Interprofessional education update

February 06, 2014

First, hearty thanks to all of our colleagues in Facilities, the Police Department and other key areas for all of your hard work during this week's snowstorm. I look forward to reading about the effort in Monday's KUMed Central. Until then, I have some good news about what is and always will be our No.1 mission: Educating future health care leaders.

Over the last few years, KU Medical Center has increasingly focused on interprofessional education. Our Center for Interprofessional Education and Simulation is a rich hub of programs and resources to promote collaboration among future doctors, nurses and health professionals to prepare them for careers in health care. Our training capitalizes on the unique roles and responsibilities of professions by highlighting the values and ethics necessary to provide patient-centered care.

Not surprisingly, the most enthusiastic proponents of this team training have been students in all of our schools - medicine, nursing, health professions, pharmacy and law - who are eager to train together just as they will practice together (last summer's edition of Kansas Medicine+Science featured a great cover story on the evolution of interprofessional education at KU Medical Center). Our students are leaders in recognizing that team training is the educational model for the future.

Our interprofessional education efforts began in 2008 and have really gained momentum over the last three years. Since 2011, our students have been treating patients at the Interprofessional Teaching Clinic on our Kansas City campus, under the supervision of faculty from all disciplines. It is a nationally innovative activity. At our Wichita campus, the family medicine residency programs at Via Christi, Wesley and Smoky Hill-Salina are being transformed into patient-centered medical homes (PCMH). All three Wichita family medicine residency programs have residents working in multidisciplinary teams with non-physician personnel including either physician assistants or nurse practitioners. Psychologists and marriage and family therapists are integrated into the three residency programs as well as support from dieticians, drug and alcohol counselors, social workers and others. 

In patient-centered medical homes, a team of individuals collectively take responsibility for the ongoing care of patients. Wichita's Department of Family and Community Medicine has a $1.1 million Health Resources and Services Administration grant to incorporate the principles of the PCMH into the curriculum of our third-year family medicine clerkship. Faculty leaders in Wichita have played a major role in the Kansas Primary Care PCMH Coalition over the last three years. For example, Rick Kellerman, chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine, is a member of the Institute of Medicine Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professional Education. One of the major work areas of the forum has been interdisciplinary medical education.

And now we have even more support for our excellence in training future health care teams. Recently, KU Medical Center was awarded a $410,000 grant from the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation to develop a faculty development program. It will help us train more faculty preceptors to work with our health care students in an interprofessional clinical setting. The co-principal investigators for the grant are Sarah Shrader, a clinical associate professor of pharmacy at KU-Lawrence, and Jana Zaudke, an assistant professor and family physician at the KU School of Medicine.

With this grant, KU Medical Center joins 10 other incubator sites in the National Center of Interprofessional Practice and Education program, based at the University of Minnesota. The support from Macy will advance our standing as one of the national leaders in this area in the near future.

Among other things, it will help expand the successful interprofessional clinic in the Medical Office Building. Over the next year, a faculty development program will be created to prepare more faculty and professional staff from a variety of health care professions to work with the students and impart interprofessional skills at that clinic. And we'll be able to package this interprofessional faculty development tool and send it to other institutions that are interested in creating interprofessional health care education programs. The grant has already identified five primary care facilities in rural Kansas as sites for the program.

Many clinicians and educators across the country have voiced intense interest in a national faculty development model for training faculty preceptors to blend interprofessional practice and education. Our success in disseminating this program across Kansas could lead to our faculty training package becoming a national training model for providing interprofessional education. 

Thank you and congratulations to all of our students, faculty and staff who are motivating us to lead in shaping the health care of the future.

Last modified: Feb 06, 2014