The Belmont University School of Physical Therapy was recognized as the “Outstanding Volunteer Group of the Year” at the annual Susan G. Komen Leadership Conference in Dallas, Texas last weekend. Susan G. Komen is a global leader in the fight against breast cancer with local affiliate offices in more than 120 locations in the U.S. and around the world. Each year the organization recognizes volunteers who demonstrate dedication, commitment, creativity, initiative and dependability.
The Belmont Physical Therapy students began their commitment to Susan G. Komen Greater Nashville two years ago when they volunteered as a group to manage the race course at the organization’s annual Susan G. Komen Nashville Race for the Cure® event. The Belmont students utilize this opportunity to enhance the school’s community involvement and establish teamwork within the physical therapy school.
Over 80 students participated the first year, but the school has created a continuous source of high quality volunteers by creating a kind of mentorship program. Once a student volunteers, she or he is expected to train, manage and support younger classmates through the volunteer process.
Belmont’s involvement with Komen goes beyond race day and beyond its students. Students assist with packet stuffing and other duties prior to the event and have also challenged other university schools to put together volunteer teams that can equal their impact. Belmont faculty members also serve on Komen Greater Nashville board of directors and race committee. Finally, several of the school’s athletics programs host Think Pink/Pink Out games each season to help raise needed awareness for breast health education in younger women and support those in the Belmont community affected by the disease.
“We are so proud that our volunteers were recognized as being the top in the country,” said Patty Harman, executive director of the Komen’s Greater Nashville Affiliate. “We know that our Race wouldn’t be the same without them and that they make such a huge impact year-round. We’re glad that everyone else now gets to see Belmont Physical Therapy as a benchmark for volunteerism.”
Kenisha Rhone, media relations director for Women’s Sports at Belmont accepted the award on behalf of the University. Rhone is an active volunteer for Komen Nashville and serves on the Race Coordinating Committee.