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.
Dozens of doctoral and master’s degree-seeking students from the School of Occupational Therapy recently participated in a CarFit Technician Training and CarFit Event to offer older adults the opportunity to check how well their personal vehicles fit them.
The events are part of a national program coordinated between the American Occupational Therapy Association, the American Automobile Association and the American Association of Retired Persons.
“I found my experience with the CarFit Training program very educational for my professional career as well as in my personal life. We learned appropriate measurements in which individuals should be placed in vehicles to ensure optimal safety,” said occupational therapy student Mandy Alford, who adjusted her car seat and mirrors after CarFit training. “The training taught us how to recognize when individuals are having difficulty completing necessary tasks to ensure that they are safe operating a vehicle. This learning experience strongly relates to our occupational therapy courses, in particular Technology and Interventions.”
Using a 12-point check list, students reviewed seat positions and adjusted mirrors, headrests, seat belts and steering wheels to prevent whiplash and make driving more comfortable for senior citizens. They used a set protocol and handouts from a national resource bank and will send data collected to CarFit to help with further research on older drivers.
“As we get older, our body changes significantly so we need to change our behavior so our cars fit us,” said Associate Professor Ruth Ford. “People drive in unsafe condition because they forgot how to change seats back after technicians moved them while servicing cars. New cars have so many new features that people many not know how to tilt their seats.”
Belmont University Health Services will host a five-hour health fair next month to put wellness and preventive health resources within reach of employees and students.
“This is an in-house health fair just for the campus community primarily involving the College of Health Sciences, University Ministries and Beaman Fitness Center. This event is intended to be a kickoff for a year of monthly seminars on health and wellness as well as current events in health care and to show people the unique resources we have right here on our campus,” said Director of Health Services Katy Wilson.
The fair, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 5 in the McWhorter Hall and the Gordon E. Inman Center lobbies, will include free health screenings and 35 booths. Students can receive up to two personal and professional growth convocation credits – one credit for visiting booths at the fair and another credit for sitting in on one of three lectures. Chris McKnight and Shanna Harris will present “Abuse of Bath Salts” at 10 a.m. in McWhorter Hall room 110. Jenny Cooper will present “Maximizing Your Relationship with Your Healthcare Provider” at 10 a.m. in McWhorter Hall room 109. There will also be a session titled, “10 Things Every College Student Needs to Know About Their Health” at 10 a.m. in McWhorter Hall room 108.
Wilson added, “This kind of event goes along with the National Prevention Strategy of America’s Plan for Better Health and Wellness, which includes healthy eating and fitness, through the (U.S.) Department of Health and Human Services.”
Opportunities throughout the day include: blood pressure, glucose, lipids and bone density screenings; backpack awareness and CPR demonstrations; and information on tobacco cessations, breast cancer awareness, counseling, healthy eating, self defense and recreation.
Wilson said Health Services plans to host a similar health fair during a spring basketball game to reach Belmont’s neighbors and sports fans.
Click here for additional information on the Health Fair.