Interprofessional Education for 450 UConn Health Professions Students

  • Second annual Interprofessional Education Dean's Afternoon, Sept. 30, 2016, at UConn Health. (Photos by Janine Gelineau)
    Second annual Interprofessional Education Dean's Afternoon, Sept. 30, 2016, at UConn Health. (Photos by Janine Gelineau)
UConn held its second annual Interprofessional Education Dean’s Afternoon Sept. 30, part of its continuing educational mission to emphasize the importance of collaboration among health care providers.

The idea behind interprofessional education is to engage students from all health professions and better position them to work together in the future.

“We are noticing more frequently that physicians, pharmacists, nurses, social workers, physical therapists, and others are working collaboratively to provide patient care,” says UConn M.D./MPH candidate Fludiona Naka. “We are moving away from the outmoded structures that used to be predominant because we have recognized that in order to provide the best care to the patient we need to work together. This is what some call a team-approach or a term that I like even better, a patient-centered approach.”

The dean’s afternoon drew approximately 450 students and 40 faculty and staff to concurrent events in Storrs and Farmington, and included the schools of Medicine, Dental Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, Social Work, and Dietetics.

“Our students will be entering a very different world as they start practice in 5-10 years,” says Dr. Bruce Gould, associate dean for primary care in the UConn School of Medicine. “We will have transformed our fee-for-service, physician-centric model to one of interprofessional team-based practice caring for populations of patients. Dean’s Afternoon and our other interprofessional curricula and programs are training our students for the future reality they will face.”

Learning objectives included:

  • Identifying the interdependence between health professions’ education
  • Competency development for collaborative practice and practice needs
  • Identifying the educational pathways and scope of practice for health professions
  • How to engage students in the process of interprofessional collaboration

“Learning about interprofessional collaboration beginning at the outset of their professional education is crucial for students because we learn to appreciate and value other professions and what they have to offer,” Naka says. “I firmly believe that interprofessional education will transform health education and thus lead to transformation of health care delivery.”

UConn Observes National Primary Care Week (Updated)

  • UConn medical student Jeanne Rolle and UConn dental student Lauren Dulieu staff the welcome station at the Mansfield Senior and Wellness Center during a National Primary Care Week community fair. (Nicole Davoren for UConn Health)
Interprofessionality—patient care from a team representing several disciplines working together—is the emphasis of UConn’s observance of National Primary Care Week.

The annual celebration of the contributions of primary care to community health this week included lunch-and-learn sessions, workshops, and community health fairs.

This year provided more than 1,250 student-hours of educational programming. During Wednesday’s community health fairs, 145 students and faculty members served nearly 400 patients.

UConn medical, dental, nursing, and pharmacy students, along with Quinnipiac University physician assistant students, staff the health fairs, offered free blood pressure and blood glucose screenings and providing health education materials covering topics such as oral health, nutrition, medication interaction, heart health and diabetes prevention.

Primary Care Week aims to introduce health professions students to the importance of community-responsive primary care, encourage their collaboration as members of future primary health care teams, and work to reduce problems in health care access experienced by underserved populations.

The lunch-and-learn sessions are now available via Mediasite:

Oct. 27:

Oct. 29:

UConn Primary Care Week Schedule

Saturday, Oct. 24

Retreat in the Berkshires
Presentation: “Revitalizing Underserved Communities: Principles in the Promise Zones” by Gina Federico Muslim, Community Solutions, NE Hartford

Monday, Oct. 26

Primary Care Dinner
Presentation: “The Future of Primary Care is Interprofessional” by Dr. Luis Padilla, Health Resources and National Health Service Corps

Tuesday, Oct. 27

Lunch & Learn Cross-campus Video Session
Presentation: “Interprofessional Team in Action: Suboxone Clinic” with Dr. Marwin Haddad and Interprofessional Provider Team, Community Health Center

Family Medicine Interest Group
Dermatology Hands-on Night at UConn Health

Wednesday, Oct. 28

Community Health Fairs

  • South End Senior Wellness Center, Hartford
  • Hispanic Senior Center, Hartford
  • North End Senior Center, Hartford
  • Community Health Services, Hartford
  • Hartford Public Library
  • New Britain Police Department
  • Mansfield Senior & Wellness Center
  • Mansfield Parks and Recreation
  • Dixwell-Newhallville Senior Center, New Haven
  • United Community & Family Services, Norwich

Thursday, Oct. 29

Lunch & Learn Cross-campus Video Session
Presentation: “Primary Care Practice 2025: A Mad Max World?” with Dr. Robert Zavoski, Connecticut Department of Social Services

Friday, Oct. 30

Interprofessional Educational Deans’ Afternoon