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.
The Memorial Foundation has awarded Belmont University $300,000 to upgrade high-fidelity simulation equipment, support interprofessional training in the College of Health Sciences & Nursing and fund a post-graduate Healthcare Simulation Fellowship. Belmont has appointed Dr. Gwenn Randall as the college’s first fellow.
“We are grateful to the Memorial Foundation for this generous gift that will enable us to markedly increase the impact of our clinical simulation program. In addition to creating exciting new clinical experiences for both students and community providers, with this funding we will create new ways of educating future leaders in this emerging field,” said College of Health Sciences & Nursing Dean Cathy R. Taylor.
The University’s advanced patient simulators allow students to experience the health care profession’s daily challenges in a controlled environment. Computerized mannequins exhibit real patient symptoms and respond accordingly to treatment provided by caregivers, based on programmed scenarios. The use of simulation allows individuals preparing for health care professions to practice treatments and learn technique through simulation before treating actual patients. The University used a portion of the Memorial Foundation grant to purchase a highly specialized obstetrical mannequin that will be used to train nursing students and community partners to respond to high risk obstetric emergencies.
“A program in health care professional training in simulation meets a need in the industry, appeals to professionals who want a unique and growing career and is attractive to teaching institutions who want to become involved or expand simulation,” said Dr. Beth Hallmark, director of simulation. (more…)
Nashville eye surgeon Dr. Ming Wang shared with students the importance of making connections between their faith and science and how he has used health care as a ministry during convocation Thursday in the Neely Dining Hall.
“We have to confront the controversies of faith and science. It is one of the most important questions in this age of society … so we can move forward in good conscience and with peace of mind when faced with issues society is trying to figure out the answers to,” Wang said.
He told the story of the successes of his amniotic membrane contact lens, for which he has two U.S. patents. Using tissue from fetuses to prevent scarring of the corneas, he has successfully restored eyesight to several people. The procedure is covered by Medicare and insurance companies and has been performed by more than 500 doctors in the United States, he said.
“No matter how difficult things are in our lives, God has a plan for us. He wants us to conduct research to advance medicine and improve the quality of human lives,” Wang said. “But he wants us to do it his way.”
Wang also told students how his adolescence was interrupted by the Chinese Cultural Revolution, during which time many middle and high school students were forced to leave because Chinese colleges closed. Fourteen-year-old Wang stayed in China, studied illegally at a medical school and unsuccessfully tried to make a living as a composer and musician. In 1982, he arrived in the United States with only $50 and a Chinese-American dictionary. He went on to graduate magna cum laude from Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has a doctorate in laser physics. Today, Wang is director of the Wang Vision 3D Cataract and LASIK Center and has received international attention for his path-breaking eye surgeries. His nonprofit organization Wang Foundation for Sight Restoration has provided free surgeries for patients from 40 states and 55 countries, and he recently founded the Wang Foundation for Christian Outreach to China.
The School of Occupational Therapy and the Asian Studies Program co-sponsored the convocation lecture.
Craig Becker, president of the Tennessee Hospital Association, spoke to Belmont faculty and students last week about the future of the healthcare industry, focusing his remarks on the new changes that will be brought about by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
While he realizes that the healthcare industry is about to undergo radical change, he does not fear those changes. “I really am an optimist,” he stated. “And I’m invigorated by chaos. Chaos brings change.”
In the past, he argued that the existing system was not perfect, that there were quality of care issues. The new legislation will force the industry to address these issues sooner rather than later. “Hospitals will be forced to look outside of their four walls.”
He predicts that within the next several years, Tennessee will see a significant decline in its number of hospitals. At present, there are 154 in the state of Tennessee; approximately, 70 to 77 of those are rural hospitals. Becker believes that in five to ten years, there will be only 90 hospitals statewide. Rural hospitals will have to actively seek partnerships with the larger organizations.
In many parts of the state, the rural hospitals are centers of community. Closing them poses a challenge as is it will draw a lot of community resistance, he explained. However, he believes that there is a silver lining. “With this change comes a move away from fee-for-service,” he said.