Page 1

2019 Annual Report

ETSU HEALTH LEADERSHIP President Brian Noland, PhD Senior Vice President for Academics & Interim Provost Wilsie S. Bishop, DPA







Executive Vice Provost for Academics and Health David Linville, MD, EdD Vice President for Clinical Affairs, Dean of Quillen College of Medicine William Block, MD, MBA Dean of Gatton College of Pharmacy Debbie C. Byrd, PharmD, MBA, BCPS Dean of College of Nursing Wendy M. Nehring, PhD, RN Dean of College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences Don Samples, EdD Dean of College of Public Health Randy Wykoff, MD, MPH & TM Special Assistant to Senior Vice President for Academics Larry Calhoun, PharmD Director of Operations Scott Counts, EdD

Cover story. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 ETSU Health launch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 By the numbers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Health. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Managing Editor Melissa Nipper Graphic Designer Jeanette Jewell Principal Photography Ron Campbell Matthew Carroll Charlie Warden

Innovation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Community . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Policy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Education. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Scholarship & Research. . . . . . . . . . 44

East Tennessee State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, master’s, education specialist, and doctoral degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097, telephone 404-679-4500, or http://www.sacscoc.org, for questions about the accreditation of East Tennessee State University. ETSU is an AA/EEO employer. ETSU-HEALTH-0029-19 8000

LETTER FROM THE SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT FOR ACADEMICS Publishing an annual report for our five health sciences colleges gives us an opportunity to reflect on the events, achievements, and changes over the past year and to think about how these successes position us for the next year–or in this case, the new decade. While every year has its milestones, 2019 was a defining time in the history of East Tennessee State University’s Academic Health Sciences Center as we introduced ETSU Health, the outward-facing brand of the clinical, educational, and research enterprises of our five health sciences colleges. The official launch of ETSU Health in April 2019 was a significant moment because it brought our five health sciences colleges closer together with a common mission to improve the health of the people of the region with our team-based focus on health care delivery. However, the new name would mean very little without the people and programs that continue to innovate, inspire, educate, and achieve better health for our region. These are the stories we hope to capture in this annual report. For example, you will read about the new ETSU Center for Rural Health Research, housed in the College of Public Health. Established by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee in July 2019, the Center is poised to become a national leader in improving health in rural and nonurban areas. Stories throughout the magazine highlight the many ways that ETSU Health is tackling the opioid crisis through research, education, and patient care. We celebrate milestone program anniversaries, including a decade of pharmacy graduates, as well as the addition of new majors to meet the demands of the health care professions and our students. Although we do not have enough space in the pages of this magazine to include all of the “greatest hits” of 2019, I hope that you will get a glimpse of how some of the faces behind ETSU Health–our students, faculty, staff, providers, and alumni–are changing lives. The effects of ETSU Health are felt throughout our region–from the ETSU Gary Shealy Memorial Clinic, which is the first-ever ALS clinic in the region, to our nurse-managed ETSU Health Clinics that provide care for patients as far away as Hancock and Johnson counties. As the work of ETSU Health continues to develop and as we deepen our partnership with Ballad Health, ETSU President Brian Noland announced that Dr. Bill Block, Dean of Quillen College of Medicine, would expand his role and assume additional responsibilities as the university’s Vice President for Clinical Affairs. I would like to welcome Dr. Block to this new role, one that will move ETSU Health forward into the next decade. Looking back on 2019 makes me hopeful for what is ahead for ETSU Health. I am reminded of a well-accepted tenet of health care and education: change is constant. New research, innovative technology, and evolving public health needs ensure that we must continually move forward to meet the demands of students, patients, and our region. With a new name that is backed by a continued commitment to improving the lives of this region, ETSU Health is poised to tackle the health care needs and challenges of the next decade. Here’s to the next 10 years! Wilsie Bishop

Senior Vice President for Academics and Interim Provost

2019 Annual Report 1


Elevating the experience ETSU DEVELOPS PILOT ‘CODE BLUE’ INTERPROFESSIONAL SIMULATION A patient experiences cardiac arrest, also known as a “code blue,” while his worried wife stands by his hospital bed. Physicians, pharmacists, nurses, and respiratory therapists rush to his side and begin lifesaving measures, quickly working together to stabilize the patient. Similar situations happen every day in hospital settings. Recently, this scenario played out in a simulation environment for students from East Tennessee State University’s health sciences colleges. ETSU’s pilot Interprofessional and Profession-Specific Skills Simulation brought together students and faculty from Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy, College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences, College of Nursing, College of Public Health, and Quillen College of Medicine for a code blue simulation in a state-of-the art skills simulation lab, located in ETSU’s Interprofessional Education and Research Center (known as Building 60) on the VA campus. The students’ “patient” was a high-fidelity simulation manikin whose vital signs could be manipulated by


ETSU Health

technicians behind the scenes. A standardized patient played the role of his distraught wife to add another level of realism to the situation. The students from the various health sciences disciplines worked together as a team to navigate the intricacies of the situation to save the patient’s life, just as they would in a real medical emergency. Skills like communication, trust and teamwork were paramount to completing their task, according to the participants. “There is no way to undersell it–teamwork is incredibly important,” said Justin Pinkston, a fourth-year medical student who participated in the inaugural IPE simulation. “The code situation is a testament to that because if there is no teamwork, there is no way the patient could have survived.” While the students worked on the patient in the simulation lab, other students, faculty, and leaders from the health sciences colleges viewed the action as it streamed real-time on monitors in nearby debrief rooms. After it concluded, the participants came together to discuss the simulation as an interprofessional team, and

then broke into their specific colleges/disciplines for additional debriefing specific to their profession. “It was pretty exhilarating,” said Christie Monahan, a fourth-year pharmacy student. “I thought we worked really well as a team, but also highlighted some areas for improvement. It was a good learning experience for all of us.” Interprofessional education, or learning to work across health care disciplines to ensure better patient outcomes, is a well-established priority at ETSU. However, the code blue IPE simulation is a new addition to ETSU’s Interprofessional Education (IPE) Program. “We’re going to the next level,” said Dr. Caroline Abercrombie, Associate Professor at Quillen College of Medicine who helped organize the pilot IPE simulation. Abercrombie, who recently participated in a national presentation about ETSU’s IPE program, noted that ETSU is fortunate to have a building and thriving program dedicated to interprofessional education–something not all universities have. “It’s very rare that you have five health sciences colleges on one campus,” she said. Faculty and administration hope to further develop the IPE code blue simulation, eventually making it a staple of the thriving IPE program curriculum.

“We talk to employers out there in the health care systems, and what they need and are looking for are people who are ready-equipped to work on a team,” said Dr. Brian Cross, Director of ETSU’s Interprofessional Research Center and Associate Professor in Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy. “We at ETSU are really fortunate that we have a culture that cultivates the value and importance of working in teams.” Cross emphasized the importance of IPE to help reduce medical errors. Some of the most common root causes of medical errors are communication problems, inadequate information flow, organization transfer of knowledge, and work flow issues, according to a report by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. “The reason (for many medical errors) is not because people don’t know what they’re doing; it’s because they don’t communicate what they’re supposed to be doing,” Cross said. “We are trying to create an environment of trust and teamwork. This environment elevates everyone’s training. This is where we are going; the future of health care requires this.”


2019 Annual Report 3

It’s a launch

Faculty, staff, and students gathered in April 2019 to celebrate the official launch of ETSU Health, the outward-facing brand of the clinical, educational, and research enterprises of ETSU’s five health sciences colleges, which include the Quillen College of Medicine, Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy, College of Nursing, College of Public Health, and College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences. With 30 clinical sites, almost 250 health care providers, and five health sciences colleges, ETSU Health is on the front lines of improving the health of the Appalachian Highlands.


ETSU Health

ETSU Health By The Numbers 10 diverse health sciences programs within the College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences

1,735 undergraduate,

graduate, and doctoral students enrolled in College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences (fall 2019)

10 national

awards received by Gatton College of Pharmacy’s chapter of the Student National Pharmaceutical Association in 2019


students, residents and fellows at Gatton College of Pharmacy (fall 2019)


completed service hours by students at Gatton College of Pharmacy (2019)


client encounters at College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences patient-care facilities in 2019

115 field internships

were completed by students in the College of Public Health (2019)

291 medical students and 245 residentatphysicians the Quillen College of Medicine (fall 2019)


applications for 72 positions at Quillen College of Medicine (fall 2019)

38,007 client encounters at the College of Nursing’s community health centers in 2019


in external grant funding awarded to College of Public Health faculty in 2019

49 states and 52 foreign

countries represented among applications for the College of Public Health’s graduate programs in the last six years


Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) graduates since 1982


BSN and graduate students enrolled in the College of Nursing (fall 2019)


nursing students received white coats in 2019

2019 Annual Report 5


U.S. Surgeon General visits ETSU for opioids roundtable

United States Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams visited the campus of East Tennessee State University with U.S. Rep. Dr. Phil Roe on Jan. 30, 2020, for a regional roundtable discussion about the opioid crisis. Approximately 65 university, community, state, and federal leaders attended the roundtable discussion, held in ETSU’s Interprofessional Education and Research Center on the VA campus. Adams and Roe were joined on the platform by Dr. Lisa Piercey, commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Health and an alumna of ETSU’s Quillen College of Medicine. Participants in the roundtable included representatives from law enforcement, health care, government, education, and public health. In addition, ETSU Health leaders had the opportunity to meet with Adams while he was on campus. 6

ETSU Health

ETSU Health Clinical Locations JOHNSON CITY Bucsports

1081 John Robert Bell Drive Mini-Dome #127

orthopedic sports medicine, physical therapy

Concussion Management Program 156 S. Dossett Drive Lamb Hall Breezeway

Dental Hygiene Clinic 156 S. Dossett Drive Lamb Hall Breezeway

ETSU Family Medicine Associates 917 W. Walnut Street

acute & chronic care, adult care, behavioral care, clinical pharmacy, newborn & pediatric care, preventative care, women’s health, including OB, Addiction Medicine

ETSU Heart

329 N. State of Franklin Road

electrotherapy, general cardiology, interventional cardiology, electrophysiology

ETSU Physicians

325 N. State of Franklin Road

ETSU Internal Medicine: internal medicine Johnson City, endocrinology, gastroenterology, hematology, rheumatology ETSU OB/GYN: general OB/GYN Johnson City, high risk obstetrics, maternal-fetal medicine, minimally invasive gynecologic surgery ETSU Surgery: general surgery, hepatobiliary surgery, ophthalmology, pediatric surgery, plastic and reconstructive, podiatry, trauma & critical care, vascular ETSU Pediatrics: general pediatrics, adolescent medicine, critical care, genetics, hospital medicine, infectious diseases, nephrology, pediatric cardiology, pediatric surgery, pulmonology, neonatalogy, audiology

Johnson City Community Health Center 2151 Century Lane

behavioral health, dental hygiene, family medicine, newborn and pediatric care, Nurse Family Partnership, psychiatric and neurologic pharmacy, pre-natal care, radiography and sonography, substance abuse services, women’s health

Johnson City Downtown Day Center 202 W. Fairview Avenue

behavioral health, adult gerontology, homeless services, infectious disease, primary care

cardiology, endocrinology, infectious disease, internal medicine, rheumatology, psychotherapy

BRISTOL ETSU Family Physicians of Bristol 208 Medical Park Boulevard

acute & chronic care, adult care, behavioral care, clinical pharmacy, newborn & pediatric care, preventative care, women’s health, including OB

Osteoporosis Center 2109 W. Market Street

geriatrics, osteoporosis

Pediatric Subspecialties

408 N. State of Franklin Road, Suite 31B

endocrinology, gastroenterology, hospitalist, neurology

ETSU Psychiatry

Building 52 Lake Drive VA Medical Center Campus

adult psychiatry, child & adolescent psychiatry, general psychiatry, individual & family therapy

ETSU Speech and Hearing Clinic 156 S. Dossett Drive, Lamb Hall Room 363

St. Jude Tri-Cities Affiliate Clinic (Niswonger Children’s Hospital) 400 N. State of Franklin Road

neonatology, pediatric hematology, pediatric oncology, pediatric critical care

University Health Center

365 Stout Drive, Roy Nicks Hall, Suite 160

behavioral health, immunizations, medication management, physicals, primary care, women’s health


615 N. State of Franklin Road

Four Sheridan Square, Suite 200


Gary E. Shealy Memorial ALS Clinic

ETSU Infectious Diseases

ETSU Internal Medicine Kingsport

Center for Audiology and SpeechLanguage Pathology at the Nave

1 Professional Park Drive, Suite 21

University School Clinic

325 N. State of Franklin Road

4485 W. Stone Drive, Suite 200


ETSU Fertility, FPMRS & Urogynecology

1319 Sunset Drive, Suite 103

GYN Oncology

68 Martha Culp Drive

1000 Jason Witten Way

audiology, comprehensive language and eating therapies, Autism spectrum disorder program


1505 W. Elk Avenue, Suite 1

SNEEDVILLE Hancock County Elementary School Based Health Center 391 Court Street

behavioral health, family medicine, pediatrics

Hancock County Middle/High School Based Health Center 2700 Main Street

behavioral health, family medicine, pediatrics

GRAY Overmountain Recovery

203 Gray Commons Circle, Suite 110

substance abuse treatment

MOUNTAIN CITY Mountain City Extended Hours Health Center 1901 S. Shady Street

behavioral health, family medicine, OB/GYN, pediatrics, women’s health

ETSU Family Physicians of Kingsport 102 E. Ravine Road

acute & chronic care, adult care, behavioral care, clinical pharmacy, newborn & pediatric care, preventative care, women’s health, including OB

2019 Annual Report 7



A pioneer in environmental health education, East Tennessee State University’s College of Public Health celebrated the 50th anniversary of the accreditation of its undergraduate curriculum in environmental health. In 1969, ETSU’s Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health was the first undergraduate program of its kind to receive accreditation by the National Environmental Health Science & Protection Accreditation Council (EHAC). Since 1969, EHAC has accredited 44 undergraduate and graduate environmental health degree programs at universities nationwide. EHAC presented ETSU with a plaque to commemorate the 50th anniversary of its accreditation during the organization’s annual awards ceremony that took place in Nashville in July, 2019. “ETSU became a leader in public health through the insight of founding professors who responded to the need for trained public health professionals,” said Dr. Monroe T. Morgan, the now-retired chair of the program who led it through the accreditation process five decades ago. “ETSU’s Department of Environmental Health grew to become a leader in training environmentalists throughout the nation and the world.” Today, alumni of ETSU’s Department of Environmental Health are running programs in the military, education,


ETSU Health

and the private sector, and at federal, state, county, and city levels, said Dr. Kurt Maier, current Chair of the program. “What we do as a profession is very, very important in terms of protecting human health on a day-to-day basis,” Maier said. “We’re about protecting things that are vital for life, such as food quality, air quality, and clean water.” Program graduates have gone on to work for agencies such as Centers for Disease Control, the Food and Drug Administration, and Veterans Affairs. The ETSU College of Public Health celebrated the milestone anniversary during the Department of Environmental Health’s 2019 Seminar Series, which featured guest speaker Hershell E. Wolfe, a Department of Environmental Health alumnus who retired in 2016 as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Environment, Safety and Occupational Health. “Environmental health is as important as, and certainly more complex than, it was 50 years ago when we started this department,” said Dr. Phillip Scheuerman, who has taught in the department for 33 years and served as chair for 13 years. “The need is greater now more than ever for practitioners and people who are trained in environmental health–and we will continue to meet those needs.”

Leaders in rural health FLORENCE, SLIGER HONORED Dr. Joe Florence and Carolyn Sliger of East Tennessee State University’s Quillen College of Medicine were honored for their contributions to rural health at the Rural Health Association of Tennessee’s annual conference held in November 2019. At the conference, Florence, Professor of Family Medicine at Quillen, was presented with the Rural Health Professional of the Year Award. Sliger was awarded the Eloise Q. Hatmaker Distinguished Service Award. Florence has served as a family physician and director of Quillen College of Medicine’s Rural Programs for the past 17 years. During this time, he has been active with the Remote Area Medical Clinics as the lead physician and has overseen rural health fairs in multiple sites across Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. Since 1997, Sliger has coordinated Rural Programs in ETSU’s Family Medicine and Quillen College of Medicine. As a coordinator, her responsibilities involve engaging high school, college, medical students, and residents, and health professions students into areas of interest in rural or underserved medicine including international medicine. This includes the Rural Primary Care Track (RPCT) which is designed to prepare physicians for the rigors of practice using a service learning, experiential pedagogy in rural communities.

Denton earns national award Kacie Hoyle Denton, a fourthyear student at Quillen College of Medicine, received the John Snow Inc. National Rural Health Association Student Achievement Award at the 2019 National Rural Health Association Annual Conference. This award honors one student each year for commitment and excellence in the field of rural health. Denton is a member of the Rural Primary Care Track at Quillen College of Medicine. She is also an active member of the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) through the student constituency group and the Rural Health Association of Tennessee. Her love for rural medicine encouraged her to graduate with her Master of Public Health from ETSU’s College of Public Health during her third year of medical school.

2019 Annual Report 9


Pictured left to right are: the Francis Ward Morgan family (Larry Morgan, Cindy Modlin, Fabienne Morgan); Dorothy C. Dobbins; the Sol Adler family (Suzette Adler Lemson, Alisa Adler Weeks); Douglas Eugene Masini; Paul E. Stanton Jr.; and Marissa L. Greene.

Hall of Fame COLLEGE OF CLINICAL AND REHABILITATIVE HEALTH SCIENCES RECOGNIZES SIX East Tennessee State University’s College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences (CCRHS) handed out two Distinguished Alumni awards and inducted four other individuals into the college’s Hall of Fame in 2019. The two individuals who received the 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award from the CCRHS are:

the Department of Human Services before entering academia at ETSU as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Work in 1977. She later served as Associate Dean of Student Affairs in the Quillen College of Medicine for 11 years before becoming the Associate Vice President in the Office of Cultural Diversity for the Division of Health Sciences at ETSU for nine years.

Dr. Dorothy Dobbins–Dobbins received a Bachelor of Science degree in social work from ETSU in 1970. She later earned a Master of Science degree in social work from the University of Tennessee and a Ph.D. in applied social sciences from Case Western Reserve University. She began her career in Sullivan County with

Lt. Cmdr. Marissa Greene–After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in exercise science from Appalachian State University in 2005, Greene earned a Doctor of Physical Therapy at ETSU in 2009. In 2010, Greene was commissioned as a lieutenant in the United States Navy Medical Service Corps. She served as Department Head

CCRHS to add programs East Tennessee State University College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences (CCRHS) said goodbye to 296 graduates—the largest class in the college’s history—at ETSU’s spring 2019 commencement. However, the college anticipates even larger class sizes in the coming years due to the proposed addition of new degree programs and growth in its existing programs. In 2019, the ETSU Board of Trustees approved letters of notification

10 ETSU Health

regarding the establishment of a Doctor of Occupational Therapy program and a Master of Science in Prosthetics and Orthotics program. There are still several steps before these programs can be implemented at ETSU, including approval by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC), Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), and external program accreditors.

“Although we have a way to go before these programs are finalized, we anticipate that we will be admitting students for the first class of both of these new programs during the summer of 2022,” said Dr. Don Samples, Dean of CCRHS. “The intent of our growth is to continue to meet the health care needs of our region. Both of these new programs represent areas in which there is a significant need.” “The addition of these programs builds on our significant portfolio of existing rehabilitative science

for the Orthopedic Physical/Occupational Therapy and Chiropractic Department at the U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa and pioneered the Navy’s first multidisciplinary Traumatic Brain Injury Program. Greene currently serves as the senior physical therapist and Associate Director for Clinical Support Services in Pensacola, Florida. She was selected as the U.S Navy Physical Therapist of the Year in 2018. Those inducted to the CCRHS Alumni Hall of Fame are: The late Dr. Sol Adler–Adler spent 10 years at ETSU, initially serving as the Director of the Speech and Hearing Program and then as the first Chairman of the Department of Special Education. During this time, he founded the Speech and Hearing Clinic at the Mountain Home VA Medical Center. He left ETSU for an opportunity to establish a Speech and Hearing Clinic at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville. In 1972, he founded the UT Pediatric Language Clinic. He was nationally known for his pioneering work in pediatric language disorders and multicultural issues. After his death, the University of Tennessee continued his annual conferences, renamed the Sol Adler Memorial Conferences. Dr. Doug Masini–Masini began his career in health care working as a staff therapist at various hospitals in Ohio and Florida. In 1990, he became Director of Pulmonary Physiology at Bristol Regional Medical Center. Later, he served as Program Director for ETSU’s Cardiopulmonary Science program from 2001 to 2008. During this period, the program was recognized by the Commission of Accreditation for Respiratory Care with the inaugural “national program of the year award” in 2007. He

programs including physical therapy, speech-language pathology, and audiology,” said Dr. Jeff Snodgrass, Chair of the Department of Rehabilitative Sciences. “Our commitment to interprofessional

currently serves as full Professor in the respiratory care program and Department Chair for Diagnostic and Therapeutic Sciences at Georgia Southern University. The late Dr. Francis Ward Morgan–Morgan began his career as a captain in the Air Force during World War II and the Korean War. After serving his country, he returned to private practice for 17 years. He came to ETSU in 1972 as an Associate Professor in the newlyformed Dental Hygiene program. He was promoted to full Professor and later served as chair of the department from 1977 until his retirement in July 1988. During his tenure at ETSU, he was responsible for multiple successful accreditation site visits. He initiated the groundwork for the Bachelor of Science degree in dental hygiene that started several years after his departure. Dr. Paul Stanton–In 1985, Stanton came to Johnson City as director of the Division of Peripheral Vascular Surgery for the Veterans Administration Medical Center and ETSU’s Quillen College of Medicine. He was selected as the Dean of the Quillen College of Medicine in 1988. In 1996, Stanton was selected as the eighth President of ETSU until his retirement in 2012 as President Emeritus. Under Stanton’s leadership and guidance, the Department of Physical Therapy was established, as well as the College of Pharmacy. His unwavering support of the program through administrative oversight and with the establishment of the Paul and Nancy Stanton Family Scholarship has enabled the program to achieve a national ranking, with exceptional faculty who are leaders in their profession. Additionally, Stanton was a longstanding supporter of the college’s Department of Social Work during his presidency.

education in the CCRHS is evident in our mission-centric focus to train our students in the classroom and community for participation in interprofessional health and rehabilitative care teams.”

More about the process: The Department of Rehabilitative Sciences within the CCRHS has submitted a letter of intent to develop an entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree program for accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). The Department is also seeking accreditation by the National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education to develop a Master of Science in Orthotics and Prosthetics.

2019 Annual Report 11


and underinsured of our region, including the homeless population.” The Community Health Centers make health care more accessible by providing transportation and medication, as well as offering specialty services. The HHS grant totals $2,063,388 per year for three years, without conditions. The funding will allow the sites to continue and expand their work. The services offered through the Community Health Centers cover a variety of health care needs. For example, the Johnson City Community Health Center (JCCHC) is a state-of-the-art, interdisciplinary facility offering primary care, women’s health/OB, behavioral health, radiology, and dental services. It also has an in-house charitable pharmacy and a lab.

Improving access to care ETSU COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS RECEIVE $6 MILLION GRANT The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a federal grant totaling more than $6 million over three years for the East Tennessee State University Community Health Centers.

City Community Health Center, Johnson City Downtown Day Center, Hancock County Elementary School Based Health Center, and Hancock County Middle/High School Based Health Center.

Managed by the ETSU College of Nursing, the Community Health Centers are a network of nursemanaged practice sites that provide health care and outreach visits to underserved clients in the upper Northeast Tennessee region.

“These community health centers give badly needed access to primary care for those who have limited means,” said Dr. Patricia Vanhook, Associate Dean for Practice and Community Partnerships for ETSU’s College of Nursing. “The grant funds will help to support our mission of providing care for the underserved

The four non-profit community health center sites include Johnson

12 ETSU Health

Operating as a satellite clinic of JCCHC, The Johnson City Downtown Day Center is a safe place for street and shelter homeless individuals to go during the day to receive essential services such as medical and mental health clinics, trauma and substance use disorder groups, washer/dryer services, shower services and a clothes closet. There are two community health centers in Hancock County–one located at Hancock Elementary School and the other at Hancock Middle/High School. These clinics offer primary care, urgent care, and mental health services to students and the community. In January 2019, the Hancock County Elementary Clinic received a $100,000 Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) grant to expand square footage in order to serve more patients.

Examining vaccine failure in HIV-infected patients Researchers at East Tennessee State University’s Quillen College of Medicine are exploring ways to improve vaccine effectiveness in immunocompromised individuals, such as HIV-infected patients. Drs. Jonathan Moorman and Zhi Qiang (John) Yao, Professors of Internal Medicine in ETSU’s Quillen College of Medicine, are leading the research on an R15-awarded project from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The award is in the amount of $434,108. Moorman and Yao have noted poor response to vaccines among immunocompromised individuals in prior research. This poor response was even observed in patients who follow antiretroviral treatment and have undetectable levels of HIV. “Our aim is to develop approaches to improve vaccine efficacy in these immunocompromised individuals,” Moorman said.

The researchers are studying Hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccine failure in patients with HIV. In addition, this research could also have implications for increasing the effectiveness of influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations in HIV and other immunocompromised patients, including the elderly. “This study will provide a working model to explore mechanisms that could be fundamental in the diminishing immune (vaccine) responses observed in HIV infection and other chronic infectious diseases,” Yao said. “This is critical for developing approaches to improve vaccine effectiveness in individuals with HIV.” The research could also extend to other immunocompromising conditions, such as Hepatitis C virus, hemodialysis, immunosuppression, transplantation, and malignancy, in general.

Dr. Jonathan Moorman

Dr. Zhi Qiang (John) Yao

Partnering to ‘Flip the Pharmacy’ East Tennessee State University Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy was selected to be part of a regional group participating in a national movement to transform and expand the role of the community pharmacy. By joining the nationally sponsored “Flip the Pharmacy” initiative, launched in October 2019, faculty and students will serve area community pharmacies as they move from traditional point-in-time, prescription-level care processes to outcomes based, patient-level care models. Services will include one-on-one coaching, administrative support, research and innovation-inspired efforts. “We are excited to join this nationwide initiative to expand the pharmacy profession,” said Dr. Debbie Byrd, Dean of Gatton College of Pharmacy. “Our goal is to help sustain community-based pharmacy practice

and to elevate quality patient care in our region, as well as to prepare graduates who are able to provide contemporary services.” Gatton College of Pharmacy has partnered with pharmacies in four clinically integrated community pharmacy enhanced services networks (CPESN) in Northeast Tennessee (NET), Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina, as well as pharmacy schools from across the region as part of the Greater Appalachian Transformation Effort (GATE) team. The team was selected for Flip the Pharmacy’s first cohort of the nationwide program, which will run for 24 months. Over the next five years, Flip the Pharmacy plans to graduate more than 1,000 pharmacies from a two-year transformation process.

2019 Annual Report 13




THIRD-YEAR MEDICAL STUDENT DAVID TAYLOR THOUGHT ABOUT BECOMING A DOCTOR SINCE HIS childhood, but a diagnosis four days after he graduated from high school was the confirmation he needed to set his sights on a career in medicine. A native of Dover, Tennessee, Taylor completed his undergraduate degree at Union University and came to Quillen College of Medicine where he has found his niche in several student leadership roles. He will graduate in 2021 with a dual degree–a doctor of medicine (MD) from Quillen and a master of public health (MPH) with a concentration in community health from ETSU’s College of Public Health.

When did you know you wanted to become a doctor? Like many kids, I grew up thinking that becoming a doctor would be cool, and I was particularly enthused by the story of one of my role models, Dr. Ben Carson, and his book Gifted Hands. I thought about a couple of different things like pharmacy or teaching, but towards the end of high school, another experience cemented the decision for me. I had been feeling extremely tired a lot and had lost 30 pounds without trying over the course of two months. Then, four days after my graduation date, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. However, I did not feel overwhelmed by the diagnosis. My pediatric endocrinologist, Dr. Jennifer Najjar, made me feel like I was not alone in this and that she would do everything she could to help me through it. I knew from that relationship with her that I wanted to help other people in similar ways.

Why did you choose Quillen? I went to a small school for undergrad, where I had personal relationships with a variety of faculty, staff, and administration that I valued greatly. I wanted that out of my medical school experience, as well. Quillen was my second interview during my interview season, and when I left from Johnson City that day, I knew I had found my home for the next four years.

14 ETSU Health

Why did you decide to pursue the dual MD/MPH degree? I have a big interest in global health from several mission trips to Haiti and I have been interested in public health through an organization called HOSA that I was involved in during high school. As I came into medical school, I realized that while medical school training does a great job preparing you to take care of individual patients, public health training would prepare me to take care of communities and to see things on a broader scale.

How do you spend your time when you’re not studying? I currently serve as president of Quillen’s Class of 2021 as well as a member of the Admissions Committee. I’ve also been involved with the Pediatric Interest Group, Christian Medical and Dental Association, and the Medical Student Education Committee. I love playing intramural sports and have been a member of flag football, basketball, indoor volleyball, softball, and ultimate Frisbee teams. Finally, I’m a member of Redeemer Community Church in Johnson City and try to do as much as I can with my church.

What has surprised you most about Quillen? What has surprised me most are the amazing places that Quillen sends its medical students. Despite being a smaller school, Quillen sends its students to top residencies across the country. In my own specialty interest of pediatrics, Quillen has sent its students to several top 5 programs since I have been a student here.


National pitch winners INVENTION WILL SECURE COLLEGE OF NURSING’S FIRST PATENT Competing against nurse innovators from throughout the country, three faculty members from East Tennessee State University’s College of Nursing won first place for their invention, Instructional Dermatology Surface Models (IDSMs), at the American Nurses Association’s (ANA) 2019 NursePitch™. The ETSU team consisting of Drs. Retha Gentry, Lisa Ousley, and Candice Short, all Assistant Professors in the ETSU College of Nursing, won $7,500 for their firstplace idea at NursePitch™, which is ANA’s live, interactive version of the TV show “Shark Tank.” Their winning business pitch is a product that creates two- and three-dimensional models of realistic skin lesions that can be placed on humans and mannequins to help educate clinicians to detect skin diseases such as melanoma. The trio submitted a non-provisional patent application for the invention, and completed a full patent application to the U.S. Patent Office in July for what will be the first patent ever received by ETSU’s College of Nursing.

THIS HAS BEEN EXCITING BECAUSE OF THE CLINICAL ACUMEN THAT IT WILL DEVELOP IN OUR STUDENTS, WHICH TRANSLATES INTO IMPROVED PATIENT OUTCOMES. – DR. LISA OUSLEY To enter the NursePitch™ contest, the ETSU team submitted a video presentation describing the invention. Out of 45 submissions, the ETSU team was one of only five selected to pitch their idea live in front a panel of judges at the ANA conference. The invention was born out of the team’s desire to improve dermatology education and clinical experience for students.

16 ETSU Health

“We wanted to prepare nurse practitioners so that when they saw a skin lesion or rash, they could have confidence in making a diagnosis,” said Gentry. Ousley initially came up with the idea for their first prototype by manipulating a high-resolution digital photograph of a melanoma and removing all of the skin pixels. Then, she printed it on a clear window cling that could be placed over skin in order replicate what a skin lesion might look like. After testing the first prototype, the team realized that they were onto something. “Even in that simplistic form, we knew we had a good idea,” Ousley said. Their first model developed into a more nuanced twodimensional model that they created on transparent, flexible plastic that could be placed on a human or mannequin model. Their current prototype is even more developed and realistic, using a 3D printer to create a three-dimensional

Pictured left to right are: Drs. Retha Gentry, Lisa Ousley and Candice Short.

model that replicates not only the look of skin lesions, but also the way they feel. Essyx design + fabrication of Johnson City assisted with the design.

especially on skin of color, so it was very important to us that this model look like what would truly present clinically on any skin type,” Short said.

“Some skin lesions are flat and two-dimensional, but many could be raised or rough and present a third dimension,” Ousley said. “We wanted our prototype to add not only visual characteristics, but tactile characteristics, as well.”

The team has presented their invention to regional and national audiences and as far away as Canada and are garnering a positive response and many requests for the product. The IDSM team is currently preparing for the third IDSM research study. They continue prototype development in collaboration with Essyx Design + Fabrication (Kelly Barnette and Jon Dickerson) and the ETSU Department of Engineering, Engineering Technology, and Surveying (David Zollinger).

The team has seen positive results in their classes and even in their own awareness of skin conditions. “From a simulation standpoint, our model gives us the opportunity to standardize the experiences that students have,” said Short. In addition, because the models are printed on flexible, transparent plastic, they can be used to practice on any skin tone or age of patient. “We recognized from the evidence that there is a disparity in adequately training clinicians in dermatology,

“ETSU College of Nursing has given us a platform to be creative and innovative, and they have given us tremendous support for us to continue our work and scholarship in this area,” Ousley said. “This has been exciting because of the clinical acumen that it will develop in our students, which translates into improved patient outcomes. That is what is really important.”

2019 Annual Report 17


College of Public Health adds new majors East Tennessee State University’s College of Public Health introduced two new degree options for students–a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology and a Bachelor of Science in Health Administration. Microbiology was formerly a concentration under the health sciences major, but due to student demand, the College of Public Health expanded it into a major in fall 2019. Students in this major study microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, algae, fungi, and some types of parasites, focusing on how these organisms live, grow and interact with their environments. “A degree in microbiology is widely recognized both nationally and internationally,” said Dr. Ranjan Chakraborty, Chair of the Department of Health Sciences. “The degree in microbiology prepares students well for multiple career opportunities including admissions to professional and graduate schools, thus opening up several career paths for them to choose from.” The Bachelor of Science in Health Administration also began in fall 2019. Since 1978, ETSU has offered a concentration in health administration as part of the Bachelor of Science in

Public Health degree. The concentration has proven to be very popular and effective, providing graduates with the knowledge and skills necessary to become effective health care administrators capable of managing and delivering health services. However, health care is a rapidly changing field, and the degree has evolved significantly over the four decades. The Public Health degree was completely revised in 2014, and the Health Administration concentration is now ready for further evolution as its own bachelor’s degree: the Bachelor of Science in Health Administration. “This new title better describes how the concentration has evolved over time and come to provide a unique set of competencies for the health administration profession,” said Dr. Amal Khoury, Chair of the Department of Health Services Management and Policy. “The new name will help students better understand which fields of employment they can pursue with this degree.”

Zahner secures two NIH grants in 2019 Dr. Matthew Zahner, a cardiovascular neurophysiologist and Assistant Professor in the College of Public Health, secured two National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants in 2019.

to find the parts of the brain that are responsible for that so when you do have a particular drug or physiological condition, we’re not activating those parts of the brain unintentionally.”

Zahner’s first NIH Research Enhancement Award (R15) will allow him and co-investigator Dr. Eric Beaumont, Professor in ETSU’s Quillen College of Medicine’s Department of Biomedical Sciences, to study the reflex response people have when they experience myocardial ischemia, or lack of blood flow and oxygen to the heart.

The second NIH R15 grant will fund research to examine how the brain controls blood pressure and metabolism. Zahner and his collaborators, Dr. Yongke Lu and Dr. Allan Forsman, are using cutting-edge approaches to identify the specific types of brain cells that control either blood pressure or metabolism.

“Our hypothesis is that the risk for more deadly heart attacks is elevated when people have increased nervous system activity,” Zahner said. “We are trying

“This study could lead to therapeutic interventions to mitigate the potential cardiovascular risk of obesity and diabetes treatments,” Zahner said.

18 ETSU Health


Students and faculty from East Tennessee State University joined with AdaptoPlay to host its annual “Breakfast with Santa” for children with mobility impairments on Dec. 14 at the ETSU Eastman Valleybrook campus. AdaptoPlay is a nonprofit organization of volunteers who are passionate about helping children who are differently-abled. The local organization focuses on creating and using mobility devices and toys to create opportunities for play for children who have a primary diagnosis of physical disability. Project EARTH, which is part of ETSU’s College of Public Health, partners with AdaptoPlay to

creatively adapt cars, toys, and games for children who have mobility differences. Milligan College’s Engineering Program also is an integral partner with AdaptoPlay. Community physical therapist volunteers, along with student and faculty volunteers from ETSU’s College of Public Health and physical therapy students from the College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences, facilitated the fun and activities attended by 25 children and their families. AdaptoPlay fitted eight children for motorized toy cars, which will be specially adapted and outfitted for their mobility needs.

“AdaptoPlay is a special part of Project EARTH because it brings together students from public health and physical therapy to work alongside physical and occupational therapists from the community, as well as an array of other volunteers,” said Dr. Mike Stoots, Director of Operations for Project EARTH. “Students not only learn to adapt cars and toys, they work in interprofessional teams and learn community organization and logistical skills.”

2019 Annual Report 19



CAMPBELL BANKS SENIOR KAITLIN CAMPBELL BANKS’ JOURNEY AT EAST TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY HAS BEEN about learning how to balance all the things she loves– which include everything from her full-time job at an assisted living facility to helping out on her family’s cattle farm. The Elizabethton resident says she is able to juggle her priorities with the support of her faith, her husband, her family–and lots of sticky notes. She also has a healthy perspective of what it takes to succeed in her career of choice, as she had several years of professional experience as a licensed practical nurse (LPN) before she enrolled in ETSU’s LPN to BSN program.

Besides school and work, what other commitments keep you busy and grounded?

Tell us about your current work as an LPN.

I help my dad and grandfather on the farm with their beef cattle, and I ride my horse when I can. I’m also an assistant softball coach at Elizabethton High School. Additionally, I enjoy helping younger kids with softball when I have extra time. I enjoy traveling, going to church, and volunteering, too.

I currently work at an assisted living facility. On my shift, I’m the supervisor over my residents and co-workers. Between medication administrations, assessments, and evaluating status changes, I spend every moment I have learning from those individuals in the facility. I have former medical professionals in my care, and I love learning from them; all I can hope for is that I am half the nurse that they are and were in their time of practice. I have experience in the hospital setting on an oncology/ med surg floor and in nursing homes. I hope to return to the hospital once I graduate in May. I love seeing different situations each day and learning the most that I can.

Why did you choose nursing? And why ETSU? Nursing is not a career, it’s a calling–a calling that I have felt since I was a little girl. Nursing is a work of heart and it’s not meant for everyone. Nursing, to me, is life, and I hope to do it for a long time. There are few universities/schools in this area that encourage LPNs to advance in their academic career. ETSU’s LPN to BSN program seemed right for me and allows me to continue working as an LPN while I’m going to school. I became a student at ETSU in spring of 2019, but I was part of Upward Bound at ETSU while I was in high school.

20 ETSU Health

I spend every moment I can with my family when I’m not at work or at school. If it wasn’t for God or my family, I wouldn’t be where I am today!

Time management is key, not just in nursing but also in my personal life. Sticky notes are also key; I have no idea where I would be without them–literally!

In what ways does ETSU make it possible for you to balance life, work, and school? ETSU makes it possible to balance everything by having instructors who are understanding and respectful. ETSU’s LPN to BSN Program is meant for health care professionals to continue working full time while advancing their careers. Instructors in this program are always understanding and helpful when we need it.


Generation Rx PHARMACY STUDENTS RECEIVE NATIONAL RECOGNITION East Tennessee State University Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy’s Generation Rx committee continues to receive national recognition for its work to battle the opioid crisis.

Generation Rx is a national organization with affiliated committees located at pharmacy schools all over the country. The aim of the organization is to target prescription drug abuse through public education.

ETSU’s committee was named first runner-up for “best overall Generation Rx committee in the country” by the American Pharmacists Association–Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP). For the past three years, they have won “best overall.”

Since its inception, the ETSU Generation Rx committee has enhanced medication safety and combated the misuse and abuse of prescription drugs.

In addition, the college’s APhA-ASP chapter, which includes the Generation Rx committee, earned second-runner up for Chapter Achievement among all comparably-sized colleges, and two third-year students earned spots on APhA-ASP National Standing Committees, of which there are only 25 spots nationwide. Augustine Bui, from Baldwin Park, California, serves on the communication committee, and Lauren Dickerson, Chattanooga, Tennessee, serves on the policy committee. “I am so proud of our students for these accomplishments,” said Dr. Debbie Byrd, Dean of Gatton College of Pharmacy. “Our Generation Rx committee continues to make a national impact on the opioid epidemic and it shows that Gatton students truly have what it takes not only to compete, but win on the national level.”

22 ETSU Health

Members have reached thousands throughout Northeast Tennessee and beyond, providing opioid overdose training, and naloxone, at no cost. In addition, they have even created a provider toolkit presentation to help educate health care providers about safe prescribing practices. In 2019, ETSU installed naloxone in each of the automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in all of the residence halls and Generation Rx members provided training to approximately 65 resident advisors (RAs) and resident directors (RDs) to teach them how to identify risk factors associated with opioid overdose and how to use naloxone to save a life in case of an overdose emergency. “It’s about having that security that I could go into a gas station or a library and if I see someone who has overdosed I could pull my naloxone out of my purse, administer it intranasally, and save a life,” said Dr. Sarah Melton, a Professor of Pharmacy Practice who leads overdose training efforts at Gatton College of Pharmacy.


Dr. Sarah Melton and Dr. Lynn Williams

East Tennessee State University’s Women’s Studies Program honored Dr. Sarah Melton and Dr. Lynn Williams as 2019 recipients of the Notable Women of ETSU award. The two award recipients were honored at the 18th annual Notable Women of ETSU Colloquium on Nov. 6. The awards and colloquium highlight the expertise and accomplishments of women at ETSU; provide a forum for the exchange of ideas, research, and projects generated by women faculty; and identify women faculty whose work advances understanding of women and their lives. Dr. Sarah Melton is a Professor at Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy as well as a clinical pharmacist at both the Johnson City Community Health Center and Quillen College of Medicine’s Center for Excellence for HIV/AIDS. She is a board certified psychiatric, ambulatory care, and geriatric pharmacist and a certified trainer for Volunteer to Save a Life: Tennessee Naloxone Overdose Education and Distribution.

Melton has impacted patients and community members alike by seeking to improve the lives of those living with addictions and to reduce the prevalence of prescription drug abuse in Appalachia. Through her work as an addiction specialist, her reach extends beyond the TriCities to over 2,500 providers across the state. Because of her experience working with the underserved in Appalachia, she has been appointed by the governors of Virginia and Tennessee to such critical state-wide commissions as the Virginia Taskforce on Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse, the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth and the Tennessee Commission on Pain and Addiction Medicine Education. She has served as board chair for One Care of Southwest Virginia for 10 years and has been a fellow with the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists since 2011. Dr. Lynn Williams serves as Associate Dean of the College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences and is a Professor in the Department of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology. In April of last year, she gained national recognition for her commitment to the advancement of interprofessional health care through education, collaboration, and advocacy. She was inducted as a Distinguished Fellow of the National Academies of Practice, is a member of the Academy of Speech Language Pathology, and is the 2020 president-elect of the American SpeechLanguage-Hearing Association. Williams has presented at over 100 conferences nationally and abroad and has been published in over 40 peer-reviewed journals. Additionally, she has served as associate editor of the highly regarded Journal of American Speech-Language Pathology and Language, Speech and Hearing Services in the Schools. Williams has developed a widely used linguistic method of speech therapy called the Multiple Oppositions Approach that was funded by the National Institutes of Health, as well as an assessment model of speech disorders called Systemic Analysis of Child Speech. Most recently, Williams’ research has broadened to examine health disparities and people with communication disabilities.

2019 Annual Report 23


Addiction medicine fellowship receives initial accreditation East Tennessee State University’s Family Medicine Addiction Medicine Fellowship received initial accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), paving the way for more physicians to become leaders in the care of persons with substance use and behavioral disorders in rural counties of Appalachia. Development of the new fellowship program at ETSU’s Quillen College of Medicine began in 2018 when ETSU President Brian Noland and Ballad Health Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Alan Levine announced a partnership to expand education and training in addiction medicine in the region. ETSU will welcome its first two fellows to the one-year fellowship, set to begin July 1, 2020. Two new fellows will be added each year. In two years, ACGME will conduct a site visit to complete the accreditation process. “The approval of an addiction medicine fellowship is extremely important for this region to help address the opioid crisis,” said Dean of Quillen College of Medicine

Dr. Bill Block. “We are thankful to Ballad for their support in working with the ETSU Quillen College of Medicine to make this a reality, and we look forward to welcoming our first fellows.”


The fellows will have the opportunity to work in many different places throughout the region, such as Mountain Home Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Johnson City Medical Center, Overmountain Recovery, Frontier Health, and ETSU Health Family Medicine clinics. When they have completed the fellowship, the physicians will be eligible to sit for board certification in addiction medicine with the American Board of Preventive Medicine.

Grant funds home-visiting services for new mothers living in poverty A grant totaling nearly $5 million over the Dr. Patricia Vanhook next four years will fund evidence-based BSN-RN home visiting services for first-time mothers who live in poverty in nine Northeast Tennessee counties. The Tennessee Department of Human Services awarded the grant to East Tennessee State University’s Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) program, which provides services to women living in Johnson, Carter, Unicoi, Washington, Sullivan, Hawkins, 24 ETSU Health

Hancock, Greene, and Cocke counties. Mothers in this program receive important services from prenatal care through age 2 of their child. “Nurse-Family Partnership is a nationally renowned program that has been in practice across the country since the early 1970s,” said Dr. Patricia Vanhook, Professor and Associate Dean in ETSU’s College of Nursing. “The NFP is noted as a 2-Gen (two-generation) program that enhances health and economic outcomes for the mom, infant, and the family. The overall goal of this program is a healthy mom, healthy baby, and transition from poverty.” The program is available for free and

on a volunteer basis to low-income, pregnant, first-time moms in the participating counties. Through the program, a registered nurse is assigned as a case manager for each of the participating women, making weekly visits during pregnancy and on a regular basis once the child is born. ETSU Nurse-Family Partnership began in October 2016, with admission of their first moms in January 2017. The program has served 300 women since its inception. In 2019, the program received 85 referrals, 46 new clients, and saw the birth of 31 healthy babies through the program.


• Outgoing SNPhA President Christie Monahan (’20), awarded $1,000 for the Dr. Horace and Ethel Bynum Scholarship • Maddie Hardin (’20), Top 3 Initiative Chair for the chapter’s Mental Health Initiative • Jacquelyn Crawford (’22), Top 3 Initiative Chair for the chapter’s Legislative Membership Benefits and Immigration Initiative • Amber Blevins (’20), Top 3 Initiative Chair for the chapter’s Operation Immunization Initiative • Del Dorjsuren (’20), Top 3 Initiative Chair for the chapter’s Chronic Kidney Disease Initiative • Makayla Payne (’20), Honorable Mention for the chapter’s Power to End Stroke Initiative 

East Tennessee State University Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy’s chapter of the Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA) continues to excel at the national level by earning Overall Chapter of the Year, competing with 100 other chapters across the country at the organization’s annual convention in Houston, Texas. In addition, they earned nine other national honors. 

students served over 1,800 hours, across 170 service events.”

“These accomplishments are incredible and continue to demonstrate that our students are competing at the highest levels, against much larger institutions, across the country,” said Dr. Debbie Byrd, Dean of the Gatton College of Pharmacy. “While the awards are great, I’m even more proud of how much our students serve their communities. In 2019 alone, P1-P3

• Overall National Chapter of the Year

SNPhA is an educational service association of pharmacy students who are concerned about serving the underserved through pharmacy and health care related issues, as well as the minority representation in pharmacy and other healthrelated professions. Honors included:

• Rite-Aid Chapter Excellence Award for Mid-Size Chapter of the Year (50-100 members) • Samuel Ngata (’20), Diabetes Initiative Chair of the Year • Matthew Spence (’20), Remember the Ribbon Initiative Chair of the Year

In addition, Crawford (’22) represented ETSU as the national delegate. Her national initiative proposal on student public awareness of women’s health needs, which she created with Samford University and the University of South Carolina, passed the SNPhA delegation and will be implemented in the ETSU chapter. Several members of the local chapter graduated from the SNPhA Academy, a national platform designed to engage SNPhA members in activities to encourage chapter collaboration, to incorporate professional development events at the chapter level, and to develop the best student leaders in pharmacy. ETSU graduates included Carrie Anderson (’20); Sabrina Curtis (’21); Addie Lawson (’20); Morgan Lockhart (’20); Victoria Minnix (’20); Monahan; Ngata; and Spence. 

2019 Annual Report 25



East Tennessee State University’s Dental Hygiene program celebrated 50 years of educating students and providing dental hygiene care for the region. The program commemorated its 50th anniversary in 2019 with a dinner for alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of the program. ETSU’s Dental Hygiene program began in 1969 as an associate degree as a result of the Vocational Education Act. The first class graduated in 1971, and to date, approximately 1,500 students have graduated from the program, which is now housed in ETSU’s College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences. “There were plenty of people who needed a dental hygienist back then, but there weren’t many around at that time,” said Dr. Ruth Ketron, who was a member of the first class of dental hygiene students at ETSU. “There was a need to get the program started.” Ketron, who was 39 when she started the dental hygiene program at ETSU, went on to complete her master’s degree at ETSU and a doctoral degree from the University of Tennessee. She eventually became part of the dental hygiene faculty at ETSU and taught for more than 20 years before she retired in 1995. In the early 1990s, the program evolved into an Associate of Applied Science. By 2000, ETSU began offering a Bachelor of Science in dental hygiene, with the last few associate degrees being awarded in 2005. Additionally, the BS online degree completion program, which allows licensed dental hygienists with associate degrees to complete their BS degree online, was started in 2001. This was one of the first two such programs in the nation. The first online students graduated in 2003. The program has made an important impact on the community over the past 50 years. The Dental Hygiene Clinic in ETSU’s Lamb Hall is open to the public and offers thorough examinations, oral cancer screening, dental cleaning, dental charting, periodontal assessment and therapy, preventive oral hygiene instructions, fluoride, occlusal sealants, dental radiographs, and referrals to dentists. Senior citizens (55 and older) receive free treatment. All others who can afford to pay are charged $20 for cleaning. Sealants and x-rays carry extra charges. “As a teaching facility, we are able to offer excellent care that is affordable and accessible to people in this region, while at the same time providing our students with the highest quality equipment and instruction,” said Dr. Tabitha Fair, Program Director. “We are proud of our 50-year legacy in this community.”

26 ETSU Health

Students organize inaugural Quillen 100 The inaugural Quillen 100 bicycle race held at Bristol Motor Speedway in 2019 raised more than $6,000 for the Tri-Cities American Heart Association and drew cyclists to the area from as far away as Alabama, Kentucky, and Ohio. The cycling relay and community health event was organized by students at East Tennessee State University’s Quillen College of Medicine and was sponsored by Ballad Health, ETSU Health, Bristol Motor Speedway, and several other community partners and donors. The event included a 50-mile competitive relay

(Quillen 100) and a 20-mile noncompetitive relay (Little Q). The family-friendly event also featured a festival, health fair, and youth bicycle ride around the racetrack. “This event was all-inclusive and gave people from all walks of life a chance to race at Bristol Motor Speedway,” said Ryan Serbin, a Quillen student who helped organize the event. “We had national champions competing in the Quillen 100 and people who hadn’t been on a bike in years in The Little Q. It was inspiring to see people join in and get back to a healthy lifestyle.” More than 50 medical and undergraduate student volunteers from ETSU helped make the event possible. Organizers say they will make the Quillen 100 an annual event.

Preparing addiction counseling specialists A new graduate certificate program at East Tennessee State University is preparing social work professionals to tackle a problem that affects millions of lives every year– drug and alcohol addiction. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 19.7 million American adults (aged 12 and older) battled a substance use disorder in 2017. “The statistics are staggering, and we don’t have enough addiction counseling specialists, particularly in Northeast Tennessee, who have the training to deal with these clients,” said Dr. Dottie Greene, Assistant Professor of Social Work in ETSU’s College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences. To try to overcome this shortage, ETSU’s School of Graduate Studies and Department of Social Work introduced the Certificate in Clinical Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling Studies (CCADACS). Students admitted to the CCADACS program have a unique opportunity to

begin preparing for licensure/certification as substance use disorder and addiction counselors. The program graduated its first cohort of 11 students in May 2019. “The development of the program is a way to help save lives. That’s the bottom line,” Greene said. “It’s paramount that we get our people trained in the midst of this opioid epidemic so that we can save lives in our own back yard.” To make the program accessible to students who live in other areas, the required courses are offered in convenient synchronous and asynchronous virtual learning platforms to students at ETSU’s Master of Social Work sites. These locations include: ETSU’s main campus, Johnson City; Asheville, North Carolina; Sevierville; and Abingdon, Virginia. The CCADACS is made up of four courses (12 credit hours) that address important issues such as the science of addiction and cultural considerations when treating people with addiction.

2019 Annual Report 27





IN MAY 2020, SHARON SMITH AND HER SON, CHRIS BROWN, WILL receive their ETSU diplomas–on the same day and from the same college. Sharon and Chris, both veterans of the United States Navy, are pursuing disciplines within the ETSU College of Public Health. Sharon is completing a Bachelor of Science in Public Health with a Health Administration concentration, while her son, Chris Brown, has opted for the more clinical Bachelor of Science in Microbiology.


Sharon enlisted in the U.S. Navy when she was 21 years old and remained on active duty for 20 years. She was stationed on a submarine tender, a destroyer tender, two aircraft carriers, and a destroyer. She was stationed overseas twice; the first time in Naples, Italy, where she gave birth to Chris. The second overseas tour occurred in Atsugi, Japan, just outside of Tokyo. Her children accompanied her while at Atsugi so they were able to learn first-hand of the Japanese culture. She considers her most rewarding duty onboard the USS Carl Vinson stationed in Bremerton, Washington. She learned a great deal about quality leadership at this duty station, as well as how to be a good leader. Her job description while in the Navy was primarily Culinary Specialist although she was assigned to a military police position for three years in Jacksonville, Florida.

What attracted you to health administration? I liked the structure in the military, and health administration offered that structure. This major offers a lot of possibilities; the world is my oyster.

What has been the most rewarding part of your undergraduate experience? First of all, it’s just great that at my age I can come back to college. I had to do it backwards. I had to go through the Navy, raise my children, and then come back. But I think that way I could see how much of a blessing it is.


Chris joined the Navy in 2011. He attended boot camp in Great Lakes, Illinois. He served as a cryptology technician and his primary duty was to prevent enemy missiles from hitting his ship by employing passive interception and missile counter defense. He was deployed for two years to the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea to counter Somali pirate operations by tracking and monitoring their radar. When he returned to the United States, Chris served as a damage control petty officer and performed maintenance while dry-docked. After finishing his undergraduate career, Chris plans to pursue a medical degree focused on pathology. He chose microbiology because it best fit with his graduate school plans. He also has an advanced first aid qualification and enjoyed his training in emergency and mass casualty management.

Why did you choose to study public health? When I was in the Navy, we did advanced medical training, first aid, and stretcher bearing, and that made me want to look into a career in medicine. The College of Public Health is probably the best way to go about it.

What have you enjoyed the most about being a public health student? With my particular degree, they give us lots of opportunities to go over to Quillen College of Medicine– and the most rewarding thing is to see it all in action. It’s really interesting to see how everything I am learning in the classroom is actually being brought into real life and how it interacts with things I plan on doing.

2019 Annual Report 29


Bishop earns accrediting body’s highest public recognition The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) awarded its highest honor to Dr. Wilsie Bishop, Senior Vice President for Academics and Interim Provost at East Tennessee State University. Bishop received the James T. Rogers Distinguished Leadership Award at SACSCOC’s annual conference. SACSCOC is the regional accrediting body for more than 800 colleges and universities in 11 southern states. The James T. Rogers Distinguished Leadership Award, which is reserved for “extraordinarily distinctive and effective leadership,” is named for the former director who served SACSCOC for more than two decades. “Dr. Bishop’s leadership and commitment to higher education extend beyond the important work she has done throughout her career at ETSU,” said ETSU President Brian Noland. “She has made an impact on higher education at institutions throughout the country, and she is extremely deserving of this important recognition from her peers.”

The SACSCOC award was the second major recognition bestowed upon Bishop in 2019. Earlier in the year, the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness appointed her to the Defense Health Board Public Health Subcommittee. The Defense Health Board (DHB) is a Federal Advisory Committee that provides independent advice and recommendations to maximize the health, safety and effectiveness of all Department of Defense (DoD) health care beneficiaries. The Public Health Subcommittee functions as a subcommittee of the DHB, advising on matters pertaining to improving the overall health of members of the Armed Forces and their families through the evaluation of DoD public health programs and initiatives including education, health promotion and prevention activities, as well as disease and injury prevention research.

Opioid Quality Improvement Collaborative The East Tennessee State University College of Nursing is part of a cohort of health care systems participating as study sites for the Opioid Quality Improvement (QI) Collaborative. The Collaborative’s goal is to support health care systems in implementing recommendations from the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain and using associated QI measures to improve chronic pain care and opioid prescribing management. The project is led by Abt Associates and is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Collaborative now includes two cohorts of health care systems across 11 states from Massachusetts to Oregon and more than 120 primary care practices.

30 ETSU Health

“The focus of this collaborative is to facilitate excellent patient outcomes while assisting health care providers to prescribe opioids based on the scientific evidence,” said Dr. Patricia Vanhook, Associate Dean for Practice and Community Partnerships. “We are implementing changes to the electronic medical record to assist the providers in the appropriate assessment, prescribing and monitoring of patients on opioids. We are excited for the opportunity to participate in this national effort.” Integral to the project are 16 clinical QI opioid measures, which align with the CDC guideline. Each health care system involved agreed to produce and monitor its progress on at least five QI measures. The health care system will evaluate the impact of the QI measures on prescribing and patient outcomes.

Sign of growth ETSU ADDS AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE MINOR A new law sparked interest in a new minor in American Sign Language (ASL) at East Tennessee State University. Just one year later, the ASL minor is thriving and meeting the needs of educators, students, and professionals from across the state. ETSU recognized a growing need for ASL education when the Tennessee General Assembly passed legislation in 2017 that recognized ASL as a modern language that may fulfill the high school graduation requirement for world language credits. To meet the increased demand for ASL, ETSU introduced a new ASL minor in the fall of 2018. The minor is housed in the Department

of Audiology and SpeechLanguage Pathology in the College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences. Since its inception, the ASL minor has grown substantially. The number of students who have declared the minor has increased from 24 to more than 60 currently enrolled in the minor. “Due to the high demand, we are also offering twice as many classes this fall,” said Ann Knudsvig, Assistant Professor. “Last fall, we only offered four courses during the semester; this year, we have eight–seven classes on the main ETSU campus and one on ETSU’s Allandale campus in Kingsport.”

In addition to traditional ETSU students, the ASL course on the Allandale campus is attracting high school dual enrollment students who are taking ASL for high school and college credit, Knudsvig said. Interest in the ASL courses is also growing among high school educators, as there is a nationwide shortage of teachers of world languages, according to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). “Overall, the ASL minor offers so much potential to meet a variety of needs–in education, in health care, and in other sectors across our community,” Knudsvig said.

2019 Annual Report 31


A distinguished delegation QUILLEN MEDICAL STUDENTS ASSUME NATIONAL LEADERSHIP ROLES A student delegation from East Tennessee State University Quillen College of Medicine had a visible and large leadership presence at the 2019 American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Students. Margaret Miller, an MD/MPH student, served in one of the conference’s most prominent leadership roles– Student Conference Chair. She was also elected as the student member of the AAFP Board of Directors for 2019-2020. “This is the highest leadership position for a student in Family Medicine to attain, and this is the first Quillen student we have had in this role,” said Dr. Reid Blackwelder, Chair of Quillen’s Department of Family Medicine. “Margaret will help shape AAFP health care policy and address member issues for the next year. She also will represent the medical student voice all the way to Washington, D.C. She is an exemplary and nationally recognized medical student leader.” Miller already has extensive leadership experience on her résumé. She has been a regional coordinator for the AAFP’s Family Medicine Interest Group (FMIG) network and has served on the Academy’s Commission on Education and Commission on Membership and Member Services. She recently was an alternate delegate to the American Medical Association’s Medical Student Section during that organization’s annual House of Delegates meeting. Sixteen Quillen students attended the three-day conference, which is attended by thousands of residents and students and is the largest such gathering of any medical organization in the country, according to Blackwelder. The conference involves residency program recruitment, educational offerings, and both the Resident and Student Congresses. Each group

32 ETSU Health


introduces, debates, and votes on resolutions, and elects national representatives. In addition to Miller’s national leadership role, fourth-year Quillen student Chase Mussard served as FMIG regional coordinator this year and was elected to be the FMIG National Coordinator for 2019-2020. Finally, Collette McWilliams, a third-year student at ETSU’s Quillen College of Medicine, was one of only 30 medical students and resident scholars from across the country chosen for an innovative leadership institute that took place during the conference, and includes developing and implementing a project over the next year. McWilliams was selected for a scholarship by the AAFP Foundation to attend the conference and participate in the AAFP Foundation Family Medicine Leads (FML) Emerging Leader Institute. While at the national conference, McWilliams participated in leadership development, focusing on policy and public health leadership development, personal and practice leadership, and philanthropic mission-driven leadership. The training concluded with a project management session. “I am so very proud of our students,” Blackwelder said. “They represent us well on the national stage, and help us maintain a very high level of national recognition and praise.”

Quillen students to serve AAFP Two Quillen students, Austin Witt and Lindsey Merkle Moore, were chosen to serve in national leadership positions with the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). Witt, a fourth-year medical student, was appointed to the AAFP Commission on Membership and Member Services. As such, he represents the medical student voice on this committee that helps the AAFP improve the student pipeline into primary care and ensure that all members’ needs are addressed.

Austin Witt

“This is a continuing string of leadership successes for Austin,” said Dr. Reid Blackwelder, Chair of the Department of Family Medicine at Quillen. Witt has also served as Quillen’s student representative to the Association of American Medical College’s Organization of Lindsey Merkle Moore Student Representatives. Through that role, he was elected to two terms as a National Delegate on Student Affairs, a position that afforded him many opportunities to provide insight and advocate for issues affecting medical students across the country. In addition to Witt’s recent AAFP appointment, Merkle Moore, a secondyear Quillen student, was appointed as a Family Medicine Interest Group (FMIG) regional coordinator. She is one of only five such coordinators in the country. In this role, she will coordinate the activities of all the FMIGs in her region, and mentor those groups’ officers. “I am very proud of our students that we continue to make inroads on a national level,” Blackwelder said. “Thanks to them, Quillen and ETSU have a very strong national presence as leaders in primary care.”

2019 Annual Report 33


Researchers tackling Appalachia’s most pressing health concerns Several members of East Tennessee State University’s College of Public Health have contributed to a series of issue briefs that address some of the most important health concerns affecting Appalachia. The briefs were released by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. They were developed as part of a health research initiative called “Creating a Culture of Health in Appalachia: Disparities and Bright Spots.” “These briefs are the final product of an important effort by ARC to not only define the health disparities in Appalachia but to find the positive examples and practices that communities, policymakers and funders can take and implement to combat the most pressing issues facing the region–opioids, obesity and smoking,” said Dr. Kate Beatty, Assistant Professor in the ETSU College of Public Health and co-director of the Center for Rural and Appalachian Health. “These briefs were designed to provide stakeholders with the tools to find the best solutions for their community.” Working with researchers at the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago’s Walsh

Center for Rural Health Analysis, Beatty and Dr. Nathan Hale, Associate Professor in ETSU’s College of Public Health, led the research teams that authored the briefs. The three briefs focus on opioid misuse, smoking and obesity, and contain strategies, resources, and recommendations to help Appalachian communities tackle each issue.

Dr. Kate Beatty

In addition to Beatty and Hale, other ETSU College of Public Health contributors included Dr. Bill Brooks, Assistant Professor; Angela Hagaman, Operations Director for the Addiction Science Dr. Nathan Hale Center; Ginny Kidwell, Executive Director of the Tennessee Institute of Public Health; Dr. Hadii Mamudu, Associate Professor; Dr. Stephanie Mathis, Assistant Professor; Dr. Rob Pack, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor; and Sam Pettyjohn, a doctoral student.

ETSU announces expanded role for Quillen dean East Tennessee State University announced that Dr. Bill Block, who has served as Dean of Quillen College of Medicine for the past year, will assume additional responsibilities as the university’s Vice President for Clinical Affairs and Dean of Quillen College of Medicine. “As the work of ETSU Health continues to expand and as we deepen our partnerships with Ballad Health, I have asked Dr. Bill Block to represent the university in a leadership capacity and provide oversight of these initiatives,” said ETSU President Brian Noland. In his role as Vice President for Clinical Affairs, Block will be ETSU’s lead liaison to Ballad Health, handle all contracts between ETSU and health care partners, and hold clinical oversight of ETSU Health in association with the ETSU Health Advisory Board, which consists of all five deans of the colleges within 34 ETSU Health

the Academic Health Sciences Center at ETSU. These responsibilities are in addition to his ongoing duties as Dean of Quillen College of Medicine. Block’s title change became effective Feb. 1, 2020.

Dr. Bill Block

Block is a 1992 graduate of Quillen College of Medicine and from 1998-2004 he held various faculty positions at the medical school. After working as the medical director for the Minnesota Perinatal Physicians in Minnesota, he returned to Quillen in 2016 as chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology before becoming interim dean in 2018. He became permanent dean in February 2019.

Curbing the opioid crisis TASK FORCE, RESEARCH CONSORTIUM AMONG EFFORTS An expert panel chaired by East Tennessee State University’s Dr. Robert Pack released a report in 2019 that features dozens of recommendations to address the opioid crisis in the United States. The Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) formed the Task Force on Public Health Initiatives to Address the Opioid Crisis. The task force released its findings and recommendations, titled “Bringing Science to Bear on Opioids,” in conjunction with the publication of a related commentary in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). The JAMA commentary was authored by Pack, Dr. Cheryl Heaton of New York University College of Global Public Health, and Dr. Sandro Galea of Boston University School of Public Health. “The charge of the task force was to identify and define evidence-based public health initiatives for opioid use disorder, recognizing that it is going to take a comprehensive, public health-style approach to really begin to mitigate the harms and consequences associated with the opioid crisis,” said Pack, Associate Dean in ETSU’s College of Public Health and Executive Director of ETSU’s Addiction Science Center (formerly called the ETSU Center for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment). “There have been a lot of lawsuits brought against opioid manufacturers, distributors and pharmacies, and we are hoping to inform the types of decisions that might be made relative to how resources might be allocated if a settlement or multiple settlements are reached,” Pack added.

Pack has testified before the Tennessee Senate Health and Welfare Committee and the House Health Committee regarding prescription drug abuse and the potential impact of pain clinic regulations on the problem. In 2017, he was invited to brief the U.S. Congress as part of a panel of Appalachian experts on Dr. Robert Pack substance abuse. In 2019, Pack worked on a grant partnership with ETSU and Virginia Tech to establish the Opioids Research Consortium of Central Appalachia (ORCA), which facilitates planning for a research blueprint on opioids for the central Appalachian region. In addition, he was one of 24 individuals asked to serve on the Appalachian Regional Commission’s (ARC) newly formed Substance Abuse Advisory Council (SACC). Pack is hopeful that his most recent work with the ASPPH task force will continue to pave the way for solutions to a nationwide problem. “The opioid crisis is a local, national and global public health issue that touches all levels of society,” Pack said. “The ASPPH Task Force’s recommendations stress the critical need to reach across sectors and engage all possible resources to address the opioid epidemic and reduce associated harms.”

Pack is a leading national expert on the opioid crisis, championing research and guiding efforts to curb the crisis nationwide–and particularly in Appalachia.

2019 Annual Report 35



OCHIENG SHEM VICTOR OCHIENG SHEM’S JOURNEY TO EAST TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY BEGAN WHEN HE was just 5 years old and his family immigrated to the United States from Nairobi, Kenya. As an undergraduate, Victor completed an internship with the ETSU men’s soccer team and earned a bachelor’s degree in exercise science. Now, he is looking forward to his second degree from ETSU–a doctor of physical therapy (DPT), which he will receive in December 2020.

Tell us about your journey to ETSU. I was originally born in Nairobi, Kenya. When I was 5 years old, my mom tragically passed away, so my dad immigrated to the U.S with me and my older sister to pursue better opportunities. We first stayed in Atlanta, Georgia while my dad was getting his master’s and Ph.D. at Georgia Tech. After moving around a few times, we settled in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. While I was a student at Oak Ridge High School, I was able to get involved in the health sciences track, which allowed me to shadow different health care professionals during my senior year. My favorite place to shadow was the physical therapy clinic and that’s when I decided to pursue the profession.

How has being an immigrant to the United States shaped your life? Of course, as an immigrant you’re constantly being forced to adapt to your surroundings. My advantage was that I was 5 when we came, so I had no problem assimilating into American culture. The ability to understand different perspectives and cultures was enhanced as an immigrant because at school I learned about how my American friends lived their lives, while at home I was surrounded by Kenyan influence. This early exposure to cultural differences has pushed me to continually learn about people who are different from me, which broadened my worldview.

Have you been back to Kenya? Yes, after I graduated in May 2017, I worked throughout the summer and fall and saved up enough money to 36 ETSU Health

spend Christmas there. Since it had been 17 years after I left, I was excited to reconnect with my roots. It was a life-changing experience to meet my grandparents and other family members who I had only shared brief phone calls with. I was welcomed with open arms, and everyone made me feel like I was at home.

Do you hope to return to Kenya again? Absolutely! Now that I was able to make memories with my extended family, I’m eager to return and be a part of their lives. Hopefully I can spend enough time there to learn Swahili and Dholuo in order to communicate with my peers. I am also interested in using my physical therapy degree to help their health care system whether it’s in the workforce or even in a teaching capacity.

What are some of your most memorable moments as a physical therapy student? One memorable moment was going to Costa Rica as part of an interprofessional team from ETSU to collaborate with Universidad Santa Paula to provide health care to a local community in need. I enjoyed it so much that I am going again this year alongside respiratory therapy and speech language pathology students. Another memorable moment was during Black History Month this year. I decided to get some of my classmates to help in creating a trifold that could inform my peers about the struggle Black Americans endured in order to have access to basic civil rights and higher education. The purpose of the trifold was also to highlight the accomplishments of Black physical therapists who paved the way for me to be in the position I am today.



As the Class of 2019 at East Tennessee State University Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy received their doctoral hoods, they officially became part of the 10th graduating class and an important milestone for the college. The commencement and hooding ceremony was held on May 3, 2019 in ETSU’s Brooks Gymnasium, where 76 pharmacy students walked across the stage. “This marks a momentous occasion for our college that, 14 years ago, was founded by the community to fulfill a pharmacist shortage in our region,” said Dr. Debbie Byrd, Dean of Gatton College of Pharmacy. In 2004, a group of concerned citizens, including regional pharmacy leaders, approached ETSU leadership to consider the establishment of a pharmacy college. A steering committee developed a unique model for the college, making it the first private college within a public university in the country.

38 ETSU Health

Then-Gov. Phil Bredesen challenged the citizens of Northeast Tennessee and the southern Appalachian region to raise $5 million in 90 days to show support for the initiative; the community raised $5 million in 58 days, leading to the approval of the pharmacy college in 2005. In 2007, the college was named in honor of Bill Gatton, a local businessman and supporter of education who was the primary donor for the college. Since the college’s inception, students and faculty have won awards and gained attention for their efforts in tackling important health care issues, including recent national recognition for its Generation Rx committee’s efforts to provide naloxone training to more than 15,000 people in Appalachia. ETSU President Brian Noland addressed the graduates, noting their significant accomplishments both in the region and in national leadership positions within student organizations.

“You are part of shaping the quality of health care in our region,” Noland said. “Your contributions are visible and will continue to be felt throughout the community.” Shannon Schreiner, President of Gatton’s Class of 2019, also spoke at commencement, thanking her fellow graduates, professors and preceptors. “Regardless of what drove us to our goal today, at the end of the day, the bottom line is always our patients’ well-being,” Schreiner said. “We will all meet patients whose lives we will directly touch–and we will also directly touch lives of patients who we will never meet.” In addition to the doctoral hooding, several individual awards were presented, including academic awards to Kyle Scott Rice and Chelsea LeAnn Roberts, who earned the Pharmacy Valedictorian Achievement Award, which recognizes the highest-ranking student in the graduating class.

Rice and Roberts achieved perfect 4.0 grade point averages. Sarah Appiah Ofori was presented with three awards, the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy Achievement Award, the United States Public Health Service Excellence Award, and the Gary Mabrey Community Service Award. Other awards included: the Gatton College of Pharmacy Patient Care Award to Audrey Ololade Amolegbe, the Lilly Achievement Award to Allison Marie Anderson, the Merck Award for Pharmacy Excellence to Narmin Ahmed Abdo Mohammed and Kyle Scott Rice, the Mylan Institute of Pharmacy Excellence in Pharmacy Award to Sara Lynn Boles, the Wolters Kluwer Health’s Fact and Comparisons Award for Excellence in Clinical Communication Skills to Kathryn Veronica Esposito, the Baeteena M. Black Leadership Award to Chelsea LeAnn Roberts, and the Guy B. Wilson Jr. Leadership Award to Shannon Christy Ann Schreiner.

2019 Annual Report 39


Quillen College of Medicine offers new Mission Act scholarship East Tennessee State University’s Quillen College of Medicine is one of only nine medical schools in the United States offering a new scholarship aimed at helping veterans realize their dream of a medical education. The Veterans Affairs (VA) Mission Act of 2018 created several programs to help veterans pay for medical school, including the Veterans Healing Veterans Medical Access and Scholarship Program (VHVMASP). The Mission Act also strengthens the VA’s ability to deliver trusted, easy-to-access, high-quality care at VA facilities.

As one of the nine medical schools selected to offer the VHVMASP, Quillen will award the scholarship to the two highest ranking veterans applying to enter medical school in 2020 and beyond. These two students will receive financial support for tuition, books and equipment, fees, two away rotations at a VA facility during their senior year, and a monthly stipend.

Associate Dean in Quillen’s Office of Admissions and Records. “From the very beginning, we have been committed to veterans, and that dedication and appreciation for them is as strong today as it was then. This is a great opportunity to help veterans achieve their goal of a medical degree, and we are proud to be one of just a few schools that offer it.”

“Quillen College of Medicine began in 1974 with funds allocated from the VA, and we are located on a VA campus,” said Doug Taylor,

Pharmacy student receives national diversity scholarship

Iris Kamgue

Iris Kamgue, a first-year student at East Tennessee State University Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy, was honored when she found out that her application for a national diversity scholarship was successful.

“To be selected as one of the five students is quite unbelievable,” said Kamgue, who was awarded an $8,000 CVS Health Minority Scholarship for Pharmacy Students by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) and CVS Health. She was chosen from among nearly 400 applicants across the country. The CVS Health Minority Scholarship for Pharmacy Students is intended to promote and support a diverse population of student pharmacists by reducing the financial barriers and challenges for underrepresented minority students who are pursuing a PharmD degree.

40 ETSU Health

From Douala, a coastal city in Southwest Cameroon, Africa, Kamgue stated in her application a desire to take the health care skills she is learning at Gatton College of Pharmacy back to her home. “I want to help modernize and revolutionize the health care system in Cameroon,” she said. “One thing in particular would be to open a 24-hour pharmacy or a hospital that has its own pharmacy inside so that discharged patients do not have to drive across the town to get their medications.” This scholarship is consistent with Gatton College of Pharmacy’s goal to promote diversity. The college received one of two diversity grants from the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) Foundation to support the pharmacy school’s commitment to recruiting a diverse student body. The $15,000 grant will help the college develop an outreach program aimed at currently enrolled pre-health professional students from the Appalachian region who are the first in their families to attend institutions of higher learning.

U.S. News ranks ETSU College of Public Health among top third in nation The 2020 U.S. News Best Graduate Schools Rankings named the East Tennessee State University College of Public Health in the top third of schools and programs of public health accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). The ETSU College of Public Health was first accredited by CEPH in 2009, making it the first College of Public Health in the state of Tennessee. The college has more than doubled in enrollment in the past decade, and has received graduate applications from students in 49 states and 53 countries. “Going from being unranked as recently as 2011 to being just outside the top quarter of all public health schools and programs in the nation reflects the impressive teaching and research efforts of our faculty and students, as well as the college’s contributions to important public health issues,” said Dr. Randy Wykoff, Dean of the ETSU College of Public Health. U.S. News ranked the college 46th out of 177 schools, placing it among the top 10 public health graduate schools in the southeastern United States.

While the College of Public Health has seen gains in its regional reputation, it also has been in the national spotlight for its innovative efforts and curriculum. The college recently received national recognition for its work in battling the opioid crisis. In 2018, the U.S. Public Health Service and the Interprofessional Education Collaborative recognized ETSU with the Public Health Excellence in Interprofessional Education Collaboration Award for efforts coordinated by ETSU’s Center for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment (now Addiction Science Center), housed in the College of Public Health. In addition, the college has gained attention for its programs and curriculum, including receiving the 2017 Delta Omega award recognizing Project EARTH as the most innovative curriculum in the country. Project EARTH is a series of activities at the ETSU Eastman Valleybrook campus, which teach students the skills that they will need to work in low-resource settings. Project EARTH includes the Niswonger VILLAGE, a public health simulation lab that replicates how people live and work in low-resource settings.

Grant aids outreach to first-generation college students East Tennessee State University Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy received one of two diversity grants from the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) Foundation to support the pharmacy school’s commitment to recruiting a diverse student body. The $15,000 grant will help Gatton College of Pharmacy develop an outreach program aimed at currently enrolled pre-health professional students from the Appalachian region who are the first in their families to attend institutions of higher learning. Nearly half of the pharmacy school’s students are first generation, and over a third of the students are from rural zip codes. “We are so excited by this news,” said Dr. Debbie Byrd, Dean of Gatton College of Pharmacy. “Recruiting firstgeneration college students from Appalachia goes straight to the heart of our mission, to improve health care in rural and under-served communities. This grant will allow us not only to enhance our diversity in our

pharmacy school but also in the profession.” The program at Gatton College of Pharmacy will develop a robust and diverse outreach program aimed at educating, exposing and recruiting pre-health Appalachian first-generation college students to the profession of pharmacy. This Gatton First-Generation Pharmacy Program (FGPP) will include development of a pre-pharmacy course, summer camp immersion experience and pharmacy mentoring program, all of which are designed to explore the depths of the profession, discover career options in pharmacy and to prepare those first-generation students for application to a college of pharmacy.

2019 Annual Report 41



HOWARD FROM A SPORTS INJURY THAT ALTERED THE COURSE OF HER career to a new role as a single mother, fourthyear pharmacy student La’Travia Howard’s life has taken some unexpected turns. However, the Knoxville native has navigated changes and challenges to become a student leader at Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy. She completed her MBA at ETSU in 2019 and in May 2020, she will graduate with her Doctor of Pharmacy.

What led you to a career in pharmacy? I always had an interest in pharmacy, but I was not considering it as a career. I wanted to play college basketball for Pat Summitt and then play pro basketball. I did not consider becoming a pharmacist until I injured my foot at an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball tournament. There were hundreds of college recruits and recruiters there, including Pat Summitt. I got hurt during game one of the tournament. At that point I knew that my foot would not be the same and that I would not be the same player I was prior to the injury. I decided to start looking into the pharmacy profession more. In 2014, I was able to get a job at the inpatient pharmacy at Physician’s Regional Medical Center. After a few months of working, I knew that pharmacy was for me.

What attracted you to Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy? While working as a pharmacy technician at Fort Sanders, I met two pharmacy residents that were recent graduates from Gatton College of Pharmacy. They had nothing but great things to say about the school and faculty. On the day of my interview I got to experience firsthand the family atmosphere that the residents told me about. Even though I was only there for an interview, they made me feel as though I was already a student there. I knew I was exactly where I was supposed to be.

What challenges have you faced during pharmacy school? When my fiancé and I separated, and afterward I found out I was going to be a mother, I decided it would be best financially if I moved back home to Knoxville to stay with family. However, things did not work out as smoothly as I had hoped. At times I felt completely overwhelmed and stressed because I was driving back and forth. I was tired and depressed most days. There were several nights I would drive to school and arrive around 12 a.m. to study and then take a nap in the car.

How did you overcome those challenges? I was able to overcome the challenges I faced through the grace of God, my classmates, and the faculty at Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy. I don’t think I could ever thank them enough for everything they did for me and my baby. There was always someone calling and checking on me. My classmates and the faculty allowed me to stay over if I needed a place to stay and did not have the energy to commute. The school also went out of its way to get me a temporary place to stay until the semester ended. The amount of support was amazing, and it motivated me to just keep going. I wanted to make sure that I graduated with my classmates. My Gatton journey was a roller coaster. However, if I had the opportunity, I would not change anything because my experiences made me who I am today.

2019 Annual Report 43



East Tennessee State University received a monumental challenge and a historic gift in 2019 that will significantly impact the health of rural communities. On July 16, 2019, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced the creation of a new Center for Rural Health Research to be housed at the ETSU College of Public Health. The goal of the center is to identify new mechanisms to improve health in rural and nonurban areas. “In order for Tennessee to truly lead the nation, we must ensure we help all Tennesseans succeed, particularly in our rural areas,” Lee said. “I believe the Center for Rural Health Research at ETSU is going to be a major contributor to solving problems that have been developing in rural America for decades. “ETSU has a proven record in helping to solve problems, particularly on health care, so this is a natural fit for this doctoral and research institution.” Lee also announced that ETSU will receive a $1.5 million first-year grant for the implementation of the Center, and then a recurring $750,000 annual investment to support ongoing operations. These appropriations were recommended by Lee and approved by the Tennessee General Assembly during the 111th legislative session. In addition, Alan Levine, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ballad Health, announced the system would

44 ETSU Health

contribute more than $15 million to the center over the course of the next 10 years. The gift is the largest in ETSU history and the largest to date for the $120 million capital “Campaign for ETSU” launched in 2019. Dr. Randy Wykoff, Dean of the College of Public Health, serves at the helm of the center as its founding director. “This is an exciting time,” Wykoff said. “Governor Lee has recognized the resources and the opportunities that exist here at ETSU and the opportunity to partner with Ballad Health to address the needs of rural Tennessee.” “We are being systematic and thoughtful to make sure that we set up a center that is going to make a real difference in the lives of the people of this state,” Wykoff said. Initial discussions focused on five areas of priority including: interrupting intergenerational cycles of poor health, lack of education and poverty; exploring innovative models of health care delivery; creating a longitudinal database of women, children and families in rural areas; identifying policies and practices that will improve health and well-being in rural areas; and providing support to empower local organizations. Through his outreach efforts, Wykoff has already identified a sixth priority—a focus on the unique needs of the rural elderly population.

Wykoff named to key state positions Dr. Randy Wykoff, Dean of East Tennessee State University’s College of Public Health, is one of 26 individuals across the state who were selected to serve on Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee’s Health Care Modernization Task Force. The bipartisan, bicameral task force will be co-chaired by Stuart McWhorter, Finance and Administration Dr. Randy Wykoff Commissioner, and Bill Carpenter, former Chairman and CEO of LifePoint Health. The task force will host public discussions with the goal of providing options for consideration to address some of the state’s major health care issues. “We’re committed to working together collaboratively across ETSU Health to put together a world-class Center for Rural Health Research,” Wykoff said. Wykoff said the Center will be a reliable source of information for policymakers, providing evidence-based data from which to help inform policy decisions that can improve health in rural and nonurban communities. It will also pursue connections with a range of funding partners to support efforts that advance the health and well-being of residents in those areas. “We are grateful to Governor Lee and our partner, Ballad Health, for this significant investment that will help to improve the lives of the people of this region and in rural communities across the nation,” said ETSU President Brian Noland. “Appalachia is going to lead in developing solutions to many of the challenges facing our rural communities.”

“Working together, with patients, providers and payers, we can establish Tennessee as a world-class health care market for our people,” Lee said. “I would like to thank Commissioner McWhorter and Bill Carpenter for agreeing to lead this effort that will help move Tennessee toward better health outcomes and toward being a leader in the nation on health care.” The group’s discussions will help drive the state’s consideration of ideas to improve the lives of Tennesseans who lack access to quality, affordable health care through innovation, uniting market forces and addressing community-specific characteristics to health issues. “Improving health is a complex challenge,” said Wykoff. “It requires changing behaviors, improving social conditions, and assuring access to quality and affordable health care. While this is difficult, it can be done, and I am honored to have been invited to serve on the Governor’s Task Force focused on helping to make these changes a reality.” Wykoff is a recognized national, state and regional leader in the public health arena. In addition, Wykoff was one of 46 leaders from rural and urban communities across Tennessee who were named to the Leadership Tennessee class of 2019-2020.

2019 Annual Report 45


Distinguished Faculty Award AGRAWAL HONORED FOR RESEARCH ACHIEVEMENTS The ETSU Distinguished Faculty Award in Research was presented to Dr. Alok Agrawal, Professor in the ETSU Quillen College of Medicine’s Department of Biomedical Sciences. Agrawal earned recognition for his 34 years of research related to C-reactive protein (CRP). His research has contributed immensely to the identification of possible new therapeutic approaches to treatment of pneumococcal infection, cardiovascular disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. “Dr. Agrawal’s contributions to research and towards the mission of the College of Medicine and East Tennessee State University are exemplary,” said Dr. Bill Block, Dean of Quillen College of Medicine. “His work has received international attention.” Agrawal’s CRP research at ETSU grew from research he had been conducting as a graduate student in India in the 1980s. Later, he continued the same research as a postdoctoral fellow at The University of Alabama at Birmingham and then as a research assistant professor at Case Western Reserve University. He joined ETSU’s faculty in 2002.

as extramurally and expertly assisted by peer reviewers at the national level,” said Dr. Gregory Ordway, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Psychiatry Dr. Alok Agrawal and Behavioral Sciences at Quillen. “He is an outstanding scientist making major advances in research in cardiovascular medicine and immunology, and a highly respected educator.” Agrawal has authored almost 60 publications on CRP and has presented his research at seminars around the world. On a national level, Agrawal serves on multiple editorial boards and as an ad hoc reviewer for more than 250 publications. He has participated as an ad hoc reviewer for NIH study sections and review committees on more than 35 occasions.

Agrawal received his first National Institutes of Health (NIH) RO1 grant funding in 2002, and since that time has received approximately $6 million in NIH funding to expand his CRP research.

At ETSU, Agrawal has trained and mentored many young research scientists and earned numerous university awards for his teaching and research, including the Dean’s Distinguished Research Award in 2009 and 2017. For 12 consecutive years he has received the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Student Award for either or both “Course Director of the Year” and “Professor of the Year.”

“The strong support of Dr. Agrawal’s research by NIH funding demonstrates the significance of his findings, and his productivity and independence as a scientist

Agrawal holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Banaras Hindu University and a Ph.D. from Visva Bharati University.

NIH study: Schizophrenia and smoking A researcher at East Tennessee State University’s Quillen College of Medicine received a $435,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that will help develop possible new treatments targeting smoking and the symptoms of schizophrenia. For many years, scientists have been interested in identifying treatments for tobacco smoking 46 ETSU Health

in the population diagnosed with schizophrenia, as well as other mental disorders. “A major issue in schizophrenia is tobacco smoking, which leads to lung cancer, poor quality of life and negative health outcomes,” said Dr. Russell Brown, Professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at Quillen College of Medicine. “Approximately 80%

of individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia smoke cigarettes, which is about four times higher than the general population.” The overriding theory behind such heavy tobacco smoking in schizophrenia is that it is a form of self-medication for the disease, helping with increased attentional ability, but also nicotine, the

Guntupalli examining new treatments for vocal fatigue A researcher at East Tennessee State University received a three-year, $407,000 area grant (R15) from the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)- National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study a novel approach to treating vocal fatigue. “Vocal fatigue is a term people use to describe the feeling of their voice getting tired. It is typically experienced by professional voice users such as teachers, singers, clergy, or theater actors,” said Dr. Chaya Nanjundeswaran Guntupalli, Associate Professor in the Department of Audiology & Speech-Language Pathology in the College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences (CCRHS). “In fact, 18-33% of teachers experience vocal fatigue, with female teachers at a higher risk than males.” Guntupalli, who has worked in CCRHS for nine years, has spent her career as a Speech-Language Pathologist studying vocal fatigue. As part of her earlier research, she developed a Vocal Fatigue Index, which is a series of 19 questions to help identify whether people have vocal fatigue. Her Vocal Fatigue Index has been recognized by the Editor’s Best Paper award in a prestigious peer-reviewed journal. It has been translated into many different languages and is being used around the world.

psychoactive ingredient in tobacco, is positively reinforcing. “Right now, there are smoking cessation treatments that have been used, but the problem is they could have some side effects that could produce psychosis,” Brown said. These types of side effects in patients who are already experiencing a form of psychosis

She has also conducted research that borrows principles from exercise physiology science, applying it to vocal science to understand mechanisms underlying vocal fatigue. Guntupalli captured gas exchange data to identify the pattern of oxygen consumption and metabolic fuel used during vocal task performance in individuals with and without vocal fatigue. The pattern of oxygen consumption provided an understanding of mechanisms underlying vocal fatigue. Individuals with vocal fatigue relied on muscle resources to complete the vocal task, while cardiovascularly fit, vocally healthy individuals, relied on oxygen resources to complete the vocal task. This discovery led to Guntupalli’s NIH proposal to utilize a novel, yet unintuitive approach to the treatment of vocal fatigue. By using a cardiovascular conditioning protocol in comparison to voice production exercises, Guntupalli hopes her research will provide new insight to treat vocal fatigue. Her study will focus on teachers. “A common debilitating symptom experienced by teachers is vocal fatigue, impacting their occupational performance and increasing health care costs,” Guntupalli said. “It is imperative to identify potential treatment options to alleviate the experience of such symptoms.”

make these current treatments unsuccessful and undesirable for individuals with schizophrenia. “We are trying to go about this in a different way and go after a completely different pharmacological target to see if we can actually alleviate rewarding aspects of nicotine, as well as alleviate the disease process of schizophrenia,” Brown said.

2019 Annual Report 47



East Tennessee State University’s College of Nursing earned an award for the redesign of the curriculum for its popular LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) to BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) program. The Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Council on Collegiate Education for Nursing (CCEN) presented the 2019 Pacesetter Award to ETSU’s Dr. Melessia Webb, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs, and Tabitha Quillen, Director of Undergraduate Post-Licensure Programs, for their podium presentation titled “Using Teaching and Technology to Redesign LPN to BSN Curriculum.” They were presented with a sculptural rendering of a butterfly designed by Hans Godo Frabel and chosen by SREB CCEN especially for the ETSU College of Nursing in recognition of the podium presentation. “It was an honor to receive this award because ETSU’s College of Nursing is seen as a pacesetter, being ahead of the curve,” Webb said. When the LPN to BSN program started at ETSU in 2001, it was primarily accessible to working nursing professionals in the Tri-Cities area, with courses offered on-ground with traditional students on ETSU’s main campus in Johnson City. This format did not provide opportunities for the growth that was in demand across the state.

48 ETSU Health

The idea for ETSU’s new LPN to BSN program came by accident, when leaders from the College of Nursing decided to visit community colleges to discuss ways to build the RN to BSN program. “While we were visiting the community colleges, we were able to meet with many Tennessee Centers for Applied Technology Practical Nursing students who shared with us why they were not able to attend ETSU’s current LPN to BSN program,” Webb said. “We decided to develop a needs assessment to see what we could do to offer a program that would appeal to this group of nurses.” The needs assessment revealed that Practical Nursing students wanted a program that was accessible, meaning that the college needed to offer it remotely to meet the demand from students as far away as Memphis. Students also wanted an accelerated format and articulation credits awarded based on knowledge gained from their LPN training. ETSU’s College of Nursing developed a hybrid LPN to BSN program (50% of coursework fully online and 50% of the courses conducted via instructional television at other Tennessee

locations) that could be completed in four straight semesters–including summers. In the fall of 2018 semester, the College of Nursing enrolled 59 students in cohorts in three cities, with classes livestreamed from Johnson City to the TCATS in both Nashville and Crossville. In spring 2019, the program expanded to Chattanooga’s Erlanger Health System. In fall 2019, the program added its first cohorts in Sevierville and Newbern, and the college is looking at adding two more sites in spring 2020 in order to help meet demand and alleviate the statewide nursing shortage.

Hagemeier studying pharmacists’ impact on the opioid crisis Dr. Nick Hagemeier, an Associate Professor at East Tennessee State University Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy, has received a National Institutes of Health (NIH) subaward from Duke University for a grant submitted to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The award will continue to support his research into the role of pharmacists in preventing and treating substance use disorders. The study, “Integrating pharmacy-based prevention and treatment of opioid and other substance use disorders: A survey of pharmacists and stakeholders,” will measure pharmacists’ ability to provide patient care and services for substance use screening, brief intervention, referral to treatment, and medication treatment for opioid use disorders. The findings will inform barriers and facilitators related to pharmacist-provided services and

patient care for those suffering from addiction. “I continue to be encouraged by the potential impact community pharmacists can have in caring for patients who struggle with substance use disorders,” said Hagemeier. “This project will help us Dr. Nick Hagemeier understand how best to equip pharmacists to provide evidence-based care. "I’m excited to collaborate with Dr. (Li-Tzy) Wu and the Mid-Southern Node of the NIDA’s Clinical Trials Network.”

Program to increase access to psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners The East Tennessee State University College of Nursing received a federal grant to develop a unique residency program that will help to increase the number of psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners (PMHNPs) in community primary care clinics and rural communitybased mental health agencies. The 12-month residency program, PREPARE (Progressive Resident Experiences for Practitioners to meet Appalachian Rural healthcare Expectations), received a $1.4 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). ETSU’s first-ever nurse practitioner residency program will begin the PREPARE program in July 2020. The college will recruit four PMHNP residents annually. “This program prepares PMHNPs to have the skills to work in underserved and rural clinics and provide mental health for the high-risk areas of substance abuse and suicide,” said Dr. Patricia Vanhook, Associate Dean for Practice and Community Partnerships. “The program will increase access to PMHNPs in rural areas for adults and improve care and access for vulnerable populations including children, individuals experiencing homelessness, those who identify as LGBTQ+,

incarcerated inmates, and those who have experienced military trauma.” In addition, a Substance Abuse and Addiction Certification Program for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses will be developed and added to the College of Nursing curriculum. The residents will work in ETSU College of Nursing’s five nurse-managed federally qualified health centers, its nurse-managed rural health clinic, and partnering community mental health agencies. “Residents will be immersed in the College of Nursing nurse-managed health centers providing mental and behavioral health service to rural and underserved populations and have immersion experiences with community mental health agencies for specific focus on substance abuse and suicidal ideation,” Vanhook said. Expert clinical faculty will lead weekly didactic sessions with substance abuse and grand rounds with the Quillen College of Medicine’s new Addiction Medicine Fellowship. Upon completion of the program, the residents will have completed 500 hours to fulfill partial requirements for the Addiction Certification Board examination.

2019 Annual Report 49

College of Public Health etsu.edu/cph


Quillen College of Medicine etsu.edu/com

› Bachelor of Science in Public Health–Community Health

› MD Program

› Bachelor of Science in Health Administration

› PhD Program

› Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences– Human Health

› MD/MPH dual degree program

› Bachelor of Science in Microbiology › Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health › Master of Public Health–Biostatistics, Community Health, Environmental Health, Epidemiology, and Health Services Administration

College of Nursing etsu.edu/nursing



› Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) › Accelerated BSN (bachelor’s degree in another field)

› MD/MPH dual degree programs

› ETSU-Holston Valley Medical Center Accelerated BSN (Kingsport cohort)

› PharmD/MPH dual degree programs

› LPN to BSN (for licensed practical nurses)

› Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)–Community Health, Epidemiology, Health Management and Policy

› RN to BSN (for diploma or associate degree nurses)

College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences etsu.edu/crhs


› Bachelor of Science in Allied Health Leadership › Bachelor of Science in Cardiopulmonary Science › Bachelor of Science in Nutrition › Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene › Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Science › Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitative Health Sciences › Bachelor of Social Work › Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition › Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology › Master of Social Work › Doctor of Audiology › Doctor of Physical Therapy


› Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) - Family Nurse Practitioner, Nursing Administration, Nursing Education, and Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing › Post-Master’s Certificate Program in Nursing Administration and Nursing Education › RN-MSN (bachelor’s degree in another field and RN license) › Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)–Adult Gerontological Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Executive Leadership, Family Nurse Practitioner, and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner › Post-DNP Certificate in Executive Leadership › Post-Graduate APRN Certificate Program in Adult Gerontological Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

› Master of Science in Allied Health

Gatton College of Pharmacy

› AAS/BSN Dual Degree

› ETSU-Tennessee Technological University (TTU) DNP Program –Adult Gerontological Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Executive Leadership, Family Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner-Primary Care, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, and Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner › PhD



› Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy Studies › PharmD › PharmD/MPH dual degree program › PharmD/MBA dual degree program


ETSU Health is the outward-facing brand that includes the pursuits of ETSU’s thriving Academic Health Science Center and the clinical components of ETSU Physicians and Associates, and Northeast Tennessee Community Health Centers, Inc. For more, please visit ETSU.edu and ETSUhealth.org

Profile for East Tennessee State University

ETSU Health Magazine - 2019  

ETSU Health Magazine - 2019  

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded