Belmont University’s College of Pharmacy hosted the Sixth Annual Middle Tennessee Antimicrobial Stewardship Symposium on May 13 in the Janet Ayers Academic Center. The event attracted nearly 150 pharmacists, nurses, physicians, epidemiologists, residents and students from across Tennessee and the Southeast Region to learn and discuss ways to work together as a medical community to improve appropriate antimicrobial use and mitigate risks. Featured speakers represented several states, and Vanderbilt’s Dr. Romney Humphries gave the keynote presentation.
Dr. Humphries, D(ABMM), FIDSA, is professor at Vanderbilt and Division Director Laboratory Medicine in the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Her keynote, “Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing Updates from the Laboratory” covered the importance of implementing updated breakpoints in laboratories with a goal for attendees to be able to describe the differences between genotypic and standard susceptibility tests. Dr. Humphries is a consultant for Accelerate Diagnostics, Thermofisher, bioMerieux, IHMA, Melinta,
Merck, Pattern BioSciences, Qiagen, QPex, Roche, Torus, and Specific Diagnostics.
Dr. Montgomery Green, associate professor of pharmacy practice at Belmont, said the ability to meet in person again this year after hosting a virtual conference in 2021 is an exciting return for our Planning Committee and attendees alike. “Networking and collaboration of providers working throughout the Middle Tennessee region and beyond has always been a main focus and goal of the Symposium,” she explained. “The opportunity to have in person collaboration brings a renewed energy to this event and will no doubt be a highlight for many.”
The event was planned and hosted by Green; Dr. Kelly Byrge, assistant professor with Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Dr. Shaefer Spires, assistant professor of medicine with Duke University, Dr. Kathryn Dambrino, assistant professor with Belmont School of Nursing, Dr. Athena Hobbs, infectious diseases clinical pharmacy coordinator with Methodist University Hospital in Memphis, Dr. Christopher Evans, pharmacist with the Tennessee Department of Health, Wiyanna Bruck, antimicrobial stewardship/emergency medicine clinical pharmacist with North Knoxville Medical Center, and Laura Hyde, continuing pharmacy education administrator at Belmont.
Morning sessions featured a lineup of experts. Duke School of Medicine Assistant Professor of Medicine Sonali Advani MBBS, MPH, co-medical director of Duke Infection Control Outreach Network, presented “Updates with UTI guidelines and research.” Assistant Professor at Loma Linda University C. Abdul-Mutakabbir PharmD, MPH, AAHIVP, critical care pharmacist, presented “The intersection of racism, antibiotic resistance, and vaccine equity.” Melinda Neuhauser, PharmD, MPH; pharmacist and CDC Acute Care Lead, presented “CDC Update in Hospital Antibiotic Stewardship”. Jan Willem Lindemans, PhD, principal and senior behavioral researcher at the Duke University’s Center for Advanced Hindsight, presented “Combating Healthcare Misinformation.”
During the afternoon, participants attended roundtable and poster sessions led by pharmacists, physicians and nurses, allowing them the opportunity to discuss topics in a small group format. A panel discussion was also added. Dr. Kelly Byrge, assistant professor with Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, said this addition provided a fresh element to the symposium.
“This year, we are especially excited to introduce new educational content in the format of a multi-disciplinary panel. Our panelists have incredible expertise in a variety of areas which allow them to offer guidance on several challenging clinical scenarios. I am confident that all attendees will leave this session with pearls of knowledge ready for real-life application.”
Planning committee member Dr. Kathryn Dambrino, Belmont assistant professor of nursing and nurse practitioner, said she is proud this year’s symposium offered programming to help healthcare workers in their daily work fighting COVID-19.
“This year, we knew it was important to provide wellness programming and resources for our attendees, as they are the infectious disease experts who have been working in the trenches and shouldering the heaviest burden for over 2 years of a global pandemic.”
See more photos from this year’s symposium here.