The University of New England's interprofessional education work group has scheduled a series of more than 18 programs on the Portland Campus during the 2009-2010 academic year for the purpose of "learning beyond the borders of individual disciplines."
In the spring of 2009 faculty and staff from UNE's Westbrook College of Health Professions (WCHP) joined with the newly formed College of Pharmacy (COP) and Office of Multicultural Services to revisit and revitalize ways through which students can learn together and from each other.
WCHP already has a tradition of interprofessional education (IPE). Students have benefited from established IPE learning opportunities such as interprofessional grand rounds, a spring symposium, and student research days.
These activities encourage students from two or more health care professions to collaborate in scholarship, research and community projects that promote patient-centered, evidence-based, compassionate care. In the process of working together students learn about the roles of other healthcare professionals and develop skills for team work.
Thus far the group has been highly productive. Their efforts got off to a quick start during fall orientation 2009 when students from across WCHP and COP participated in a lively interdisciplinary simulated case discussion.
During the fall semester, IPE events include a series of workshops and performances focused on health literacy, social inequities and patient-professional communication. (View the calendar)
This series continues in spring 2010 and will include WCHP’s annual spring symposium, interprofessional grand rounds and performances that address contemporary health care issues by Maine playwrights Cathy Plourde and Susan Poulin.
The IPE work group is additionally pursuing the development of future IPE student cohorts, co-taught curriculum and collaborative clinical field sites.
The mission of all these IPE efforts is to promote quality health care for individuals, families, groups and communities through transformative learning experiences and collaborative, interprofessional community partnerships.