March 1, 2016
In early February, Amanda Holliday, MS, clinical assistant professor of nutrition at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, facilitated and participated in a two-day event to introduce UNC health affairs students to some of the challenges faced by older adults.
The interprofessional education (IPE) experience was planned in conjunction with a U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant which calls for improvement in the care of older adults through enhanced collaboration among professional students.
The grant, awarded to the UNC School of Medicine, provides support to:
- Increase the ability of clinics to manage older adults, using an interdisciplinary team in which each member is able to provide care at the highest level to which they are trained, and in which communication between disciplines is frequent, respectful and collaborative;
- Educate health professionals about services offered by professionals in other health-related fields;
- Develop communication and collaboration skills; and
- Recognize and promote the benefits of interprofessional teams.
“Most of our accrediting agencies require that our students have experiences working in interprofessional teams,” Holliday said. “We are proud to have brought together more than 170 students across many health affairs disciplines and to have assisted them in collaborating to provide person-centered geriatric care. Many of the students indicated that they also formed professional networks that will last them many years after graduation.”
Participating in the event were students and faculty members in dentistry and dental hygiene, medicine, nursing, nutrition, occupational therapy, pharmacy, physical therapy and social work. Students from the English department also observed for the purpose of learning about communication and collaboration.