfect example of this mission in action.”
The Belmont University School of Physical Therapy was recognized as the “Outstanding Volunteer Group of the Year” at the annual Susan G. Komen Leadership Conference in Dallas, Texas last weekend. Susan G. Komen is a global leader in the fight against breast cancer with local affiliate offices in more than 120 locations in the U.S. and around the world. Each year the organization recognizes volunteers who demonstrate dedication, commitment, creativity, initiative and dependability.
The Belmont Physical Therapy students began their commitment to Susan G. Komen Greater Nashville two years ago when they volunteered as a group to manage the race course at the organization’s annual Susan G. Komen Nashville Race for the Cure® event. The Belmont students utilize this opportunity to enhance the school’s community involvement and establish teamwork within the physical therapy school.
Over 80 students participated the first year, but the school has created a continuous source of high quality volunteers by creating a kind of mentorship program. Once a student volunteers, she or he is expected to train, manage and support younger classmates through the volunteer process.
Belmont’s involvement with Komen goes beyond race day and beyond its students. Students assist with packet stuffing and other duties prior to the event and have also challenged other university schools to put together volunteer teams that can equal their impact. Belmont faculty members also serve on Komen Greater Nashville board of directors and race committee. Finally, several of the school’s athletics programs host Think Pink/Pink Out games each season to help raise needed awareness for breast health education in younger women and support those in the Belmont community affected by the disease.
“We are so proud that our volunteers were recognized as being the top in the country,” said Patty Harman, executive director of the Komen’s Greater Nashville Affiliate. “We know that our Race wouldn’t be the same without them and that they make such a huge impact year-round. We’re glad that everyone else now gets to see Belmont Physical Therapy as a benchmark for volunteerism.”
Kenisha Rhone, media relations director for Women’s Sports at Belmont accepted the award on behalf of the University. Rhone is an active volunteer for Komen Nashville and serves on the Race Coordinating Committee.