IU School of Dentistry joins interprofessional health education and practice collaboration

Indiana University, in collaboration with the Purdue University College of Pharmacy, has established a Center for Interprofessional Health Education and Practice.

The center was recently announced by a group of 10 IU and Purdue administrators associated with health education, including the IU School of Dentistry’s Dean John Williams.

The virtual center will facilitate the engagement of students and faculty from the various health and life sciences schools to collaborate in the classroom and clinical setting in an effort to deliver higher quality, more comprehensive patient care. It will also be responsible for implementing, integrating, and evaluating interprofessional health education programs and exemplary practice sites and translating outcomes into collaborative practice models.

The center will be led by Judith Halstead, executive associate dean for academic affairs at the IU School of Nursing. Dr. Halstead and three co-directors from other schools will serve faculty and students by focusing on three areas: curriculum development and integration; faculty development and leadership training; and outcome evaluation and scholarship.

Initial stakeholders include the IU Schools of Dentistry, Health & Rehabilitation Sciences, Medicine, Nursing, Optometry, Public Health (Bloomington and Indianapolis) and Social Work, and the Purdue College of Pharmacy; however, the center will seek collaboration from a broad spectrum of academic and community partners to ensure it serves as a viable resource to the university. IUPUI Executive Vice Chancellor Nasser Paydar has provided seed funding for the new center.

The interprofessional health education component will provide health professions students with the competencies and learning opportunities needed to excel as strong collaborative practitioners and effectively deliver patient care and healthcare management as part of a team. Such collaborative teamwork is important with the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the evolution of medical homes and accountable-care organizations.

Through the creation of the center, the team of collaborators will extend learning beyond the classroom into the clinical setting, play a key role in the development of new healthcare approaches, and help transform the national healthcare system, which will greatly benefit patients, their families, and the community through improved health outcomes.

More details about the clinic will be forthcoming in the weeks ahead. For questions contact Ellen Burton, IU’s program manager for University Clinical Affairs, at esburton@indiana.edu.

 March 1, 2013