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Belmont University Celebrates College of Pharmacy Charter Class Graduation May 5

First class of 65 students recognized for accomplishments, service

The Belmont University College of Pharmacy (BUCOP) will celebrate the graduation of its charter class on May 5 with 65 members of the Class of 2012 expected to cross the stage to receive their Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree. After opening its doors in 2007, the College of Pharmacy accepted its first students in fall 2008, and the initial class has paved the way for future BUCOP students, setting a high standard for academic excellence and community service.

Belmont’s College of Pharmacy Dean Dr. Phil Johnston said, “The University and the Nashville community have enabled us to develop a stellar College of Pharmacy at Belmont. I am proud of the commitment of faculty and students to take on leadership roles in this profession to make a difference in thousands of lives. Also important is the contribution of more than 450 affiliate faculty, who open their businesses to our students to provide quality education and mentoring.”

Belmont President Bob Fisher said, “As these students hang their degrees in offices and wear their white coats in labs, retail pharmacies, hospitals and clinics across the United States, they demonstrate the University’s mission to engage and transform the world.  Belmont is especially grateful to Trustee Emeritus Clayton McWhorter who, inspired by his brother, the late pharmacist Fred McWhorter, endowed support to the state-of-the-art academic building that houses the College of Pharmacy.  We are honored to have our students follow their example of living in service to others and championing healthcare reform.”

BUCOP has provided students with the skills to contribute to the growing health care needs of Nashville. Since the college’s first class was admitted in August 2008, students’ academic accomplishments and service has grown exponentially each year. Among their achievements are: (more…)

Nursing, Pharmacy Students Participate in Healthcare Interprofessional Case Competition

2012 ICCP Winning Team

Four health science students from Belmont University–three from the School of Nursing and one from the College of Pharmacy–competed last week in the annual Interprofessional Case Competition (ICC) sponsored by the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance in Nashville.

The four students–Danielle Degati, Katherine H. McFarland and Courtney Thompson representing RN nursing and Shanna Harris representing pharmacy–were placed on teams joining pre-professionals from 10 different healthcare disciplines. Other team members included medical and dental students from Meharry Medical College; students from medical, nurse practitioner, law, dietetic, divinity, and speech and hearing pathology programs at Vanderbilt University; and pharmacy and graduate social work students from the University of Tennessee.

Nursing major Danielle Degati, a senior, said, “I think the greatest part of this competition is feeling like I can say that I now understand how multi-disciplines work together to accomplish one goal… It has been eye opening, and I feel comfortable approaching other health care professionals in the hospital, not just nurses; without this experience, I’m not sure that comfort would have come to me so soon.”

The competition, based on the University of Texas Houston model, promotes an interdisciplinary learning experience where students learn to appreciate the value of various team members involved in reaching optimal patient outcomes.  There were three interdisciplinary student teams, each with 11 student participants.

Senior nursing student Courtney Thompson noted, “Participating in the ICCC has given me a better comprehensive view of how in depth patient-centered care goes. It is complex physiologically, emotionally, spiritually and cognitively and one person could not offer the knowledge or manpower to completely care for any patient. I am very proud to have had this experience because I have learned so much about other disciplines and because I have also learned how I work as a team member. I am sure these lessons  will be invaluable assets I can use throughout my career.”

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Fair Puts Wellness, Health Information Within Reach of Belmont Community

Fourth-year pharmacy student Elizabeth Cain spent Wednesday morning using free hand sanitizer to lure passers-by to visit her peers at Belmont’s first Health Fair. The fair offered an unprecedented opportunity for Cain’s classmates to gain hands-on experience while on campus, she said.

“This is a great opportunity for students to test their skills, give flu shots and glucose tests. It is a great way for us to share our knowledge,” said Cain while volunteering at the fair. “It is a free service with informative information, and it showcases the graduate schools that are taking part.”

Health Services hosted the five-hour Health Fair to put wellness and preventive health resources within reach of employees and students with free health screenings, pamphlets and prizes. The event in the McWhorter Hall and the Gordon E. Inman Center lobbies marked the launch of a year of monthly seminars on health and wellness as well as current events in health care. It also showed people the unique resources we have right here on our campus, said Director of Health Services Katy Wilson.

“We wanted to make people aware of programs we have and wellness opportunities in the Belmont community,” said Christin Murphy, a graduate assistant in the Department of Fitness and Recreation. She took the body mass index of people who stopped at her booth and encouraged them to lower their numbers by signing up for personal training sessions and fitness classes in Beaman. (more…)

Hawler Faculty Visit Belmont’s Pharmacy School

Belmont University hosted faculty from Hawler Medical University in Arbil, capital of Kurdistan Region of Iraq, this summer.

Belmont Professor and Chair of Pharmaceutical Science Andy Webster and Director of International Student Services Kathryn Skinner oversaw the training of the four faculty members from Hawler’s College of Pharmacy in health care informatics, pharmacy management and administration, communication, counseling and patient assessment, and didactic and clinical experiential education.Discussions included syllabus design and development, introduction to modern pedagogical principles and practices and an introduction to designing, developing and maintaining contemporary clinical practice environments. The Kurdish faculty became qualified as affiliate faculty members of Belmont’s School of Pharmacy.

Webster visited Kurdish Iraq in 2009 and was appointed to the Kurdistan Regional Government Curriculum Development Project.

“The focus of this project was to modify and update the professional pharmacy curriculum for the colleges of pharmacy in the Kurdish region of Iraq. This newly developed curriculum provides students a broad, solid grounding in the basic and clinical sciences, epistemologies and values that define contemporary pharmacy practice,” Webster said. “This sets a new educational standard for both students and faculty in that area of the world.”

Pharmacy Student Begins Community Walking Club

Belmont athletes teach physical fitness, nutrition to neighbors

Since beginning her morning walking routine, Edgehill Apartments resident Sandra Chandler has felt less arthritis aches in her knees.

Thanks to a Belmont University pharmacy student’s mission project, she also has learned to drink a gallon of water daily, eat six small meals a day, cook with whole wheat flour and fill half of her plate with fruits and vegetables.
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Fourth-year pharmacy student Adam Culbertson laid the trail for the Edgehill Rose Park Walking Club, a group of neighbors, civic leaders and Belmont University athletes who walk from 7 to 9 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. He began the walking club in July to fulfill the mission portion of required rotations for Belmont pharmacy students and is relying on University athletes and civic leaders to continue the program.

“My goal was to go into an underserved community and give them something that they could do themselves and is sustainable,” he said. “I talked with community leaders about their wants and needs, and (Family Resource Center Director) Brenda Morrow said, ‘Why not get them outside and create goals for the adults and get sports players from the school to teach kids basic skills?’”

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